Have you ever bought your daughter a bike? Imagine walking into the
bike store and telling them to bring out the best girls bike they
have. What do suppose would happen next? I am guessing they may have a question or two for you before they would role out the “best” bike. For
starters, how old is your daughter? This questions kinda matters when it comes to bikes and Parenting.
A full size Beach Cruiser would be a tad inappropriate for a 1st grader.
A bike with rainbow streamers, a bell and training wheels might be a
miss with a middle schooler. The bike should fit the Age and the stage
of your daughter. So should your Parenting.
Four Basic Ages/ Stages
Parenting Focus: Protect and Direct.
Young kids need lots of protecting and directing.
Parents are mostly deciding
what they eat, what they wear, what they do, where they go and whom
they are with. This is a pretty big and important part of
the parenting role in this stage. Your job is to direct and protect, their job
is to let you do your job. Practice this often.
An exchange may sound something like this,
” Abigail, you need to look at me, and say ‘yes daddy’ and then obey”
It is best to establish this pattern when they are young. It will
serve you both later.
Parenting Focus/ Train and Explain
This Stage reflects the growing influence and exposure that takes place beyond your home. They will likely be with and around other adults in various roles, teachers, coaches, pastors, and other parents. In the sixth chapter of Ephesians parents are admonished not to “exasperate their children” but to “train them”. Training is intended to work it’s way in while training wheels are intended to work their way off as our daughters learn to balance and navigate their relationships and responsibilities. We should be talking to them often about their relationships, feelings and choices.
An exchange may sound something like this; “how about we try that
again and this time I would like you to…” The goal here is to be
consistent and kind, rather than controlling and critical.
Parenting Focus/ Encourage and Equip
This is a critical stage for both fathers and daughters.
Older Kids are learning how to ride their bikes, Adolescents are
deciding where they want to go. Important questions are being considered
and answered during this stage. Where do they want to go with their
faith, their relationships and their futures. In today’s culture Adolescent girls are bombarded by messages about their bodies, their beauty and their worth. Girls in this stage need to find their voice, their courage and their real value. Dads in this stage should be asking their daughters lots of questions and doing lots of listening. It might sound something like this,
“ What do you like most about Niles? ”, “
“ Wow that sounds really hard, what options have you come up with? “
“ I am sure that you’ll get through this, is there anything I can do to help? “
Parenting Focus/ Coach and Consult
Adult kids still benefit from and often need some measure of emotional, financial, and relational support from their parents. If they are still riding a bike with training wheels when they graduate from High School, they will regret it and so will you. Does your daughter know how to, mange her money, make wise choices, tolerate distress, service her vehicle, delay gratification, make new friends, keep healthy boundaries, forgive herself and others, laugh and play? Her Life will be richer and deeper if she continues to grow and learn and develop into her full, beautiful and unique self. At the end of the day, our daughters are going to end up on Big bikes and busy streets. Let’s get them ready for a great ride and maybe even pedal along with them for a bit.
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Don Worcester