I was listening to Andy Stanley and his wife Sandra give parental advice. They have 10 years of youth ministry and led their three kids to adulthood.
They were describing teenagers and had one key piece of advice: “Don’t freak out.”
In their eyes, “freaking out” had several looks. “Over-coaching” from the stands. “Stage mothering” from the seats. “Reacting” harshly to the turns a teenager can create.
I could see it instantly. I had a parent that would freak out. It caused me to hide. It caused me to duck and cover. It closed communication. It made sense.
As I listened, it occurred to me that the advice of not freaking out is “evergreen”. It works with teenage children. It works with grown adults.
We all have folks in our lives that we trust because they don’t freak. We all have folks in our life that we tell stuff to as a last result because they do freak.
Which are you? We justify freak outs at times, but they come with a cost. To imagine that all freak outs can be forgiven and will be forgotten is a pipe dream.
So, “freak out” at your discretion. It will cost you on the communication/trust account. Make sure it’s worth it.