Boy, life is sure different then when all the kids were little on Saturdays. As homeschoolers we did EVERYTHING together as a family unit. 24/7 we worked, slept, schooled, shopped, played together. On Saturday night when all the littles went to bed Steve and I would literally race to pick up all the massive amount of toys and mess trying to tidy everything for the Lord’s day.
Now, everyone has their own plans. One daughter is babysitting, another is going shopping with her grandma, another is taking his old car to the junkyard. When the house is messy I give everyone their zones and they whip it into shape.
Don’t get me wrong we are still a SUPER close family. We play games together, laugh together, family worship together and dinner time around the table with great discussion is a priority. But, it’s just different as these little ones are now big ones and are flying on their own. I wouldn’t have it any other way though.
Sometimes parents have a hard time letting their children “adult” and yes I use that as a verb. But, isn’t that what we have been given to them by God for, to release them to adult? They aren’t our possessions. They are given to us by God to instruct them, train them, teach them, and then release them. But, often we look at our children as our possessions, our minions to do everything at our beck and pleasure.
The moment my baby was handed to me after birth it was to get him/her ready to leave. If I have trouble with them starting to fly from the nest, making their own decisions, starting out their own lives then I am actually hindering the natural order of things.
I do see a trend in homeschool families as they try to shelter their children from the dangers of the world (and rightly so) that they actually handicap their children for life. They clip their children’s wings so much in hopes they won’t fly the coop, that when it’s time to enter the outside world those children are still just that…children.
I want to allow my children to “adult” while they are still in my home, yes, I want them to make mistakes while they are still here with us to help them work through them. And yes, I want them to venture out, as mature young people branching out into life with grace. So that by the time they are out in the world on their own, they will be fully prepared and ready.
So no, I don’t have curfews for my older boys, except on Saturday nights. Many times I don’t even know where they are. (yup, and that’s ok) They are hard working men now, with steady jobs and one of my sons will probably be married in the not too distant future. If they were over fighting in Afghanistan I would not know their whereabouts all the time.
In older times, children became adults at much younger ages. Mid teen boys were off apprenticing and young girls were preparing to marry. This trend I see of young people still be treated as children is not consistent with a better time. Timothy was told “Let no man despise your youth.”
So my question to you today is. Are you letting your children adult? Yes, let them be little, let them enjoy the sweetness of childhood, but as the hormones change, don’t fight it…let them adult. And your relationship with them will be the much better for it.