As children are maturing they need their parents to continue to
guide them. One success does not equal mastery, so a parent must not be too quick to mark off a character trait as learned.
One mom put it this way, “I want them (her children) to always be
kind and patient with each other. When they speak unkindly or are frustrated with each other, I become worried that they will never get it or that I am blowing it.”
First of all, worry doesn’t help anything; that is a sure sign that something is out of line. Matt. 6:27 “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” Worry freezes us, when action is what’s needed. That action may be correcting the child or it may be falling on our knees begging for wisdom.
Secondly, instead of remembering the many times her children are kind and patient, this mother falls into focusing on their failures. When children fail they need guidance in reconciling and in how to better handle themselves next time. Children do not need their mothers to panic and run ahead in their minds about the future. Purpose to notice progress! Praise when children succeed! Hold onto these moments when times are not going
Thirdly, maturity takes time. Be patient. We expect toddlers to
require a lot of training, but for some reason, we get frustrated with preteens and teens that need guidance. Parenting never ends, even adult children will require our prayers and we will surely feel their ups and downs with them. Instead of wanting to mark off child training, why don’t we settle into a lifetime of being a mother!
Although maturity is a goal, it is never completely mastered. Prov. 1: 5 “let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance”. Maturity and wisdom walk hand in hand, it is a life-long adventure. It is our job to not give up or label a child before the work of maturity has been done.