“Home is where the heart is” is a phrase used by so many but for how many does this phrase rings true? I believe that every person has that longing to have a place of love, peace and safety. The tragedy is however, for some the “homeward-bound” feeling does not lead to their home of upbringing.
The other day my six year old daughter asked me if she could teach me her own made up song. The lyrics were as follow: “Listen to your mom, listen to your dad and remember to listen to your kids.” If you know Rebekah you would have immediately guess what her masterplan behind this song was. It is to take in her position as ruler of the house. She has been competing for this title since she became aware of her surroundings. This song and the intention behind it made me smile but it also made me think…
I’ve heard numerous times teenagers making the following comment during counselling sessions: “My parents weren’t present when I was young so why do I have to listen to them now.” I’ll then dig deeper into this feeling of abandonment and ask what they mean by the word “present.” The response usually is that their parents weren’t around much, and when they were they did not afford them the time to listen attentively. This is primarily why they hold no regard for their parents’ input in their lives in the latter years.
When our children reach their teenage years our “presence” is needed more than ever before. I do not refer here to physical presence like when they were babies or toddlers and needed our immediate intervention. Our presence during this adolescent age represents more a type of blueprint that has been imbedded in their minds during their early childhood years. This blueprint represents our voice as parents which they will hear especially during life’s challenges. Evergreen Parenting refers to this voice as a lifelong echo that gives wisdom and guidance. I believe that echo will also reassure them that they can return “home” when they find themselves having gone astray.
The Bible story of the prodigal son reminds me of a father’s unwavering commitment to his role as a parent which ultimately led to his son’s return. When the youngest son took his inheritance and wasted it on immoral living, he had to make a choice. In Luke 15:18 (NLT) the prodigal son says, “I want to go back home to my father’s house.” When the son faced difficulty, a life changing moment, he knew that going home to a place of safety and security was an option for him. He did not know how his father and the rest of his family would respond, but he knew that home was a lifeline and it was within his grasp.
Like the prodigal son’s father we do not have control or can predict the path our children will choose to follow. What we can do is to create a lifelong echo calling them home when all else fails and that can only be accomplished if we commit ourselves being present to them when they are still in our immediate care.
May our presence be felt, our voice be heard and may our echo be a beacon of hope when our children needs it most.
I remember my mother’s prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life – Abraham Lincoln
About the author
Amoné is a former high school teacher and counselor who is currently a stay-at-home mom since their family moved to Adelaide, Australia at the beginning of 2019. She is also part of the Evergreen Parenting team as a facilitator of parenting courses.