Parenting is a tough road to travel. It's not because of the mess, tantrums or interrupting peace.
It's tough since many of us lack one crucial element - Discipline.
Sadly, parenting has no perfect formula that can be called into play. Cos what works for others may not necessarily work for you.
Every child is different. God makes one and throws away the mould. And you are going to parent one of those. So, what clicked for your friends as they sailed through parenting may seem like hitting rock bottom for you.
There's no secret sauce to score 'Above Target' on all parenting domains. It can never be achieved. Hence, we don't find a noble prize category for 'Parenting'.
Every generation is different due to the exposure they have. And so, every parenting experience and story is unique.
Children mature faster and are more aware of things than we were at their age. They know when we are serious-minded and when we are plain putting on an act.
However, there are insights that we can still harness from the older generation and upgrade the parenting techniques.
The nub of parenting is not in how we troubleshoot, mend and raise our children.
It's more on how we rate as individuals and as married couples.
Our personalities, interests and maturity determine the effectiveness of parenting.
That's right 'we' need to get sorted first.
Children emulate our behaviour. If you are a parent, you have seen it.
They catch every word we utter, every action, every emotion. They watch us more closely than any other people in your home. Children are born with a keen sense of observation.
Our lack of discipline has over-complicated 'parenting' to such extent that we chase after survival kit, seminars and counselling?
I don't nullify the importance of these practical tools.
However, it's best to examine ourselves first and treat the cause than the symptom.
When it comes to parenting, I am still in the trenches with two kids and far from having all the answers.
However, I have had chances to observe parenting from outside and mark a few dos and don'ts.
No matter the emotional stage of parenting we are at, it's not too late to get back up and run on the right track.
Back in 2017, I read a devotional on 'Parenting with wisdom'.
It's by Jim Daly and Focus on the Family group.
I keep going back to the takeaways I noted down. Cos it's far too valuable to forget.
Here's what I learned. Hope it helps you.
What should we know early on while Parenting?
We will have Bloopers and Highlights in our journey as parents. I can't look at someone's life from outside and assume things are perfect there. It never is.
Raising children can often not be in a straight line. We may need to tweak our approach every now and then to best hit a curveball.
Children need parents who can guide them. They may want a friend in us once in a while, but they need an authoritative figure who can speak the truth to them with love. We are never to abdicate our role as a parent.
We can't rescue our children from every potential danger. Sometimes it's best to let them suffer the pain from the consequence. But remember to walk with them during those times and see them through it. Even if it's their mistake, they don't have to live it out alone. Be for them.
Be a source of strength to them and work tirelessly to instil biblical values in them. When confusion hits them, they would have the valuable truth and values to steer them away from the path of destruction.
Children grow up to be adults just like us. We can't expect to baby them forever. There will be a time they would stop seeking you or waiting for your approval. Be prepared for this. They will spread their wings and leave the nest to have a God-designed life of their own.
Rules without relationships = Rebellion (quote from Author Josh McDowell). Parenting goes hand in hand with respect. Respect your children.
Parents who really love their children discipline them. But as we do that, let's get disciplined too.
Be the parent God has equipped you to be.
Wise discipline imparts wisdom;
spoiled adolescents embarrass their parents. Proverbs 29:15
If you haven't leaned on to Jesus, chances are you've been holding your pen wrong.
True comfort and wisdom come from Him alone.
Lean on to Jesus. He'll be your coach while you coach your young.
Scripture taken from The Message. Copyright Â© 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group