Worrying v. Caring
It almost seems automatic, when you’re a parent, to worry about your kids. When they’re little we worry about whether or not they’ll ever be potty-trained. Then we worry about if they’ll be good in school or have friends. And then we worry because they have a boyfriend (or don’t have one!). There’s never a shortage of things we can worry about!
And yet, worry (which I define as, “spending time stewing over something I have no control over”) is usually so unproductive. You see, we do (or don’t do) things because of how we feel, and when I’m worrying about my son and this life he’s living, this is what it looks like:
- My mind is so pre-occupied I can’t really concentrate on anything else.
- I go through the motions of my life but don’t really live.
- I go from one extreme (constant talking/trying to fix it/nagging) to the other (silence).
- A steady battle which leads to exhaustion.
Worry is rarely productive.
As I spent time contemplating the uselessness of worry, I realized that during those times when I am worried about my child and the choices he’s making, what I really want to do instead is show him that I care about him and what’s going on. It’s no secret that by this age we really have no control over our teens but that doesn’t mean we stop caring about them and their well-being, both now and in the future. Caring looks different than worry, though. This is what is looks like when I “care”:
- Pray for him more, and more specifically.
- More aware of when he needs some space and when he needs me around and available, when to ask questions and when to just listen.
- Allow him to learn and grow with me as a safe place, knowing I’m on his side.
Caring allows me to be me.
What do you think will happen if you’re constantly worrying about your teen? Does it help you create an environment where your son or daughter knows it’s safe to come to when they’re dealing with their own struggles? Or does it create an environment where everyone is focused more on being “right”?
What would happen if you cared more and worried less? How would you show up differently ~ no matter what your son or daughter is doing ~ if you had more peace in your heart throughout the situation? Peace will never come from worry, but it is possible with caring.
|WORRY leads to…||CARING leads to…|
|So preoccupied it’s hard to concentrate on anything else||More specific prayers|
|Going through the motions of life but not really living||Greater awareness of when to step up and when to step back|
|Going from one extreme (nagging) to the other (silence)||Allowing him to learn and grow with me as a safe place|
|RESULTS IN… At war with each other||RESULTS IN… A sense that we’re on the same team|
Which do you want?