I don’t know about you but I still vividly remember my senior year of high school. I remember wanting it to FLY by so that I could get into the “real world” and work, earn money and do what I wanted to do with it. There were many times I was ready to feel like an adult and be treated like one but also, tender moments where I just wanted someone to take care of me and make ALL my decisions for me. As I type this I realize, as a 34-year-old woman, I STILL want that some days.
As I have raised my children and my oldest is now a senior in high school, I am trying to navigate raising a grown-ish child. I say grown-ish because in a lot of ways he is very independent and grown. He drives, has a job, and is responsible for taking care of things in his day-to-day life. We have worked hard so that he knows how to be independent and can take care of himself.
In so many ways our days are spent running around from school events to track meets to something for our youngest child mixed in but in the midst of that I try to reinforce what we have already taught. There are conversations mixed in on how to communicate with people, lessons on what to do with your W-2 when you get it in the mail, and even some conversations about dating and treating people you date with respect.
How I look at things, the groundwork of our parenting has happened. My son knows right from wrong as we have taught him and given him examples since he was small. Now, I trust him to make good decisions.
He knows if he is ever in a situation that he needs to get out of, he can call us. He knows he has adults in his life that care about him and he can reach out to them if it’s a situation he doesn’t want to come to mom and date. And he knows we love him. Above all of the things that have happened and are coming, he knows that he is loved not for anything he has ever done or will do but because of who he is.
Grown-ish parenting has some hard days where we navigate if we need to step in or if this is something our son can handle on our own. Even though we all wish they did, kids don’t come with a user manual so we do our best. We lead by example with how we live our lives and we always lean on the side of grace because we have been given A LOT of grace in our life so far. So we will keep trucking along giving out love and grace to ourselves and our kids.