That time, those short 18 years, were my time to teach my children to make choices and how those choices would have consequences. I know many parents that do not let their children make choices on their own, but we have a responsibility to teach them to make choices. If you are a Christian mother, you want your children to make Godly and wise choices. If you aren't a Christian, you still want your children to make wise choices. How can we expect them to if we don't teach them to do that?
Small children can be taught to make decisions that will make choices in the future easier for them. Our failures can be lessons to them as well as theirs are. As a parent, we have that responsibility to teach them in the way that we hope that they will go. We need to want them to be so much better than what we have been. We don't want them hurt or sad, but sometimes we have to let them learn a hard lesson. Proverbs 22:6 says " Train up a child in the way he should g: and when he is old he will not depart from it". How much simpler could our job as a parent be told to us?
As parents, we need to raise our children to make decisions a little at a time and learn from those decisions so that as they age and go out on their own they are equipped with the knowledge that they know. We can protect and teach without hovering although that can be a thin line at time. I have always allowed my older daughter to make decisions on her own. They were not always right, but she learned when she was wrong and she dealt with the consequences that came from those. She is mature and very set in her ways. Most of her decisions though are good ones. My youngest is not as mature and does not easily learn from her mistakes because she was with her grandmother often because of my work schedule and was not able to make decisions as much on her own and never faced consequences of the ones she did make wrong. I regret my parenting with her and the choices that I made with her life. I can't take those moments back, but I still attempt to teach her.
We made a decision to home school our children and I am thankful that we did. Both of my daughters have avoided the drugs that many of their friends who attended public school did not . Both of my daughters are adults that have never partied or been to jail. Many decisions were tough while they were in school, but I am so thankful that I was there to aid in those decisions or at least there to pick up the pieces of a wrong choice. Even school subjects were choices they could make. I even allowed days that they could choose what we were doing for the day. Some days they might choose a day off, but they learned that the consequence was the next day was more school than the day would normally be.
Teach our children, allow them to make decisions on their own, talk to them, correct them when they are wrong, walk with them, read with them, Teach them! It is our responsibility!!!