I'm not ready for my daughter to cross over into this next phase of life. I know it is a natural thing for her to stretch her wings and gain some independence, but I'm not emotionally ready for it. I hear other parents laugh and say, "Just wait until they are teenagers!" or
"It only gets worse!"
I know these things. We all know these things. I don't want to hear them from people though. I want to hear encouraging words. Isn't that what we are supposed to do as Christians---encourage one another---mentor younger parents? What normally happens is that when you are sharing your emotional turmoil or your struggles with others they respond with statements like the ones above that not only belittle your situation, but always make it seem as if they have it much worse with their older children. We all go through the same cycles in parenting. Some children might be more strong-willed than others, some more passive, and some down-right impossible....but we are all the same, really. The one main difference is whether or not you are parenting with Jesus or without Him.
So here I am about to cross over into the next phase of raising daughers. My 10 year old is beginning to change. Her physical appearance is changing. She is tall, slim, wearing training bras, and has started asking questions that I am not ready to answer. The thing that hurts the most is watching her hear our instruction and choosing to turn a deaf ear to it. (I can hear the chuckles from other parents now---but I don't need their laughter and belittling comments--I need their encouragement) She is still a sweet, beautiful and smart young girl, but she is no longer "little".
Today we passed a particular establishment on the road that we pass periodically and we received the same question from our girls: "Why is that a bad place? What goes on inside that place? It looks so pretty on the outside!" That last statement is another blog, another day---(why things look beautiful on the outside, but are dirty and ugly on the inside)---but how do you explain to a 9 and 10 year old girls about places that exploit and degrade women...but where the women there think it's okay? When do you allow their eyes, ears and hearts to hear things that they have not been exposed to? I told them I'd tell them about it sometime when I could gather the right words to say. But while their hearts and minds have not had to cross that bridge and be exposed to things of that nature yet, I grieve the day that they gain more knowledge of evil and sin in the world. Do you shield them? Do you beat the world to the punch and tell them about it first? This inner war is raging inside me and I have shed many a tear over this. The world is not like it was when I was 10. It is harder and harder to keep them innocent in their minds and hearts.
Lord, I plead for Your guidance.
Come soon, Lord Jesus, come soon!