Saturday, June 16, 2012

Parenting Afterthoughts

I think sometimes wanting the best for our children comes back to bite us. It can be perceived as expecting too much from them.

I read somewhere to expect more and a child will usually measure up. If you set the bar low, hopefully the child will at least meet that measure, but they may not grow up thinking they can do better. You can encourage a child without pushing them off the deep end. You can go overboard as well; demanding perfection from an imperfect being can prove destructive both to the child and your relationship with that child.

Clearly none of us is perfect. No one parents perfectly and no one grows up the perfect child.

Most of us want more for our children than we had. Unfortunately, they can’t learn from our mistakes. It would be great if our children didn’t have to suffer the hurts we have. But they have to learn for themselves the high costs those mistakes can sometimes impose. I think the hardest part of parenting is watching your children hurt - and then there’s the tormenting yourself over what you could have done to prevent their pain. Sometimes it’s just not preventable.

You’d think I’d learn by now to speak less, while saying more. But I still put my foot in my mouth all the time. I ramble. My conversations sound trite to my listeners. Honestly, I don’t know how certain people put up with me! I think sometimes parenting has more to do with closing my mouth, than pointing out from experience what’s proven hurtful to me; most of the time the warnings go unheeded anyway. Most of us want to explore and learn and understand for themselves. I can’t say I’m any different.

So to the children of this generation and the next, I will try, and I won’t be perfect at it, but I will try to sit back and watch quietly. I’ll always be in your corner – praying for you as you navigate life’s rivers.

I’m always here if you need me. I love you.

3 John 1:4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. (KJV)

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