Recently I wrote a post about five life-changing statements. You can read it here. I am going to continue this series with five ideas in different areas of my life. Today I want to talk about parenting.
A few of these statements are probably statements you have heard. One may consider these proverbs because they have been shared for generations. Some of these I heeded. Others of these I learned the hard way. If you are a young parent or desire to be a parent, take these to heart.
They Grow Up Fast
We say this in different ways for different situations. We talk about how time flies but rarely do we live our life with intentionality knowing that children are only young for a season. This lesson is something I heard but did not take seriously enough. Knowing what I know now, I would have slowed the speed of my own life so that I could enjoy the speed of theirs.
Tell Your Dad
I was in a tough spot in my early twenties, and I needed someone to help. I had a legal issue, and it was going to take some money to fix. We had a family friend who was probably in his 70’s at the time. He was the mayor of a town where my dad used to pastor, and he was relatively wealthy. I went to him and asked for help. He asked me if I had told my dad. I had not. First, I was embarrassed. Second, I didn’t think my dad could help financially. He told me to tell my dad, and if he couldn’t help, then come back and see him, and he would assist. He said no one loves me more than my dad, and I should always go to him first. I did tell my dad. We cried together. He asked me why I didn’t come earlier. Then he found a way to help me. I have never forgotten that. Your dad will turn the world upside down to fix your problems.
Teach Them While They Are Young
There is a lot of science about how much children learn early and how learning slows as they get older. As a parent, there are some things I went about with intention. There are some other things I wished I had done with more intention. They are learning from us every day. As parents, we are the number one influence they have. If they are going to learn from us anyway, wouldn’t it be wise to be intentional and make sure they learn what we want them to learn?
This Hurts Me More Than It Does You
I heard this first when I was getting a spanking (no emails, please). But I learned that corporal punishment did not have to be involved for this to be the case. If we take a toy, not only do we have to hear the whining, we also lose the distraction they had, and we have to pay more attention. As they get older, it becomes even more painful. We take their car, and then we have to deliver them to school and practice and events. It then becomes a burden for us too. I see this most often with screens now. I am going to take your iPad or tablet. Then we lose that built-in babysitter, and we give in because we do not like the pain either. Discipline is difficult for the parent and the child.
Equal Is Not Best
For some reason, we believe the myth that to be fair, we have to be equal. Equal is a terrible way to parent. Appropriate is a much better method. We want them to have the same things, do the same things, and go to the same places. What I have learned over the years is that God created each of us as individuals. What is the best path for one person may not be the best path for another one. One child may need to focus on sports while the other focuses on music. Equal means they both have to do it all or none or just one. For children to thrive, parents must treat them appropriately, not equally. Equal is a poor measure of fairness.
I have a lot more parenting statements. Some I managed to apply. Others, not so much. What are some of your favorite parenting statements?
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