Rescuing Your Kids: How Far Should You Go?

Lisa Cherry —  August 11, 2013

rapelling upsidedown 6151089347_6c9183800cBy Lisa Cherry

Your son forgets his school book for the third time in two weeks. Do you take it to him?

Your daughter failed to put gas in the car and now she will be late to her appointment.  Do you offer to trade cars?

Your 14 year old has trouble talking about conflict issues with his dad.  Do you step in the middle of their communications?

Rescuing. When is it appropriate, and when is it handicapping? I find that I face this question constantly with a house full of teens.

We all know that life throws each of us a large number of curve balls. Mistakes and pressures and errors are simply a part of our daily routines to be managed and hopefully conquered.

So how will I help my teens conquer the world of details and pressures successfully......even as I know they are challenged with foggy adolescent immaturity?

Here are a list of some guiding principles:

1.  I want my children to know I am always "on their side" even if I cannot rescue them from every sticky moment of life.

2. I factor in a lot of immaturity to each of my teens' days. After all, they are not yet adults.

3. And I temper this with a strong expectation that they will mature a little bit more each day. 

4. I strive to give them the coaching they need to pre-think and pre-strategize their day.

5. But I do not do all the thinking for them. I let them carry their own weight.

6. I let them live with the law of natural consequences. For the most part I let the chips fall for what they decide and do.

7. But when I see they are about to be crushed by their own immaturity, I pray and ask the Lord if I need to step in to assist. Sometimes He says yes. And sometimes I sense He says no. This is why I need His wisdom!!! 

8. If I feel I am to rescue them from peril, I honestly ask myself how to reposition them in life to go back and hit that lesson again. A failed test is a sign that more practice is needed....   Quitting is not the remedy.

9. I strive to remember how grateful I have been when other people—and God—have rescued me when I did not deserve it.

10. I ask the Lord to help me remain level-headed, matter-of-fact, and calm on the outside… even when I am feeling overwhelmed on the inside in my role of discipling teens!

We want our children to grow into mature, responsible adults who can lead families, ministries and businesses confidently. Today's style of laissez-faire parenting does not always yield the result we want: a mature, self-sacrificing adult!!  

When we embrace our roles as Christian trainers and mentors, we can see the reason for our momentary frustrations.

God has great plans for our kids’ lives. As we trust Him for His wisdom and courage, we will see those plans come to fruition.

Have you rescued your child recently?   How have you found the Lord’s wisdom for this?

 Image source:  André Gustavo Stumpf    via Flickr Creative commons Attributions License 2.0



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  • Michelle DeRusha

    Terrific list of guiding tips, Lisa. And I appreciate you linking up to #HearItUseIt.

  • disqus_xbJH2YyfXB

    Vital Info..Thanks!!!