I’ll be honest I’m not a big fan of “parenting” books. I’m not even a fan of the word “parenting.” It seems pejorative to me, as if raising children is a “project” that we can master and complete. What mother or father’s task is ever done?
But I do have some observations from the trenches regarding the sacred task of raising children in this chaotic world that I would like to offer in hopes that they might encourage and edify those who are in the midst of what is truly a life-long task.
Don’t ever give up! Always pray. Always believe. Always hope. Know that God is doing far more with you and for you and your child than you could ever comprehend.
Let love be your guide . Your words. Your thoughts. Your actions. Yes, anger can get attention. Anger can propel action and much needed change. But it is love that heals. It is love that binds. And it is love that restores peace. Aim for love at all times. And when you miss the mark, dust yourself off and aim again.
Parenting books and seminars and classes and websites are a dime a dozen. Really. There may be a jewel or two that you can connect with in your reading and listening. Fine. But you don’t need to be converted by every single thing you read. I remember a few years back devouring several parenting books back to back and I came away from them all believing I was woefully inadequate. Moreover, I was discouraged by all that they admonished me to do, because they were recommending I be someone I was not. So I sold some of those books and gave away a few others and even threw away a few more. The advice on the pages was a burden for me in that season, not a blessing. So much of what is written and sold under the genre of “parenting” is formulaic. There is no magic formula for being a mother or a father. I have gained much more insight and edification by prayerfully seeking God’s will, talking with my husband over the challenges and following our own God-given intuition.
You are not perfect. This thought builds on the previous one. Don’t try to be someone you are not, be who God made YOU to be. It’s okay to not have all the answers, to make mistakes, to ask forgiveness. You do your best. You and your child (regardless of their age) will learn more from the mistakes and do-overs than if you got it right the first time. It’s called – being human.
Life is precious and so are the lives God has entrusted to you. Treasure the days – the good and the not-so-good and the down-right awful. And try, try, try – no matter what – to find something to celebrate every day.
With much, much love and joy in your journey…
P.S. Do you have any observations you would like to add? You can do so below in the comments section.