The scene was the same for our three girls and Mom and Dad—time to gather in the living room with calendars in hand, ready to go over the upcoming weeks and months to be sure we have everything down on the schedule—and to be sure that we have plenty of time set aside for each other and our family. What wasn’t the same was the addition of our future son-in-law—a sweet, amazing young man who has no need for meetings, sitting for long periods of time listening to three teenage/young adult girls and their parents gab. His response to our “calendar meeting” was hilarious as he put a pillow over his head and kept coming up periodically to ask if it was almost over!
As our kids turned sixteen to eighteen (depending on gender, maturity, and where they were in their education), their involvement in outside activities increased exponentially—from doing school at home with Mom and Dad full time and spending most free time with family and close friends to college, more ministry activities, etc. It was extremely important to me and Ray that we stay close to our young adults. Calendar meetings helped make that happen.
If you have kids who are not yet teens, do not believe the falsehoods about how older teens and young adults do not need their parents. It has been our experience that they still need us greatly—but the roles change drastically. They still need our continual input in their lives—but in the role of counselor, mentor, help, and sounding board. But they still need us! And calendar meetings helped make all of that talking, time together, and counseling more of a reality in our young adults’ lives.
Calendar meetings helped us have another talk time built into our schedule. They helped our kids know that spending time talking with them was a priority to use. And they helped us be sure that we had those talk times set aside.