Thursday, January 6, 2011

A Little Persepctive on this Journey called Parenting

Since my kids were not born with their own instruction manuals, here are a few of the parenting books I've accumulated over the years:

- Five Love Languages of Children by Chapman
- Boundaries with Kids by Cloud & Thompson
- Family First by Dr. Phil
- Parenting with Love and Logic by Cline & Fay
- Creative Correction by Lisa Whelchel

I saw these books a couple of days ago and pulled them off the shelf to look through again. Not because I think they have all the answers.  Not because I agree with everything in all the books.  But there are always 'new' issues I'm dealing with when it comes to my kids growing up and finding their way in this world.  These books provide many helpful 'tools' in my toolbox of parenting. They provide encouragement and practical ideas and remind me that I'm not alone in my parenting struggles.  In particular I've been glancing thru Creative Correction. I appreciated the words she shared:

What our children really need when they're young is a parent, not a best friend. One of the greatest rewards  of parenting is friendship with our children...our friendship will evolve with them later, when they mature.

Much of the time, my goal in parenting is simply to have well behaved children - not for some higher, godly purpose, but for my own peace and quiet. My life is so much simpler and more enjoyable when the kiddos obey me without arguing and when they get along with each other. As a result, I'm quick to correct them, sometimes in anger, when my comfort is disturbed, without considering how I'm modeling God to them....  Do you ever struggle with pride? I do. It's easy to want other people to admire our little ones and, in effect, praise our parenting skills. When our kids are on their best behavior, it makes us, their parents, look good....  Some of us base our parenting priorities on how guilty we feel. We have this false, often unrealistic ideal of how our children should behave; and when they don't cooperate, we blame ourselves, thinking we're doing something wrong.  All these motivations - desire for peace and quiet, pride, and guilt - are understandable. But they are still wrong.... So it's vital we step away from the pandemonium of parenting from time to time and remind ourselves of the true goal - to have kids who are drawing an accurate picture of God in their hearts and learning how to relate to Him as their Creator each day. ...Though we should strive to be godly, we can never perfectly reflect God. Instead, our goal should be to ensure that our reflection of God draws our children closer to Him - and that it makes them long to touch the real thing.

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