I still remember the incident to this day and what my mom did in response. I was 9 years old and along with a friend we made a “bad choice” (I think it was his idea 🙂 We decided to take tomatoes out of our neighbor’s garden and throw them against the side of our house because, well, that’s entertaining, right??? When my mom found out, first I had to clean up all of the mess on the side of the house by myself. Then I had to go next door on my own and confess what I’d done to my neighbor and ask for forgiveness. That was not a good day!

I was thinking about that episode from my childhood back in November after I read this blog post from Dr. Tim Elmore. He shares about a new service available in many college communities – “Rent a Mom”. Yes, for a fee students can have their bed made, their laundry done, their room tidied up, and even be picked up in a car for errands. Wow! I was shocked (but maybe I shouldn’t have been) that was even a thing. How on earth do college students need this kind of help? It made me reflect on my own parenting – am I coaching and equipping my children to stand on their own two feet and be responsible and self-reliant? Or do I too often go into “rescue mode” and attempt to solve their problems for them?

I’m sure as a parent sometimes you struggle with the same dilemma. As we enter 2024, let’s all work as parents to raise the kind of children who will never need the assistance of “rent a mom”. And that starts now at a young age as we help them to take ownership of their schoolwork, friendships, relationships with teachers and coaches, and yes even their own mistakes. As Dr. Elmore writes, “Prepare the child for the path, not the path for the child.”