About the Episode:
Ever think proximity was ideal in their toddler years, teenage years, even their adult years? Go spend time with your kids, enjoy every moment, every age. There’s no reason to dread the upcoming years.
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Watch the episode here:
- Enjoy them at all ages
- Enjoy every moment
- Don’t be afraid of the teenagers
- Encourage them to express their independence
- Proximity is key
Hey, what’s shakin’, hey, I’m Rick Jordan. Today, we’re going all in. Paid today I am actually recording this episode on Father’s Day, though, you’re probably listening to this on the Tuesday after because that’s when this one is published. And I’m excited to talk with all parents today. I’m recording this today because I was just out to lunch with my kids. And we’re talking about a bunch of things. And I started thinking about this because my kids are also turning my twins anyways, they’re also turning 16 here in just a couple of weeks end of June 2023. And I am overwhelmed with the amount of comments and I’ve received this for the longest time too. And this is what I want to talk about today is about the conception or misconception or the perception that once kids get to be teenagers look out, you know, oh my god, they’re gonna be 16. How do you handle that? And I’ve been hearing these things for years and years and years. I mean, even a client of mine, I remember 10 years ago, you know, so my, my oldest, my twins would have been six and my youngest three at that point. And thinking about the comments that I would hear, because he had teenagers that were just he’s like, Oh, wait till they get to be teenagers.
They don’t want anything to do with he was like, Oh, it was great. You know, my daughter was 567 years old, 10 years old. Now that she’s 13 She wants nothing to do with me. And I’ve heard these things throughout the past decade or so of my life. Because it’s always great that people want to instill this amazing wisdom. And I’m saying that sarcastically, I hope you pick up my instill this amazing wisdom that they’ve had about raising their kids, where they’ve gone through these periods of, like distance from their kids. And I get the point that kids are expressing their independence because mine do too. Right? And there are points where like, you know, I just want to go hang out with my friends. Mine do too. And that’s awesome. But at the same time, I also receive like, Dad, can we just hang out with you tonight? Mom, can we just hang out with you tonight? And that has never wavered over the past whatever. And it also comes down to this statement that I hear. It’s like, Don’t you wish there were still five years old? You know, things were so much easier. I’m like, No, I don’t. I enjoyed my kids at that age. And I also enjoy them at this stage to all of the ages that they have ever been, has been a period of time a season that I have thoroughly enjoyed.
They’re like, Oh, my God, they’re gonna be driving. And I’m like, great, that’s awesome. And it’s not even just so much that they can take themselves places. I mean, don’t get me wrong, that’s a nice benefit of this that I don’t have to take them places as often, you know, it makes scheduling a lot easier. But that’s about it. Because even right now, I don’t mind doing it. I actually liked doing it. Because I encourage them to go out and have fun, try different things, and get together with friends whenever they want to. And I have no issues I, I will always be like, Yeah, sure you need a ride, I might ask, you know, hey, which I just did a couple of nights ago, with my daughter, it’s like, can you is one of your friends going? If we drive there? Is it possible for you to get a ride home? So it makes sense with all of these things that I am not pushing them out the door. And at the same time, I am not keeping them in, I am encouraging their own independence, at the same time as maintaining and growing the relationship with them as their father, I’ve done that the entire length of their lives. And it’s not like I’m the best parent in the world. I think I’m a pretty good dad. And I’ve got some great ideas. But to me, it’s just like common sense.
And I’ve talked about this before, it’s like the reason why I believe why the relationship still exists the way that it does with my kids, and they actually want to spend time with me, they actually want to spend time with me, even throughout their teenage years is because of this one word I’ve used over and over and over again called proximity. It’s like all when they’re young, keeping them around you those years, I’m telling you, it doesn’t matter if they’re two years old or 12 years old, the intention is still the same. To spend time with them and grow relationships no matter what events are circling around you. Even if you have work that you have responsibilities to even if you have I don’t know something that takes you away from them as a hobby or maybe you play softball as a dad, right with a club that’s local in your town or maybe you’re involved in a church board or something like that. And you have these commitments outside of your family and outside of work that gives you purpose and give you fulfillment in life.
There’s no reason to think no matter what’s going on in work, any kind of travel, or any kind of commitments that you have will take you away from that relationship with your kids, whether they’re two years old, five years is old, 12 years old, 16 years old. Because as long as your time is intentional in every single area of your life, you’re going to be able to maintain those relationships with your kids. No joke. And then now as my twins are becoming 16, I’m thinking this is phenomenal. I am so super pumped for them. Because it’s another phase of their life that they’re going to be growing. It’s a new experience for them. I’m excited to watch them go through this new phase of life. I want them to I desire them to, will I look at them as I have in the past and be you know, try to hold back tears? Of course, I will. But it’s not holding back tears of thinking, Man, I wish there were still 10 years younger than they are. It’s holding back tears. I mean, like I’m enjoying being a part of their life at every single stage. This is also how I know that when they’re 35. Right? We’re still going to have these amazing times, we’re still going to have the times of hey, can we go out to lunch today? Hey, Dad, can we go out to dinner today? Hey, can we just hang out for a little while? Can we watch a movie together? Can we sit on the couch, order some pizza and watch a movie together? Hey, Dad, I got my kids around, you know, would you mind coming over and hanging out? As a father, as a mother, whatever, this would have been a great Mother’s Day, episode two for all the moms out there. maintain those relationships, because that starts when they’re young.
Right. And as long as you have the intentional time with them, there’s nothing around you nothing in life that’s going to go on, you can continuously go after your own dreams. And everything you want to do, while at the same time maintaining an even growing relationship with your kids. The only reason? You know this is one thing, I’ve got an interesting relationship with the church over the last two decades of my life, three decades of my life. But there’s one you know, with all the stuff that I disagree with, in the modern church and the non-denominational churches, one thing that I still remember that a youth pastor said, when I was just like a leader in the youth group, or maybe I was even a part of it, I don’t know. But I was in my teenage years. And I remember him saying this, which I believe is true. He’s like, you know, parents come to me when their kids are like 13, 14, 15 years old, like here, can you fix my kid? And the answer is like, Well, do you have a time machine, because you’re bringing them to me when you have neglected the relationship with them for the past 10 years, I can’t go back and fix that relationship. That’s actually your responsibility to repair that relationship to build it. And it’s gonna take work, it’s like parents are abdicating the responsibility for their teenagers for their kids.
And saying here, can you fix it, and whether that’s a therapist or anything else, it’s like that the maintaining of that relationship, and the parent has been distant to the parent has been dismissive of their kids and their needs for the young years of their life. Of course, when they’re teenagers, they’re going to be like peace out, yo, I’m gone. Of course, that’s going to be the case. This youth pastor had the right idea being like, you’re bringing them to me now to quote-unquote, fix them. How about we start with you, parents, we got to fix you first. I’m going to hit you hard with this today. Because if you have young kids right now if you have young kids, or if you will have young kids coming up in the future, in the next 10 years, or even at any point in your life, bear this in mind.
The relationship that you established with them in their young years, is what their relationship is going to be with you in their teenage years. As long as you build and grow and put that intentionality into your relationship with them, no matter how much time you were able to spend with them, as long as that intentionality and that energy of closeness and support is with them from you from their young years. You will enjoy them when they are teenagers. And you will love every season of their life. You won’t want to go back to when they were three and four years old. You’ll remember those times and you’ll cherish those times. But you won’t want to take a time machine or put them back in that place because you’ve had that relationship for all those years. And now you’re enjoying every single stage of their life as they continue to grow and you are right there with them to observe all the amazing things that they’re doing and all the amazing things that they are becoming.
Go ALL IN.