When I was a teenager my Dad often said to me, “Lori, you just can’t see the way clearly. I have lived longer, the door is opened wider to me. You have a door but it is barely cracked open. You have to trust that I know the way a little better than you do.” It drove me a bit crazy, if I am being honest! As a teenager, I sincerely thought I knew what I wanted and needed and could predict what would happen with different choices. I was right sometimes and other times I was wrong. My Dad had more years, experience and wisdom.
Now, I have teenagers! I have lived longer, experienced more, have more knowledge, vision, and understanding of the world. I have more wisdom, so much so that I am very cautious with how I dish it out. I don’t want to sound condescending (my Dad never did), but I also don’t want to let it go and watch as they suffer. Parenting is a guessing game, a balancing act, to guide but not hold the reigns, to suggest but not control, so I pray and keep the conversation open at all times for discussion. As a teen I knew that no matter what the situation I could always talk to my parents. They opened that door at a young age and never closed it. So that’s what I have done with my children and teens. It’s much more challenging when you know the way and are not sure the best options of teaching it. I am not through this stage at all but so far prayers, and open communication work best for me and mine.