8 Little Arrows in my Quiver

Reflections and Ramblings of a Happily Harried Mom of Many

Letting Go…But Not Without Some Investigation February 5, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — 8littlearrows @ 9:44 pm

My thirteen-year-old daughter, Maggie, has the opportunity to go on a two-day retreat-type experience with some of the other girls in her youth group, and she’s been waiting for us to decide whether or not we’ll let her go.  I’ve had some reservations about it, especially since she’s fairly new to this group and I don’t know the leaders.  It’s a two-day, two-night thing, where they will be staying at a hotel and driving to the retreat site during the day.  I’m a tad overprotective, so the fact that it’s not self-contained makes me a bit nervous.   I think I’ve heard too many horror stories of girls being abducted, etc.  And I don’t always trust that other adults will be as careful as I would.  I do realize that I need to let go of that to a certain degree, but I also know that it’s my responsibility to protect her.  So, with that in mind, she arranged for me to get together with the woman in charge of her youth group.

This morning, Maggie and I went out to breakfast and I got to meet and talk with this woman.  Meeting her put my mind at ease (or at least as much at ease as it’s going to get!).  We actually had a delightful breakfast and chatted about all sorts of things.  She told me a lot about her vision for the youth group, and had no defensiveness about my concerns.  I could tell that she totally understood and respected where I was coming from.  But there was one thing that totally blew my mind.  She told me that in her 20+ years of doing youth ministry, this was the first time a parent had ever expressed the desire to get together with her and get to know her a little bit!

Now, I know that I’m an ultra-paranoid parent, but P L E A S E  tell me I’m not the only one who wants to know just who is helping to form my children!  Doesn’t anyone else get nervous that their kids are going to be taught something contrary to their faith?  Or that the leaders won’t supervise the kids properly? Or that the discussions that go on might not be something I want them discussing?  Or that they won’t be as strict about things like movie choices? Or…well, you get the idea.

I was recently reading another blog where someone was saying that their 4-year-old daughter’s piano teacher was having a mandatory party for her students and was not allowing parents to come.  And it was a “pajama theme” party, so the kids were supposed to wear their pjs and bring a pillow.  The mom was thinking it was a little weird and was questioning letting her daughter go.   Seriously????!!!  I wouldn’t let my 4-year-old go to the piano lesson without me, let alone to an event like that!  A mandatory party?  No parents allowed?  Are you kidding me?  And by the way, what does any of this have to do with piano?  I’ll tell you what my response to that would be:  “Bye-bye!  I think it’s time for us to find a new piano teacher!”

What I found most disturbing  is that I’ll bet most of the parents won’t bat an eyelash, and will just drop their kids off for this party.  I can only pray that the whole thing is totally innocent and just shows poor judgement rather than malicious intent on the part of that teacher.  And we wonder why our world is in such rough shape!  What ever happened to intentional parenting?  I understand that we can’t always keep our kids safe, and that we do have to learn to let go, especially as they get older, but isn’t it our responsibility to do everything in our power to make sure they’re going to be safe and then let go?  It’s kind of like making sure they’re buckled up in the car.  It’s a little more work, but if anything ever happens, at least we’ll know that it wasn’t because we failed to do our part.

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5 Responses to “Letting Go…But Not Without Some Investigation”

  1. Martina Caspersson Says:

    Dear Colleen, I totally agree with all you said. Don’t ever think you’re being over-protective. We live in a crazy mixed-up world where many people don’t adhere to our Christian way of living and we have to be aware of this at all times. That’s the way to go,MOM!!!! Love, Martina

  2. Thanks for your replies, ladies. I’m glad to know there are some other parents who are cautiousl We have not made our decision yet. I don’t have an issue with sleepovers necessarily. I worry more about the safety of the hotel arrangement in this particular instance. But I have learned to gather as much info. as possible and then go with my gut after praying about the situation. I don’t know why, but I don’t ever really worry about how other parents will see me. My kids are my responsibility, not theirs. I feel like God has graced me with enough confidence in my own parenting that I don’t second guess too much when someone else disagrees with me. I figure better too protective than not protective enough.

  3. Naomi Butler Says:

    Hey-

    Totally honest, straight-forward, and fair, and a kick-in-the butt to the rest of (us) parents to really think about details & what’s going on, and to truly “parent” our child(ren).

    As a youth mininster, I love that you met with yours one-on-one. We’re so used to getting to gether in a large group- (they-come-to-us) mentality, we would be wise to learn to not just meet the parents of teens we minister to, but actually go more in depth with them- we should take the lead, that is, if parents like you aren’t already! 🙂 High-5 for being a great mom!

  4. lauribattista@yahoo.com Says:

    You are ABSOLUTELY correct in your observations! An offsite retreat with a hotel involved? I would not permit my daughter to go. We sleep in our own family house and not with other people – period. The only exception in our household would be with Grandmama and Grandpapa – that’s it! Why parents succumb to “peer pressure” with regards to their children baffles me. I mean really, who is in charge? The child? No! The teacher? No! The parent? Yes! We are the ultimate decision makers with regards to their lives and it is our job to be their guardians and make decisions on their behalf until they are able to do so for themselves. How we parent them is their training ground for good decisions we hope they will make in the future with regards to themselves. And if we are given the grace to see them become parents, those good decisions will be repeated as they learn to be parents to their own children and will then, understand why we said no when they were 4 years old and 13 years old. Absolutely, never is there a reason why we should apologize to our parent peers as to our decisions that are in the best interest of our children – we are exhorted by God to do so! So be strong and always follow your instincts – they ultimately are always right. Why? Because our instinct is really the Holy Spirit speaking to us in our souls about what the right decision is. We let them go, when it is time. Peace, Lauri Battista (Mother of 2 children, age 9 and 7)

  5. Linda Miller Says:

    Colleen, I’m with you. Call me overprotective, but, I don’t think I’d let Mercy go, either. I would need more personal experience with this woman. I would be talking to all the other moms and asking them how long their daughters have been in the group, if they’ve done this type of thing before… Have you met the other girls? Have they been to your home for playdates? Have you observed their behavior? All these things would go into my decision-making, data gathering process.
    No, you are not the only mother to be so “over protective”. It’s because you are the way you are that your daughter is so holy, heathy, and happy!!


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