I am the mother of two tweens and a teen. Imagine the mood swings that fly here and there. Even the boy child! I wasn’t expecting that. Sure, I have a little brother, but… He was my little brother – what did I know? “My goodness, I don’t know what I’m doing!” I thought, yet again. “This parenting thing is challenging. God, You have to help me.” What I felt echo back to me was to be a “Soft Place to Land.”
A Soft Place to Land? I suppose I can do that… So, I started where it mattered the most, I asked the kiddos. “What does the phrase ‘Soft Place to Land‘ mean to you all?” My eldest piped up, as I knew she would if no one else. “It’s like, someone you can easily speak to, easy to be around. Someone you trust.” Great definition! She makes me proud. The others didn’t answer, they had just finished arguing about who is or isn’t or was or wasn’t — I had to put into practice being a “Soft Place to Land.” As they were little angry birds at the moment (trust me you don’t want to know, haha).
So, I gave my definition building on my daughter’s: To me, a Soft Place to Land is not only being there – being constant. But, it’s seeing the world through my children’s eyes. How can I truly understand what they are feeling if I do not put myself in their shoes. Empathy in action – forget sympathy! It’s being their safe place, as Christ is for us. I don’t know about any of you other parents out there, but my relationship with my kiddos is special to me. It’s unlike the relationship I had with my parents growing up. And, to be honest, these relationships with my children are the most important relationships in my life.
My kids, have rough days, just like any other person, just like their mom, and sometimes they take it out on me. Does this hurt my feelings? Absolutely! However, to be a Soft Place to Land for them means allowing them to feel what they are feeling, and feeling it with them. I don’t tell them, “You should” or “You should not” feel this way or react this way or that… No, I allow them the space to feel, and I remain the constant, I remain the calm. Someone has to be calm in these situations! At these ages with hormones rushing in, they feel BIG emotions, uncontrollably so at times, and you know what, it’s okay!
I am far from being the best mom. Still, in these challenging times they are facing, and will continue to face. My prayer is that I will provide them the safety and security all kids need. My prayer is that I will be their Soft Place to Land. I also must pray that the Lord help me not to laugh in some of these situations. These kids are hilarious! Along with the big emotions are big personalities. I am remembering to be the calm, the Soft Place to Land, the diffuser.
They laughed when I said, “I’m like a big, soft, fluffy marshmallow. I can take your falls, punches, and kicks – because, marshmallows are soft. Just don’t bite me because, well, you know, I don’t taste that good, and OUCH!”