Sitting in a room with women of all ages, experiences varying from seasoned parents to young marrieds to right in the thick of motherhood women, I soak in all the insights given from each woman. One woman in particular spoke up about a piece of wisdom she received when she was raising her young children. Children are like dogs and cats. As children, they are like dogs. They come to you when you call them. They are always excited to see you. They wag their tails with excitement just because you came back in the door. Dogs submit and easily follow you. This is like a child through their preteen years. Then, as the child hits teenagehood, they become more like cats. The relationship begins to shift to being on their terms. It is our job as their parents to have an open lap if they ever need to talk or be held. We feed them and provide water but allow space for them to go and explore. She continued on to say that your child will eventually come back like a loyal dog but you have to allow the cat phase.
As a mom of a teenager who is definitely exploring more and more independence, I found this so helpful. I have had multiple conversations with my husband about how much time she now spends talking and hanging out with friends and how I am struggling with this transition- even though I KNOW it’s a good thing. There is a letting go of the rope which feels like the tighter I hold on to, the more blisters I receive on my hands. So here’s to you, Mamas and Papas, out there who are stepping into the season of letting your child’s rope out a little farther. So many times we just need someone who has walked this journey to give us perspective. Love your kids well and be available to show them. We will all hold on too tight or too lose. We will feel like one day they are like a sweet puppy and the next day a cat who doesn’t want to be disturbed. We are in this together. REBEL up!
- Kristin F. Chadwick (Producer K)
If you haven’t listened to this week’s podcasts, we talk about how to raise successful teens, so jump over to REBEL Parenting’s shows and listen in!