Monday, March 26, 2018
Interview & Give Away: Fledge by Brenda Yoder
Fledge: Launching Kids Without Losing Your Mind is really about the growing pains and changes that happen in the family and for the mom, especially, as children begin to leave. It’s also about how to let go and how to parent young adults, teens, and to prepare them with “strong wing feathers”, which is the meaning of fledge. Fledge also means to put feathers on an arrow, and mirrors the image God uses of releasing from Psalm 127, which is the heart of the book: Like arrows in the hands of warrior are children born of one’s youth. Fledge covers an array of topics—mom grief, midlife, balancing the family climate while also learning how to set boundaries, let your kids struggle, and help parents release autonomous, independent kids while also fostering your own identity, too.
Herald Press approached me about writing a parenting book for them and I knew right away that I wanted to write something about the stage of life I was in--releasing kids but also still raising some. While there were resources for parenting teens and young adults, there were absolutely no resources about parenting both stages at the same time and the changing family and hormones that occur when you’re releasing kids but don’t have an empty nest. I had an array of emotions that seemed to be at the surface a lot and I didn’t know what to do with them.
Did you always want to write, or has your life journey been the driving force behind the urge to put words to paper?
I loved writing in high school but married a local farmer and never real thought about writing after high school. I became a teacher and was also a stay at home mom before going back to teaching. I started writing soon after I turned 40 when I was in graduate school for counseling. I was having a faith and identity crisis and started blogging, wondering if anyone else struggled with faith, life, and family. I found out I was not alone in that struggle, and have been writing ever since.
What has been the most surprising thing you discovered while writing Fledge?
It takes a while to go deep with words. When I write on the surface, it can sound preachy. It takes a certain commitment to go deep into the subject you’re really writing about. Fledge includes a lot of personal stories and examples, many of them that brought tears. Midlife hormones make for some good emotional writing.
What has been the most unexpected blessing of launching your young adult children?
Seeing them in their “sweet spots.” Seeing them grow and find their own passions.
I think I know the answer, but my readers don’t. Are you a country girl or city girl?
Actually, I’m a city girl in the country! I grew up a “townie” in Shipshewana but married a dairy farmer. I’d love to live in the perfect city, but would miss the country life.
What are the most vulnerable things about parenting young adults who are launching?
Realizing some of their struggles may be because of mistakes you’ve made, and the emotions and grief. There’s a lot of loss.
If you could caution other parents, what are the traps and trip-ups?
Don’t hold on past what you should. Kids need to grow up, struggle, and do things on their own. You rob them of independence and autonomy they naturally crave when you enable, rescue, and coddle them.
How can Christian parents of young adults be a counter-cultural anchor without being irrelevant to the next generation?
Stay engaged in the culture and constantly learn, but maintain biblical values. Keep your relationships healthy with your kids. Don’t try to be hip to be cool but also don’t be set in your ways.
What verse has given you the most courage and comfort for this stage of life? All of Psalm 127.
Winner announcement: Patrice Doten wins a copy! Thanks for stopping at the blog!
What stage of life are you in: just launched, building a launching pad, ready for take off, or "poof-- they're gone"?
What was the best thing your parents did to launch you?
What is the best thing you've learned about navigating the launching?
Any questions for Brenda?
Brenda L Yoder is an author, speaker, licensed mental health counselor, and life coach whose passion is encouraging others when life doesn’t fit the story-book image. Her brand new book, Fledge: Launching Your Kids Without Los-ing Your Mind is endorsed by Jim Daly and was Amazon’s #1 New Release in Motherhood the first week of availability. She’s been has been featured in two Chicken Soup for the Soul Books, The Washington Post, For Every Mom, and released Balance, Busyness and Not Doing It All in 2015. Brenda loves teach-ing the Bible and applying scriptural principles to life’s challenges. You can connect with her at her blog--Life Beyond the Picket Fence-– at brendayoder.com, or on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Brenda is a wife of 28 years and a parent of four children, ages teen to adults.
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