Faith,  Motherhood,  Real Experiences

Dictator Or Trainer?

Guest blog – Jen Weaver

Don’t know about you, but as a mother of two growing teenagers and one almost teenager, I am in the constant mode of trying to play catch up with them. When they were younger I remember trying to literally catch with them as they ran through the house, yard, parks, any space that they inhabited. Now I am constantly playing catch up to where they are emotionally as they embrace their growing independence while discovering their voice and place in this world. 


My middle child is now a 15-year-old boy and in the past few months, he has discovered a passion for rock climbing. As I watch and observe him as he interacts with the challenging paths for the climbs I am struck with how much this symbolizes this season of parenting.

I can see so many potential pathways my children may choose, I can even give some suggestions… but really they are that, suggestions, guidelines, a wider perspective. More and more each of my children is taking in information and deciding what they will do with that information.

They have now gathered experiences of their own that they are flushing out how the information they receive will work with what they have experienced, and this will be the continuing rhythm.

Boys climbing

To equip not criple

I remember speaking with a gentleman, whose own children were fully grown and starting their adult years. This man’s wise words have continued to guide me:

“ We prepare our children for the road ahead of them, not prepare the road for them”

This sentence has helped filter out if I am parenting to equip my children or to cripple them. It is so easy to think I am parenting from a place of faith rather than fear.

Pausing and processing what do my actions really reveal shows a reality that too often I am trying to reshape the road for my children rather than intentionally preparing them for the road.

I am constantly in awe of how God has given us this incredible privilege to be front row eyewitnesses and co-journeyers with our children. But I have also been reminded this past year that I am not the one doing the journey for them.

They need to know that I am here for them, cheering them on, giving boundaries and suggestions, modeling my own climb in life (with falls and all!), but the freedom for them to take those steps themselves.

So here is to the climb… may I be attentive, intentional, and empowering; the same gift that has been freely given to me. 

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Dictator or trainer?

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