Sunday, April 01, 2012

When parents zero in on one kid and lose another

Sometimes kids can get emotionally lost for lack of a better phrase, or a parent-child relationship can deteriorate when parents allow the needs of one child to overshadow another long term.

For instance, let's say you have one child who is either sick all the time, or always getting into trouble. Obviously you do spend time helping that one. And you should. But what about the others? A well child, or obedient child can get lost in the fray while a parent focuses in one one kid long term, and that can have lasting ramifications.

In our case we have three children and two of them are now young adults, ages 21 and 22. Although they are both of age and have full time jobs and responsibilities, they are both unmarried and still at home and very much a part of life as a family of five. In the midst of  that, Larry and I are often reminded we are still raising a 14 year old. We don't want her childhood to get lost just because our two boys are grown. So it's important to Larry and I that we do things just with her because her childhood isn't over.

Here she was at four years old when she and I were having a special mother-daughter picnic at a park.

Today after church will be a special time. This week is her spring break this week. And while Larry and I can't take the entire week off with her, we're going to do something special tonight and tomorrow.  I'm especially looking forward to this not only because we get to be with Savanna but because Easter weekend's coming up and we'll have lots of loose ends to tie up this coming Friday and won't get a true day off. 

We've already got our suitcases packed and in the car and right after church we are heading to somewhere we've never been ~ Silver Springs, Florida. It's home to the Ocala National Forest, and glass bottom boat and canoe rides, and wildlife exhibits (including monkeys!), botanical gardens, and more. We're just looking forward to being lazy in the hotel too, and swimming in the pool.

We both have to be back for meetings on Tuesday morning but til' then we're all hers, and we can't wait. We sure do love being with our baby girl!

 Here's a picture of her last week, with Stan Savran at the Pirates spring training.

3 comments:

Connie Jo said...

It is very real in our home as well. I have two adult children one of which suffers from addiction. Her needs tend to consume us at times and on top of that we are raising our Granddaughter so my poor son is often overlooked. We make an effort to remember his needs as well and as an adult he understands but that doesn't make it any easier on him.

Deanna Shrodes said...

Realizing there is an issue is so important, Connie Jo. I think the fact that you even recognize it is SO key. In my experience, many parents who have this issue in their home don't even recognize it. The child (whether underage or adult) feels like they are the only one who sees it and quite frankly a lot of the time they are!

That you make an effort to remember his needs is important and I'm sure he sees that being that he's an adult with a certain level of maturity. Just speaking the words, "we are proud of you son," goes so far. It's not even so much "doing" things for him as recognizing him for a life well lived. Can I just encourage you that what you take a moment to SAY to him will mean more than anything! Just hearing: "Son, we are proud of you for a life well lived..." = PRICELESS.

Love you

Douglasrice said...

Couldn't help but agree completely with you Pastor. Being parents of a daughter who has an illness that needs constant care; my wife and I are constantly faced with this challenge. Some may think that because it is the younger child that has the illness that it's easier for the older to cope. That would be very wrong. In fact, there are many times that I have to be reminded that no matter how old our children get, they will feel left out. Aren't we that way as children of God sometimes? Wanting the Lords approval, his conformation , his undivided attention? And God can do that for us all, where I cannot. (at least not at the same time like the Lord ). I am finding myself always "busy" with life. But recently God has been graciously showing me how important the little moments are. It doesn't always have to be Daddy dates or family outings to make the difference. Compliments, hugs, encouragement, etc. And as I am learning the most now... Always keep your promises, or don't make them. Thank you for this Blog:) Hits home big time!