Bernice and I are both list people. When we’re trying to figure something out or when we’re planning something, we make lists. When our oldest child got to his last few years of high school, we decided to make a list of some of the important things we wanted to make sure Brent knew before he went out into the world on his own. Things he had been taught from our example, or family devotions, or Sunday School classes, or whatever. We didn’t want to just assume that he got it all.
So we asked ourselves – if we were to stop Brent on his way out the door to college and say “Oh wait, just one more thing…” what would some of those things be?
Pancakes with Dad
Shortly after we got our “just one more thing” list together, we approached Brent with the bribe… I mean plan. If he was willing, he and I would talk through a topic on this list every couple of weeks over a late breakfast on Saturdays.
Brent was willing, so every couple weeks during Brent’s senior year we headed out for breakfast. We had a lot of pancakes and some great Saturday conversations together, so much so that I ended up doing the same thing with our other two children during their senior years.
In all three of their lives, the end result was the same – each left home better prepared and with greater confidence for what lay ahead. And we as parents felt better about letting them go!
Mr. and Mrs. Solomon Took This Responsibility Seriously
Are you familiar with the book of Proverbs? Early in the book Solomon says this to his son:
Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.
That is followed by thirty more chapters of Proverbs filled with practical wisdom for life from a dad and mom to a son.
I’m guessing their desire to make sure Solomon was ready for life on his own took a lot of effort and no doubt prayers. And a lot of conversations.
One of the Best Things a Parent Can Do
Doing our best to make sure our kids are ready for life on their own is our responsibility as parents. So if your kids are getting close to finishing high school, you may want to make your own list of the things you want to be sure your kids know. If you’d like some help with the list, you can check out the one we put together in Just One More Thing… Before You Leave Home.
And we’ll also offer some suggestions in a blog next week.
Then once you have your list, schedule some conversations with your son or daughter over pancakes.
by Dave Gudgel