Every day parents share amazing insights with us as a staff and we are always eager to pass along their wisdom to other struggling families.
1. Letting your child struggle is OK. A parent once told me that the most significant thing she learned while at Shelterwood was the value of letting her child struggle and experience discomfort. Up to that point, she had believed the lie that “good parents do everything they can to keep their children from suffering any type of pain.”
2. Don’t “major” on minor issues. There are choices that each child makes that are not that big of a deal in the grand scheme of life! Compared to all the self-destructive choices in the world, I learned at Shelterwood that my child’s choice to have long hair or a tattoo is not a reason to despair. It may even be a healthy way for them to assert their identity.
3. Progress is happening even when I can’t see it. I learned to embrace the absolute necessity for my child to make mistakes in order to grow. Every unwise choice is an opportunity, not a failure. It may be one more step toward my child growing tired of his life and thereby letting go of patterns and choices that don’t work for him.
4. Shelterwood has impacted my life as well. God used this time for my own individual change that ultimately contributed greatly toward the progress and unity in my family.
5. I needed others. Prayer, dependency on God and healthy dependency on others was invaluable during this process. We are not meant to have all the answers and to do it all on our own. Reach-out, receive the comfort God has available to you from others and through Him.