Here we are in Season 3! According to Rosemond, it goes from age 13 to “emancipation” (which is the process where the child becomes increasingly confident of standing on his own two feet) and hopefully culminates in a successful launch. This is known as "the Season of Mentoring". By this age, the child should be traditionally, fully discipled. They should not yet, however, be treated as peers. This is the time when our young adults should be learning skills and work ethic from us parents, picking up on values and being mentored about character and community. Can you see how these seasons naturally evolve from one into the other, if we are doing it right? Unfortunately, that is not happening these days. According to John Rosemond, values which should be the focus of the mentoring season are not being passed along to our children!
Furthermore, by now the marital relationship between husband and wife should be securely stabilized in the center of the family, with the child(ren) orbiting on the outside in an ever-widening distance from the central marriage relationship of the parents. Rosemond claims that this is not happening either. If the child’s orbit expands, he eliminates the gravity of his parent’s involvement and gets off on his own. That is the goal: do you see how this should all be working out? Hopefully, that day comes, and we have spoken into their lives in many positive valuable ways that will enable them to stand on their own. We must increasingly put the ball in their court so they learn how to navigate life without us always there!
Back to the concept of authority: today’s mothers received authority from their moms to step up and take leadership in the workplace, church and community…but we have abdicated authority in the home. Let me ask this quick question of moms out in the workplace? How many of you women think it’s more stressful to raise one child at home than be out in the business world? Why can we lead elsewhere from 9-5:00 but not in our families? Parenting has become bad for the mental health of women!
How many of us get thrown for a loop with this parenting thing? Freud claimed that “parenting produces the child”, therefore, its all on our shoulders how they turn out. Consequently, moms (especially) feel guilty when they can’t prevent something bad from happening. They tell themselves that “good mothering should guarantee that disgusting, depraved, disgraceful behavior would be avoided.” (JR) But we must remember that humans exercise free will.
Throughout life, we collect influences and then decide what to do with them. Moreover, something evil can be turned to good and vice versa. How many times have you heard of a child growing up in a household where “honesty” was constantly preached only to be found out deceiving everyone with a lie? It can and does happen. But so does the opposite. Someone comes out of a depraved, deprived childhood to make something wonderful of themselves and inspire others to do the same. That is the power of the human spirit! Only human beings can turn a negative influence into a positive outcome and vice versa.
But I digress…
So, we need to understand that what is driving the American mother’s behavior is fear! Fear that 1) her child will fail 2) she won’t be accepted and 3) she will be seen as a “bad mother”! However, if we moms rock the boat and claim authority over our children, we intimidate other moms and we will be thrown “out of the club”, according to Rosemond. Exhibiting authority doesn’t mean screaming at our children. Furthermore, if a child knows they have pushed our buttons, they’ve won! On the other hand, if we respond as moms with gentleness, self-control and firmness, it disarms our children. We need to learn to lead with authority and love!
Moms, the bottom line is this: we must take raising our kids seriously, but we can’t take our kids too seriously. They are kids, after all! We need to bring humor into parenting. It goes a long way towards creating a healthy home environment in which to parent. And we must reclaim our authority in the home and "be the mom"!
We’ll keep plugging away with this material from Rosemond until we’ve covered all the bases, as “they” say! (Who are they?) See you next time!
By the way, if you’d like to hear a fabulous interview on the Family Life Network about my book, MOMMY MEMOIRS - go to this link: http://www.fln.org/fln-news/podcasts/detail/inside-out-311-mommy-memoirs/ …
I wish you all a wonderful, memorable Mother’s Day, overflowing with appreciation and love for you, a fabulous mom! Take it all in!