Sometimes it is hard to breathe…hard to think…hard to just keep going. Just when things seem like they are calming down, another crisis hits or more bad news comes.
You can’t take this anymore. The downpour of problems coming one after another has you collapsing and crying out for relief.
How much more God?
This is a question that many parents struggle with. They wait and wait for answers, for changes, for miracles, and yet, they do not arrive.
Tired and weary is what you wear day to day. There are times in which you begin to wonder if letting go of them is the best thing to do. In one aspect you are right.
I have learned through the years of being a parent of not just one family member in crisis but two, that there are seasons in which you have to let go and let God take control. Because the more you hold on to what is happening, the more it burdens you with stress, depression, anger, pain and hurt in your life.
I am not talking about crises that have been a few short years but issues that have lasted for a long time in which those in crisis are almost into their adult age or early adult age. They have chosen to be guided by their own decisions, lifestyles, sowing of sin and problems.
Here are some examples –
1. Refuse counseling or therapy
2. Blame everyone else for their problems
3. Believe that everyone else is wrong and they are right
4. Continue in the same behavior patterns that keep them in crisis
5. Refuse to make changes that will benefit their health (mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually)
6. Their decision making has caused minor and major consequences
7. They won’t accept advice or guidance from someone who knows them well
8. They purposely say mean and hurtful things in order to be in control of their life
9. They expect you to support them in every aspect of their life – even in things you disagree or rightly believe is wrong
10. They will use threatening words to make you feel bad or guilty
So, what does a parent do when they are in situations like this?
1. You pray! Give their life over to God. He is the ONLY one that can reach them in a way you could never do. He knows them intimately because He created them.
2. Love them unconditionally but love them with boundaries – Don’t give in to their needs and wants to satisfy them. That only enables them in their problems.
3. Give yourself a break! Do things for yourself and not your child. Go out and meet with friends, get a cup of coffee and work on your favorite hobby.
4. Don’t give in to thoughts of being a failure as a parent. Just because your child isn’t doing what they need to do doesn’t mean that you failed as a parent. At some point, they have to be accountable and responsible for themselves and to God.
5. Read God’s Word to be encouraged. There are many others in the Bible that experienced situations that left them depressed, discouraged, sad, and more and yet they kept the faith by relying on one truth help – God!
6. Let go of your son or daughter. There is a time in which they need to come to that place of recognizing that they need help. However, they need to initiate it, not you.
7. Do not let it get personal – The choices they make come from them, not you. This is not a reflection of your parenting. It is a reflection of their anger, rebellion and unwillingness to make things right in their own life.
8. Stay steadfast in prayer for yourself. God doesn’t need your help for your son or daughter. He is big enough to handle their problems. Just take care of yours and yours only. Pray for God to give you peace in the times of seeing issues pop up or for things that get out of control. Put on the armor of God everyday to protect you from attacks.
9. Don’t get caught up in your child’s emotional tantrum or behavior. If they do this, tell them to go to the Lord and ask for His help. This releases your responsibility and puts it back on them.
10. Get counseling for yourself. It will give you a place to unload and cope with the ongoing crises that your child is causing. This will also help you be more prepared for anything unexpected.
• Please note: If you have a child with a mental or physical disorder, contact a therapist and psychiatrist to guide you in a plan that will help your young adult child. If they refuse to seek or get treatment, then depending upon their age and mental health, you will need to find alternatives outside of you personally caring for them.
When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.Psalm 34:17-18