KIVU: Watching your kids grow up    

KIVU: Watching your kids grow up Last week I took Maggie, my oldest daughter, and her friend to Denver for a little Business/Fun. Every now and then, I like to take one of the kids on a speaking event so they know what I do when I travel on the road. This particular event was set up to share with a group of Moms at Valor Christian School there in Denver, and we had a BLAST!! They were so warm and welcoming, and when it got to the question/answer time of the presentation, I could have stayed there all day. I saw Moms truly concerned how their students were interpreting the world around them, and I could empathize. As I looked across the room and saw my own 13 year old sitting professionally in the back, something in my heart just took hold and I started feeling sad. The precious time of her climbing in my lap, or just being excited to see me come home from one of these trips was being replaced with her excitement for Instagram, Friendships, or whatever sport season is in vogue at the time. I totally resonated with some of the Moms expressing this "I think I'm loosing my kid" mentality, and I thought some therapy would be to write down thoughts of how and why we go through this phase. I think we're still attached to raising kids One of the hardest concepts to help parents understand is, "We're not raising kids. We're raising adults." It should be natural for our kids to grow and find other interests than those that surround us. Maybe some of you are thinking, "Well, I can't wait for the day when my kid goes off to find something interesting besides me. I need a break." Never fear. That day is coming. And when it does, there's something about finding ourselves and our identity outside that label of parent. For 13 or 14 years we've been attached to this idea that our "little babies" are our responsibility, and sometimes even "our job." But there comes a day when that job changes, and we have to let them grow into who God created them to be. Just like you had the option and opportunity to decide who you are, your kids need the same freedom to become all they were created to be. AND THATS HARD!!!! After all, We know best, right? So when our kids begin showing signs of growing into their own adult likeness, nostalgia begins creeping in and we get sad for those days of old. I've found those days are INCREDIBLE, but the days to come are filled with the same excitement if we shift our paradigm to raising adults, instead of trying to hold on to children.
Making Adventure As we all know, last weekend was Halloween. So on this business/fun trip, we decided to take in a little festivities in the city. Maggie and her friend went to the haunted house on the thirteenth floor of our hotel, they dressed up in their costumes, and we just walked the 16th Street mall taking pictures of all the costumes. I had a chance to take them to the FOX news studios the next day, and we went to the Denver Zoo afterwards, laughing all the way. Much of the time I felt like the third wheel of a Junior High Party, but I just rested in the fact we were creating life long memories that will come back and pay dividends for years to come. Adventure with your kids is one of the most important parts of transitioning from Child Raising to Adult Raising. Believe me, nobody has the secret sauce answer to figure this out, but just being with them in an environment they find compelling is fun enough. I let them go off to the newsdesk and act like reporters, and then watched them come running back to see if we could go to one of the morning show studios. Give and Take...Take and Give...there's something about recognizing they are still kids but trying desperately to become their own adults. Taking time to give your kids adventures is one of the best ways to work on your own heart of loving and leading your child from this phase of life to the next. Listening and Contributing Lots of the teenagers I work with tell me how their parents just don't listen. They just don't understand me, they'll say. Of course, that's what teenagers have been saying forever, but sometimes it's true. We're busy. We've got deals to seal, places to be, and people to see. Sitting in the back of the suburban, I watched my daughter engage with her friend. They talked about boys, school, athletics, social media, music, and the best movies out. I turned the radio down a bit, and used th time to listen closely to the things that interested my daughter. And then, when I had the opportunity, I injected my own opinion of whatever topic. You should have seen her light up. She was thrilled that I would listen and validate what she was thinking. I truly believe Listening and Contributing to the areas that interest our kids sets up a valuable foundation that will last for a long term relationship going forward. Look, Parenting is Hard. And anyone who says they have it figured out is either arrogant or ignorant. No parent in their right mind has all the right answers. But as we try to lock arms together, maybe we can share those times we're all trying to navigate while our students are still at home looking to us for guidance.
At KIVU, we want to continue helping to support the families to create environments where students care deeply for their parents, and parents can continue connecting at a deep level with their kids. On the Journey with you Andy Braner President KIVU Click Here to join the movement and help support our work at KIVU. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR KIVU 2015 
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