From one parent to another, I wanted to give you some advice I have recently come to realize over the past few years.

I have three kids ages 16, 13 and 6. I had the same goals for them all when they were small. Mostly things I read about while searching for ways to parent my children.

As my children got older I was able to start seeing them as little independent individuals and my mindset started to change about a few things.

Teens

About 3 years ago I read something that not only changed my perspective but it also changed the future for my children.

You only have 18 summers with your children.

Some smart parent on Facebook


My eyes filled with tears as I realized I only had 5 summers left with my oldest (now I only have 2). This made me realize that there are closed handed things we have established as rules and we set certain boundaries for them. However, I realized I wasn’t doing a good job preparing them for life, helping them understand who THEY ARE currently or encourage who THEY WILL become.

I was so caught up by fear of what could go wrong. I looked at what others were doing with their children and did the same for mine.

Lighten up just a little

I realized every family and each child is different. I realized I needed to lighten up and become a mom not constantly in fear for her children’s future but a mom who is so excited to see what these amazing people will become. Our children are afraid because we are. They see it even if we don’t say it. We instill insecurities in them when we hold them back from trying new things simply because WE are afraid of what MIGHT happen.

I love seeing my kids embracing life and challenge themsleves to try new things. Is it scary sometimes? ABSOLUTELY! But it is so rewarding to trust them and see their faces light up when they accomplish what they set out to do.

I love sitting down and having conversations with them about what they want their life to be. It’s never too early to do this. In fact, the earlier the better. The more excited you are about their future, the more they will be. They are experiencing things they do not understand and they need YOU to be their safe place.

Girl with colored chalk

Be there to listen, encourage them and give them age appropriate advice no matter what it is. Trust me, I have a teenage boy so I know how some of these questions can go.

The most important advice is this… Live life with them and not for them.

Here is a social media post I did recently that will sum up this article.

Do you ever look at your kids when they are not paying attention and wonder what they will become? Who will they choose as their spouse? What kind of a mom/ dad will they be? Will they carry on my mistakes? Or will they strive to always be the best they can be? Will they live each day with intention? Pray for your kids now. Teach them what it means to be a husband/ wife and a mother/ father by your actions. Spend time with them because they will be gone soon. Let them decide who they will be…Don’t decide for them. Support them where they are now. Understand who they are now. Be intentional every day when you wake up in the morning. Encourage who they want to become. And when they get there, be there always ❤️

-Me
Author

22 Comments

  1. I am a mom who is always in fear of their future in EVERY aspect. I have recently tried to calm down a bit from it. This was a great read! Thanks

  2. This really hit home with me. I have three boys aged 5, 2, and 1. I literally look at them everyday in awe of how much they’ve grown already. Thanks so much for this!

    • Optimized Reply

      Hi Delonica! I’m so glad you liked this article. Thank you so much for reading. Love those boys and enjoy life with them.

  3. OMG.
    We only have 18 summers with our kids.
    And in reality probably less than that because they’ll be too cool for us by, oh, age 14. Lol
    My favorite quote is “Life is like an hourglass glued to the table.”
    Time is ticking.
    Great post.

    • Optimized Reply

      I love your Quote!! It is so true. Thank you for taking the time to read it and comment.

  4. I can’t wait to have these deep and heartfelt conversations with my boys when they get a little older!

    • Optimized Reply

      I love being a mom to teens. This is my favorite stage!

  5. Such a great read. it always makes me worried about the future of my child and after reading your post, I realized that I really need to calm down

  6. Great perspective and tips. I know I’m not thinking this way. I’m just trying to get through potty training my stubborn 3 year old son. I’m not enjoying the wonder and fun he’s having with the outside world. 15 years will go by fast!

  7. You only have 18 summers with your child…I just started to tear up! I have 5 girls, ages 29-7. You would think hat I have this down by now…but sometimes you need that reminder of your time with them. Thank you for that!

    • Optimized Reply

      It did the same for me. It hit me hard. I remember sitting in my chair with tears ramming done my face after i read that.

  8. The comment about only have 18 summers with your children really hit me in my gut. I have a 5 and 2 year old. I can’t believe that next year my daughter will be 6. I really, really, really, really don’t want her to grow up 🙁

    • Optimized Reply

      It did the same to me! They grow up so fast but we can cherish the times we have with them for sure.

  9. Thank you for sharing such a helpful article. I love how you put everything together.

  10. Wow. That phrase really hits the nail on the head – only 18 summers. Never thought of it that way and now I’ll be thinking about this a lot. Thank goodness my children are still small!

  11. I love the advice to live your life with your children instead of for them. So good, and so accurate. Thanks for sharing!

  12. This is such great advice! I try to consciously make time every day to be present with my little one and just enjoy the moment! Time goes way too quickly. The laundry will get folded eventually, but our kids will not be little forever!

  13. 18 summers… It’s great to put your time with your kids in a different perspective. It really makes you treasure the present moments. Great post!!

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