Thursday, January 24, 2013


From Beth Templeton:
I love analogies. Years ago I read an analogy comparing parenting a teenager to flying a kite and it has stuck with me through all these years of parenting. Maybe you will find it helpful too. 
So, picture this with me-- a colorful kite playfully jumping and soaring in the wind. It's a sight to behold! I know every summer on our annual beach vacation someone is flying a kite. It's the kind of thing that makes you stop and point with a smile, "Hey, look!" It is a beautiful thing, a kite high up in a blue sky. Something to be remarked upon and enjoyed for sure. I think any time we see something that is doing what it was created for, we can't help but rejoice. A kite is made to soar and when it does, it is a delight to all who see it! Even more so with our children. We know they were created to enjoy the freedom of dancing in the winds of their purpose and destiny, and we parents do anything and everything we can to help that to happen. It is our goal.

Let's Go Fly a Kite!
Flying the kite takes a careful hand doesn't it? First, we put in quite a bit of effort to get it off the ground. Often it takes multiple tries, including some pretty tiring runs as we work to launch that little triangle of fabric. The effort is definitely more easily done in team, with two people working together. And in time and with effort, we begin to see that colorful fabric climbing into the distance. We take off running, with a constant awareness of how taut we hold the string that connects us to the kite. If we pull it in too tight, the kite begins to plummet. If we let it go too slack, we get the same result-- loss of altitude. So we have this constant awareness of the kite, but really once it gets up there and the winds are favorable, we have the freedom to give our attention elsewhere. Still, even when we no longer are having to run, we stay connected, holding that string oh so carefully. 

The Winds of Change
It is not unusual though for the winds to change after some time. Maybe a gust comes along with a downdraft, or a storm comes through. Maybe we've gotten distracted and not been aware the kite is struggling and find our selves having to quickly adjust the string, pulling it in tighter so it can gain height once more. Some of us are gripping multiple strings attached to different kites, all needing our attention at once! Or we may even realize our kite has fallen to the ground, so we run quickly to it, lifting it up, gently repairing any damage, and once again launch it to soar. And sometimes we see that what is most needed is time of restoration for our kite, mending and special care. But always, our goal is to launch, to release.
The thing about flying a kite is that it requires our constant awareness, occasional more focused times of effort, and a steadfast connection-- So,
Father, help us to parent our teens well. Teach us when to pull them in closer, tightening our grip on the string, and when to release them to try higher altitudes. Cause us to be ready when they plummet to earth, mending their wounds with compassion rather than condemnation. We want to parent with skillful hands, God. May our children soar!

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