When Your Kids Chip Away Your Confidence

Not exactly the same, but you get the idea.


Are You Sure?

“My kids are eating away at my confidence,” I confessed to a couple of friends recently. I continued to make my case, “I found the cutest pair of pants—flowing legs, navy blue with white polka dots. I thought they were so cool, but my girls told me to never wear them.” My friends assured me that my girls don’t know everything about 50-something fashion, that I’m doing pretty well dressing myself, and I should trust my gut.

This conversation made me think. It wasn’t just the nixing of the polka dot pants. It’s been a steady pecking away at my confidence with comments about my lack of social media savvy, how chatty I am with strangers, or how clueless I am about “what’s done” or not done in the current culture.

So what’s my deal? Why do I allow this? Why not slough off their comments like I did when they were 10? (One year they tried to convince me that everyone in our small town went to Florida for Easter vacation and we would be the only people left in town if we didn’t go.) Because now the girls are young adults and they have knowledge about technology and different life experiences that I don’t. As I venture into using social media and technology in my ministry, I don’t know what I don’t know. It’s unfamiliar territory. The protocol is unwritten and changing almost daily. My girls understand this unwritten language. They have insights and perspective that I will never have because I’m not part of their generation. I need to know some of what they know. The tricky part is to know what I need to incorporate and what is not relevant for me.

I need to do a couple of things to get back to my 53-year old mom perspective:


  • Realize what my girls are knowledgeable about and how knowledgeable they are. And while they are smart and helpful, they are not the final word.
  • Realize I have developed a strong sense of who I am and trust that. (I know this sounds like an oxymoron about now.) I have knowledge, wisdom, and life experiences that will serve me far better than knowing what’s trending on YouTube.
  • Realize I don’t need to know everything about everything. While I need to stay relevant on topics such as technology, fashion, and the culture in order to do ministry, be effective in ministry, and involved in my girls’ lives, I don’t need to be an expert.
  • Constantly bring my decisions and questions to God for guidance and renewed perspective.

My girls love and respect Gene and me, and we have a great relationship. I’m thrilled my girls are smart, confident, and moving forward in life. But every so often the scale of the parent/child relationship starts to shift a little heavier on their side. When that happens I need to remember I haven’t pulled over to the slow lane yet, and confidently move forward to the next challenge God has for me.

Do your kids cause you to doubt your decisions? When are they helpful? When are they chipping away at your confidence?




Brenda Garrison is an author and speaker who empowers women with the confidence to live their calling. Brenda is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science Degree in Ministry Leadership with a Concentration in Women’s Ministry at Moody Bible Institute. She and her husband, Gene, are the parents of three young adult daughters and live near Metamora, IL.

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