Successfully failing at parenting.
Living here as a mom I get lots of questions about parenting. In fact Dan and I have been asked to teach parenting classes many times. We have said no because of time but found others who are passionate about this topic. The content was taken from parenting books they have read and practiced with their own children. The local audience eats it up because they have been craving help. One of the biggest struggles for young local parents here is that they feel like they do not have control over child rearing. This is true, because many parents rely on realitives to care for their children while they go to work full time. And the relatives (mainly grandparents) have similar feelings of not having control. They feel the stress of the responsibility of taking care of their grandchild. They feel like they don’t have much say and are only there to keep the child fed, clean, unharmed, and satisfied. Once these kids grow up and start going to school and going through puberty it gets even more complicated. The child’s needs are not basic anymore. Many friends and strangers have come to us for advice. Much of our responses are about setting rules/routines and following through, being on the same team as your spouse, and how to communicate in healthy ways. These are the good practices that have worked for us. But even if you have prepared yourself by reading parenting books or found parenting mentors, most parents will admit to not having all the answers! Honestly, we do not have all the answers, and we know it. But what I love about Dan and I as parents is that we reflect, but even deeper than that we repent. We make mistakes all the time but we admit it not just to each other, but to our children, to God, and sometimes all at the same time. Just tonight I apologized to my son for getting frustrated and yelling at him during homework time. Without hesitation he looked into my eyes and said “It’s ok mommy. I forgive you. I always forgive you.” I thanked him and I asked him why. He talked about how he wants to be like God, how God wanted to help people so He forgave them, and how Jesus wanted to help his disciples and forgave them.
Wow. I have so much to learn from my son’s heart. My son’s response was pure love. You see his response was totally his own idea, it was not some saying we drilled into his mind, or some protocol from a parenting book. For Dan and I the answers to parenting come from our Father. God’s ways are higher than any parenting book or expert out there. I want to praise Him for all that He is doing in my children and in me.