Have you ever stood on the edge of a cliff, about to jump off? Until somebody grabs your arm and yanks you back to safety.
That would be my friend Kay.
A couple weeks ago, one of my daughters got caught up in a social predicament requiring my intervention. It wasn’t life or death drama, bit still a crucial teachable moment—and I was about to address it with scolding and rules.
But thank God, Kay “just happened” (ha!) to be visiting our house when this issue came to light (can you say divine intervention??), and she saw it all unfold.
And I’m telling you, she saved me.
Well, first of all, Kay has a genuine heart for youth. That’s one asset for sure.
But she’s also 20 years behind me in age.
She’s a young wife and mom, she loves Jesus, and she’d be the first to tell you she is far from perfect. That’s part of her charm. My kids like her because she’s relatable. And she’s able to connect with them at a level I no longer recall as clearly—simply because she is closer to their stage of life than I am.
And she advised me to approach this challenge through the lens of my daughter, who at that moment was drowning in a bundle of emotions.
Don’t kick a child when she’s down.
Pick her up instead.
So that’s what I did. I reminded my sweet girl that I love her, I trust her, and I’ve always got her back. I told her we were going to tackle this challenge together—no walls between us. And our relationship grew stronger as a result, rather than messier, broken or bruised.
I’m SO stinking grateful.
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4:2–3)
In the aftermath of the drama, it occurred to me what a gift it is for moms like you and me—those of us with tweens and teens in our households—to know and lean on someone who has been in our child’s shoes more recently and can speak from their perspective, yet with a been-there/done-that maturity of hindsight.
Truth is, the older we get, the less we remember about being our child’s age. Not only that, but the world they’re living in today is much harsher and complex than the one we remember from our teen years. Social media, school shootings, gender confusion and hostility toward the things of God… these were not prevalent in the 80s and 90s. They are now. And our kids are figuring out how to stand for their values amidst a host of modern pressures that we can’t completely relate to from our grown-up view.
Do you have a friend in your life who can speak into your children’s circumstances with the dual wisdom of maturity and solidarity? Somebody who WAS your kids not too long ago—and can give you insight into who they are, what they’re feeling, and the struggles they’re facing?
I highly recommend you find one. For those days when you, too, need a lift off the ledge, like I did—your own Kay will be a tremendous blessing.
I know mine was.
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