Monday, April 23, 2012

Parenting advice

My mom was showing the kids old pictures today and she came across this one
and I just knew that this was the picture I had to use for this post!
I mean come on, don't you want to take parenting advice from that girl?!
Looks like she's got it all under control right?

Something happened when I brought Luke home,
people started asking for my parenting advice.
I have no idea why.
Lord knows that every day was a struggle.
Maybe they figured that I wouldn't keep having babies if I hadn't discovered some secret.
Since then it has become one of my greatest joys, to help out another mom when she is feeling
overwhelmed or out of ideas.

So here it is; a few things I've learned about parenting:

1.  You and your spouse are best suited to parent your children.  God will speak to you directly about your kids.  Now He may use a good book, a good friend or a good blog but He will never speak to me about how you should raise your kids.  So listen for Him...and ask Him.  
"...You do not have because you do not ask."  
James 4:2

2.  I heard be consistent so much it made me want to puke.  Well if you are consistently doing something that isn't working then you really aren't doing anything but frustrating yourself!  (Don't ask how I know these things)  The best advise I heard was be consistent in your boundaries but vary your consequences.  Now don't get all legalistic on me.  Some things will require the same kind of correction but most things don't.  Make sure your kids know what you expect but don't let them start to expect the correction so much that they are actually controlling you with it.  Mix it up.  Sometimes give them a chore, make them hold their siblings hands, clean their room, do jumping jacks, get down on one knee and admit their undying love for each other.  Have fun with it.  

3.  Don't try to parent your kids all the same.  They are not the same kids.  They require slightly different parenting.  Don't feel badly about giving 2 different consequences for the same action.  Your job is to parent the heart.  Your kids don't all have the same heart motives.  (this would be an excellent time to pray for discernment)  And nowhere does it say you must be fair.  You are not helping them by teaching them that life is always fair...cause it ain't.  (It does say not to exasperate your children.  So please don't misunderstand me.  I am not talking about favoritism)

4.  Give yourself some grace.  You are going to mess up...a lot!  It's OK.  It is actually the perfect time to demonstrate grace.  Go to your children and apologize and ask for their forgiveness.  It is so much easier for me personally to follow a humble leader that admits their faults and seeks forgiveness...same for our kids.  New mercies guys!

5.  Take a deep breath, dust off that Bible and read.  It will change your parenting more than any other book, blog or friend.  Being made more like Christ is the very best parenting advice I can give.  

I am praying for each of you reading this that God will speak a fresh word to you today, one that will bring you closer to Him and closer to your kids.

Happy parenting guys,

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Beth, I wish I could be the mom you are. And, how old am I? Old enough to be your mother, and you still are such an encouragement to all other parents out there. We are blessed by you and your daily walk each day! I just love to read your posts, most of which make me smile. May God bless you and your family thru the thick and thin!! Judi Leake