Find Help! Resources are aplenty nowadays for hurting parents struggling with a child in crisis (whether it is a teen or young adult). However, the amount of those resources are overwhelming. Best way to get through it – ask friends and family to help you in your research. Give them the criteria of what you are looking for, and have them print out the details. E.g. – if you have a child with an eating disorder – find all Christian-based books. Programs, websites, blogs, FB support groups, and organizations that give support and one on one guidance. Write down the ten ideal things that you are looking for and have your family and friends decipher through the information and highlight it. This will save valuable time as well as frustration.
GET REST! – It is hard to get away when your child is either very needy, hurting, or causing chaos in your home. Take at least 1-2 days a month to getaway. It does not have to be an overnighter, but a day trip in which you can go and relax. Better yet, schedule out a whole year for a day trip each month (with a backup date for weather changes) as well as where you are going. This will give you something to look forward to. To make sure all is good before the trip, get a mentor, coach, friend, or family member to take your teen/young adult for the day on that given date.
Join a Support Group – that ministers and encourages parents with the same issues that are happening in your own home. If you can’t get out, join them through Face Time or Zoom. A great example of this is Hurting Moms, Mending Hearts – An online support group across the country. They provide a 10-course online zoom study that is so valuable. AND… you meet new friends who understand exactly how you feel.
Get Counseling – you may not think you need it, but you do! The purpose is to help you. Not your child, but YOU! Purpose – to find yourself again. So many parents lose sight of who they are because they have put all of themselves into their lost and wayward child. They spend all of their time, energy, thought, and life into their teen and young adults that there is nothing left of them. So they become discouraged, depressed, and hopeless. It is time to take control again and become the person that God wants you to be.
Rekindle Relationships – Go out on dates with your spouse or special one in your life, connect with friends, learn to enjoy others that are your age. Having a cup of coffee, eat a meal, or do an outing (even if it is facetime on the computer). Time together brings back laughter, good memories, stories, and encouragement to try new things in life. Although they are with us on difficult journeys, we also need them on new joyful journeys. Remember, what our children are going through will have different seasons of time that they are struggling. Eventually, they will become adults and have to learn how to cope and survive on their own with the tools that they are given. We are not responsible for them for life. Therefore, we have to make sure we are taken care of too.
Make a Bucket List – I made one involving sharks and traveling to Ireland. However, God may also have a few things to add on there that you would never imagine doing – for me, writing and publishing a book. It is not only fun to do, but guess what, it can be attainable too!
Find Another Parent Hurting! – One of the biggest emotional and spiritual growth for me as a struggling parent, was encouraging another hurting parent who was just in the beginning stages with a child in crisis. I, on the other hand, had become a pro in dealing with issues for over ten years on every topic possible. However, there are newbie parents who have been thrust into this new environment who feel lost and overwhelmed with many emotions. God calls us to serve one another and He didn’t just say to do it in the good times. He called us to minister as well during the difficult times too. So many were blessed by my willingness to open my heart and even being a little vulnerable in sharing my story as a way to let them know that they are not alone and that they could count on me to pray for them and walk side by side with them when things got a little tough. I found that doing so, made me stronger, especially in my faith in the Lord. So go ahead, reach out to a parent in despair. You will bless them beyond measure and receive an abundance of joy on your end too.
Let Go! – It’s okay to let your young adult child go. They have come to that age and place where they do not want your guidance anymore despite your pleas for them to get help. It can be scary to let them go, but if we hover over them and continually chase after them, they will never truly learn to lean on God. This is especially hard for parents with children who self-injure or have risky behaviors such as addictions. What I have valued and learned through the years is that God sees their every step and move, good or bad, safe and dangerous. His only desire for us is to pray for our children and release them into His hands. He can handle anything. Don’t forget, He created them and knows their future. If we continue to hold on to our children, we also continue the pattern of holding onto their problems. You must ask yourself, “How does this benefit me?” I’m pretty sure you already know the answer. Trust in the Lord to step in and move in your child’s life as He does for you. He will send the right people or bring them to their knees. God’s ways are not like ours. He knows their minds and hearts. We do not. Put your faith in Christ who died for them. He is the ONLY one who can deliver.
Create your God Box – Every day, add one prayer for you and one for your child into your God Box. It is a way of submitting your life, as well as your child’s, over to Him. You can ask for healing, hope, strength, restoration, repentance, forgiveness, peace, and even joy. What a beautiful way to surrender yourself to Him who wants to exceedingly bless you.
Daily Encouragement – Take seven scriptures from the Bible, print or write them out, and post them around your home. Everywhere you go, recite them out loud. God’s Word is life to our heart and spirit. His Word renews our minds and replenishes our souls. Each week, change the verses. The easiest way to do this, google all scriptures on hope. Print them out, cut the verses individually, then add them to different places in your house. The following week, do the theme on strength, then peace, then healing, and so on. I guarantee you will find yourself in a new place by the end of the year.
Next Week – 2021 Parent Goal List With a Child in Crisis – Part 2