Parenting well is hard work, but keeping in mind these three big ideas can help parents maintain a healthy perspective.
What works for one child probably will not work for another child.
Since each child is a unique creation of God, simple logic tells us that parents will need to adjust their techniques for the benefit of each of their children. For example, some parents may find they must get deeply involved to help one or more of their children succeed. Other children, though, may need parents to stay in the background and in this way help that child grow more independent and responsible. To nurture, we apply many different strategies based upon what is best for each given child at each specific point in their journey toward adulthood.
Children benefit when parents are their parents.
Parents want healthy, close relationships with their children. Sometimes parents feel this can only happen when they are totally involved in all aspects of their children’s lives. However, when parents are too close, children may have difficulty developing meaningful relationships outside the family. At the other extreme, some parents can be so distant and uninvolved, it requires their children to handle too much responsibility. Finding the best balance can be challenging. Wise parents give their children unconditional love, care, direction, discipline, and support. Then, when it’s appropriate, we let go and let our children navigate their own passage through daily life.
Let go of regret and worry.
As a parent whose children are now in college, I could create a lengthy list of regrets and mistakes. I choose not to let myself go there. Instead I strive to focus on the many positive memories and on the wonderful gift of forgiveness I can claim in the death and resurrection of my Savior, the Lord Jesus.
Worrying and parenting just seem to go together. My main worry concerns what the future may hold for my children. As I pray, my worries shrink. As I ask for Christ’s guidance and direction, he helps me meet this parenting challenge.
These three big ideas share a common thread. Parenting involves constant change and striving for the best balance as we guide our children toward maturity. The challenge can overwhelm us, and it makes a living, growing faith-relationship with God essential! Jesus’ love and his promises are the only guaranteed constant in our parenting journey. As we taken this sometimes crazy, yet always amazing journey called parenthood, we remember in Jesus to:
- Celebrate each child’s unique gifts and talents.
- Enjoy the moments with our children noticing how God takes care of all the details all the time.
- Ask for forgiveness and renewal when we sin.
- Look for openings to share with our children our Savior’s great love, so that they are equipped to live for him.
As you reflect upon this . . .
- What other big ideas about parenting would you add to the list?
- How does it encourage you to remember that parenting is about change and balance?
Blessings to you as you parent, relying on Jesus for wisdom and skill!