Advice to Parents

When your children are young, it’s right for you to be totally involved in everything and even run intervention when necessary. However, when they get older, it’s time for them to start making some decisions on their own, and time for you to back up and watch from a safe distance. Sure, they’ll make mistakes, but from those mistakes they will learn things they can’t learn any other way. I wish I had been given the opportunity to make more decisions when I was younger so that I would have learned some hard lessons while there was still a safety net in place.

Here are my three top reasons for parents to not meddle too much in the lives of their adult children:

1) You don’t know all the facts. You may know a lot about what’s going on, but trust me, you don’t know everything. Chances are, the facts you don’t know are just the ones that would completely change your way of thinking about the situation.

2) You have no idea of what may be the long-term consequences of your meddling. Only God knows how things will turn out. You’re not God, nor do you play Him on TV, so don’t try to play Him in your children’s lives.

3) When your child finds out what you’ve done, even if it is 20 years later, (s)he is going to be very upset with you.

If there is something in your adult child’s life that you’re not happy about (job, boy/girlfriend, etc.), and you’ve given your advice, it’s time to step back and talk to God about it. In no circumstances should you ever go behind your child’s back and talk to someone else involved. That’s undermining both your child and God’s working in his/her life.

While they’re young, train them in the way they should go. Once they’re grown, trust them to follow your teachings. If you continue to try to play the parent card, you’ll never be the trusted friend they will turn to when they need someone. And, who else would you want them to go to?

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