A few years ago I had an interesting conversation with a friend of mine whose son was in college at the time. She was mentioning a few general facts to me about what his major field of study was and that he was a junior that particular year and had one more year to go until graduation. I asked how he liked college to which she thought for a second and sort of shrugged and said " I guess he likes it okay, he doesn't seem to complain." I then asked her if a young lady has possibly caught his attention at all and in a very monotone, almost nonchalant tone she answered " Oh I don't know because he never shares stuff like that with my husband and I ."

Really?

 Folks , sadly this type of parental attitude is becoming more the norm than the exception. When I hear parents talk about their kids' lives as if their son or daughter is a casual acquaintance in their life I get very concerned. As mom and dad we should know our children intimately. What I mean by that is we should know what is going on in their heads and in their hearts. Do we have a keen and specific knowledge of their likes, their interests, what they are enjoying, what drives them nuts? Do we know which friends they love to be around, which ones irritate them, do we even know who their friends are ? How about what upsets them ? What easily embarrasses them? What are their strengths? their weaknesses ? What triggers their anger? What delights them ?

 Parents, these are important questions that we should know the answers to when it comes to our kids. God gives parents to children for a specific reason and one of them is to nurture, guide, and direct them successfully to independent adulthood. The plain truth however is that we need to know our children to do that. Some will scoff at that previous sentence thinking it silly to suggest that we should know our children because after all, isn't that just a given ? Apparently I am realizing more and more that it is not. Some parents today just are not intricately involved in or aware of what is going on in their kids' lives. What is more scary is it is happening at all ages and stages of the kids' development. There are preschoolers, elementary kids, junior and senior high students as well as collegians who are not really KNOWN by mom and dad. Oh sure, mom and dad provide for them, meet their physical needs, educate them, pay tuiitons, and even have conversations and do activities with their kids but it ends there. The real important conversations about life are either infrequent or perhaps completely absent. Talks about important things such as what they really believe about God, about others, about moral issues, about their friends, about what they are hurting over and what they feel emotional and passionate about are sometimes nonexistent. It shouldn't be this way. I call this passive parenting and it can be perilous.

 This brings us to an important question ….what is the solution? How do I foster a close relationship with my kids and avoid distance between us ? It really is fairly simple, not a confusing or complicated answer.

 LOVE THEM AND CARE ABOUT THEM ENOUGH THAT WITH THE EXCEPTION OF YOUR SPOUSE, THEY ARE THE PRIORITY IN YOUR LIFE

 We throw ourselves wholeheartedly into anything that is important to us. We are devoted to that cause with dogged devotion. Nothing will deter us from focusing on it …..is that "it" in your life your kids ? Every reader reading this knows that answer already. If your answer is "yes" , you are ninety percent there. All of us will make mistakes and mess up now and then as parents but the bottom line is if your children are your cause, your love in life then you will make it your business to thoroughly, completely know them and that knowledge, that relationship paves the way to transitioning to a successful and independent adulthood.

 Have my husband and I been perfect parents ? Absolutely not and there are four individuals in this world who will readily testify to that truth. Hopefully however they would also say that in spite of our flaws and failures , they knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that not only were they loved, but they were important enough to us to spend time talking with them, questioning them, really KNOWING them.

 Parents - you know your friends, you know your coworkers,  you know yourself …..do you KNOW your children ? 

 Something to ponder - I pray that you do.
 God bless and have a wonderful day :)