When I became a mom 17 years ago, older women would say, “Cherish every moment. They grow up very quickly.” As a mom of young children, I honestly couldn’t fathom them growing up quickly. I was trying to survive each day! It felt like they’d be little forever and that I’d always be changing diapers, getting up during the night, picking up toys countless time a day, vacuuming up Cheerios, potty training and chasing after children who liked to run and explore everything! These days, I find myself giving that same timeless and true advice to moms of young children, with the preface, “You might not believe this right now, but…”
This year has been a huge year of milestones for my children, who are now ages 17 and almost 14. Milestones are nothing new; my children have hit many over the course of their young lives. It’s only when there are a TON of milestones in one year that it’s get to be a bit overwhelming. A few major milestones marked this year include: learner’s permit, class ring/ring banquet, Prom, becoming a high school senior (my son) and yesterday, my daughter graduating from the 8th Grade. I have had a wide range of emotions, that’s for sure!
I’ve viewed the events of this year through two lenses: my Mom lens and my KidMin leader lens.
As a Mom, I wonder, Have we, as their parents, done enough? What could we have done differently? Have we given them the tools to make their own decisions and live on their own? The time really has gone by fast. My mom has told me (and countless other women) about seasons of motherhood. I would describe this season of motherhood as the preparing to launch season. This particular season has found me being way more intentional in helping them to pray more purposefully, resolve relational conflict in healthy ways, be sure about what they believe and why, live out their faith courageously, manage their time, take care of their things and manage their money better.
As a KidMin leader, I wonder, How do we as leaders help parents navigate the many seasons of parenthood? Do we mark and celebrate spiritual and life milestones with them? Are we intentional as children transition from one area of ministry to another? These questions have kept my KidMin leader working overtime lately and will become part of my focus for the upcoming ministry year. It is important that my team and I recognize that parents (1) like to celebrate milestones in their children’s lives and (2) they need guidance on what to expect, support from their church and support from other parents going through a similar season and those who’ve already lived through those seasons.
I will be dusting off a few of my resources to give our team a good foundation to brainstorm from. Some of the resources I’m turning to are:
The Legacy Path: Discover Intentional Spiritual Parenting by Brian Haynes
*He also had a website, which you can check out here.
Parents, how are you marking milestones in your child’s life?
KidMin leaders, how is your ministry helping parents celebrate and navigate milestones and transitions? What resources do you use? I am looking for ideas to please share away!