Growing up has different stages.

And so does parenting.

Because of this, we need to discern as parents what stage our kids are already in which may merit a different approach.

For 0-6 year olds, that’s usually what I’d call the TELLING stage.
We tell them, “go to sleep”, “brush your teeth”, “pick up your toys”, “take a bath”.

For 7-12 year olds, that would be the TEACHING stage.
This is the stage where we begin to release our kids to do things on their own.
They learn to study for their test, change their clothes, eat on their own…

For 13-18 year olds, this is the COACHING stage.
Because they become more independent, we slowly release them to make their own decisions.
We are there to coach them to make sure they make the right decisions.

For those 19 year olds and above, I would call that the FRIENDSHIP stage.
Mentoring… coaching… teaching… all rolled into one.
They now transition into adulthood and hopefully by the grace of God, we’ve been able to help them stand on their own feet as they fully make their own decisions.
They are released to their own destiny without us and just like an arrow (Psalm 127), we pray that they will hit their mark.

Ultimately, our goal as parents is to transition them from being dependent on us to becoming more dependent on God… less on us and more on Him.

We will not be with our kids 24/7… we won’t and we can’t.

But Someone will. And our kids cultivating that relationship and dependence on their Heavenly Father will help them make the right decisions in the future.

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