Don’t Blame Yourself for the Choices Your Kids Make

Hey there! Hope all is well. Today let’s hang out and discuss our feelings as parents dealing with some of the choices our child(ren) make. Whether they are 10-years-old or 25, at some point, the actions they take are their own decisions. Regardless of what we’ve taught our children and how often you remind them right vs. wrong and good vs. evil, they ultimately decide.

If you’re like the average parent, you’ve probably thought that your kid’s choices in life made it seem as though you’ve failed. I’m here to tell you that those thoughts will come, but don’t allow them to overwhelm you. If you know you’ve done all you can, you should be proud of yourself. You cannot hold their hand and be in their ear every waking moment of the day. Eventually, they will step out and start doing things their way or peer pressure, and influence will have them imitating and following after others.

While we want our teachings to be at the forefront of their minds, in some cases, your children will go their way before they return to the foundation you’ve given them. As it states in the Bible, “Train up a child in the way they should go and when they are old they will not depart.” Proverbs 22:6 NKJV

There are things that I’ve done and still do and say, not necessarily bad, that I did not get from watching my mother. I enjoy a glass of wine sometimes, but I didn’t learn that from her either. I have several tattoos, and my mother does not like it, lol. (Shhh…she’ll get me for posting this, although it’s the truth.) I grew up, and I made my own decisions about how I would live my life. Overall, I am polite, considerate, concerned for others, respectful, trustworthy, and believe in God and try to follow and obey the law. I have not only been told that this is a great way to live by my mother, but I have watched her be and do these same things since I can remember.

Now, as a mom to a teen and two young adults, I have to put myself in my mother’s shoes. As they grow and mature and continue to make their own choices, I can’t say they’ll always have my approval. However, I have to believe I’ve given them an excellent foundation to start building. Every action they make in life is not a reflection of me. Even if they do certain things well, I can’t take all of the credit. There are particular accomplishments in life that I have yet to achieve. If they reach these milestones, I can’t say it’s because I’ve shown them. Just as the bad ideas they decide to embark on are not because of lessons from me. The “more is caught than taught” phrase makes me feel like I have most definitely set my children up to succeed. Where they go from here is up to them and them alone. If they turned left when they should’ve gone right, that’s not on me. They are at a place where it’s time to take responsibility for their actions. Although Ejuan and I will always be here for guidance and support, we can’t and won’t take the credit nor blame for each of their decisions.

Now that all is said and done, I’ll leave you with this…It is okay to let go of their hand so that they can trip and possibly fall. While none of us want our babies (even when they are grown) to fail, sometimes it is the only way they learn. Maybe you can lay a few pillows along their path to help soften the landing, but you can’t be there to walk them every step of the way. Pillows can be simple reminders when talking to them or just showing them a better approach. You cannot give them play-by-play and check-in regularly to see how everything is going. You have to let them go their own route and trust that they will follow more of the wisdom you instilled in them. We can only pray that peer pressure and influence will not get the best of them. However, if and when they mess up, don’t blame yourself. Trust and believe that you gave them all you could. Then pray, and wait for their change to come. I am a firm believer that in due season you will reap what you’ve sown and see the fruits of your labor!

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