Moving Out

Cooper decided he was moving out today, he packed a bag and was heading out the back door.  His little brothers stood at the window noses pressed against the glass watching him head down the driveway.  They were crying.

Cooper told Kevin that he’s tired of our rules, and wants to live somewhere else!  How in the world do we parent an 8-year old?

He confuses me. I am still able to parent my little kids without much trouble.  They still “need” me.  The big one, not so much.  He wants to be a big.  He is pushing his limits. Where do I draw the line?  Do I ignore the pouting when he doesn’t get his way, or do I correct him?  How do I teach him what disrespect looks like? Do I continue to coax him and prod him to remember the chores that he’s forgotten again? Or do I sit back and let the consequences happen naturally?  How do I raise a boy who wants to be a man?

Failure is the word that runs through the reader board in my mind as I attempt to be the best parent to my biggest boy. I feel so unprepared for the future parent that I am supposed to evolve into.  Sometimes I wonder if I had known how hard parenting was, if I would have been brave enough to become a mom?  I don’t know if I would have.

I left our house this afternoon, feeling lost.  I prayed again for wisdom in raising this big boy, and for a heart that seeks God’s will for Cooper’s life.  I felt better then.  While I was sitting on the couch at my mom’s house, my phone rang.  My old roommate called me.  Cooper had been at her son’s birthday party today.

“Jess,” she said, “I just wanted to call and tell you that Cooper is such a great kid.  He was the most polite boy at the party today, you should be proud of him.”

Hearing the praise roll off her tongue towards my son, warmed my heart.  It made the night a little brighter, and I thanked the Lord for the glimmer of hope that Kevin and I are doing things right.

I am going to try a new approach with my sons’ instead of getting after them. Especially with Coop.  I am going to spend the next season of time, slowing down and actually thinking before I discipline him.  I am going to take the time to STOP and PRAY before reacting.  I will read my bible more, so I can prepare myself  to use godly methods to teach him, instead of flying by the seat of my pants.

The Lord says in Deuteronomy 11:

“Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.”

This is my parenting strategy from now on.  Intentional parenting.  God-minded.  Hopeful and firmly rooted in things of value.


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  1. How far did he get before he decided to come back? I think it is cute, but you know what I mean. All kids want to run away, all kids are testing their independence.

    Parenting is hard work but you already know that. I think you are going about it the right way. Pray and staying in the Word and being intentional with what you do. I would also say in addition to your mom and Kevin’s mom, who are fantastic role models, look around at other moms who have done great jobs raising their kids and see if you can glean their wisdom on what worked and what didn’t work.

    You are doing a great job with them all; I’m glad your friend called to tell you that about Cooper and his manners (taught by you and Kevin). Be consistent.

    Hang on tight because it doesn’t get any easier! I also think Focus on the Family have lots of good resources in raising kids.



    • He didn’t get too far. He was moving to my parents house. Luckily my folks weren’t willing to take him in! I remember running away to my grandma’s house. I wasn’t as smart as Cooper though, he remembered to pack his toothbrush and some snacks. I just took my stuffed bear and my beloved nicey (blanket.) I made it about 500-yards before my dad caught up with me and spanked me until we got home.

      Ahhhh, the memories!

      I read your post this morning, so thankful that your friend’s babies made it safely here, and that they’re doing ok! I am going to go and love on her on her blog!

      Love you friend.

  2. Jessica,

    Not that you are asking for advice but there is a great book out there that I think you would enjoy reading in regards to this post. It’s Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline by Becky Bailey and or The theme is Conscious Discipline! It’s a very practical approach to parenting and teaching. The main focus is using those “tough” moments and teaching moments so that he DOES know how to behave when you are not there “controlling” every move that he makes. It’s hard because when your children are younger, you do “control” everything because they are unable to make even the smallest decisions. Right now he is showing that he wants to be able to make more and in the end “suffer his own consequences” as you know he will. You cannot protect him from everything as I’m sure you already know. Teaching him to make decisions on his own NOW and feel confident making them NOW will result in good decision making when he’s older. He won’t need to depend on his peers to help him make decisions. Off my soap box. Hope that helped!

    • Thanks Marci, I will check it out! I am a big book reader, so I am always looking for new suggestions to add to my parenting arsenal! 🙂 Haven’t seen you around church lately, hope things are going ok!

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