No matter what stage you are in your parenting, there is always something new to learn. Often, because our children do not come with a manual, we feel we are just winging it anyway. Then when we look at other parents who seem to have it all together with well behaved, presentable children, we feel we do not measure up. This thinking is not only unfair to us, but it is also not true.

I am at the stage of my parenting where my children are now young adults. They are in their early twenties and watching them grow up, if I can be transparent, I winged it a lot. I leaned on my church, other parents, my parents, books, tv programs to help give me a clue on how to raise my two children. The advice, like my sources came in all type of ways, some helpful, some not so much. It was not until I came to terms with some basic truths about parenting that I began to feel like I was worthy to parent in the first place.

The other thing that I discovered in my career of coaching parents is that there are just somethings we do not know. Through many conversations, I realize there are some general and important things every parent should know, and I found it beneficial to the parents I serve. Allow me to share these things with you here. Parenting Is Not Personal Dare I start off with this audacity to say parenting is not personal. Years ago, if you would have
said this to me, I would have tried hard not to laugh…in your face. Parenting is not easy and at some points of on my journey, I am sure my children were ungrateful, apathetic and ignorant to the love and sacrifice I was dishing out. After all, my children had no idea what it cost me to give them what they needed. Does this sound familiar?

What about the food, you slaved over to make, that they refused to eat, simply because they did not “like it?” Or the times when you were worried sick because they stayed out later than you expected, and you had not heard a single peep from them. Or let’s grow them up a little. When your young adult is doing everything opposite of the values you instilled in them or tried to teach them along the way. How is any of this NOT personal. I get it and I understand how you may feel like it is. Again, years back, I would have been right there with you. However, it’s not long before we realize that our children, each of them, are individuals, with their own personalities and identities. Even identical twins are two different people. We can prove this by looking at our own lives. There were some decisions you made based off your parent’s influence, but there were others you made opposite of that. Ultimately, you still were in control of your choices. If you could flash back on your youth, and you were
honest, some of your decisions had nothing to do with your parents. In some cases, you just liked and wanted what you wanted. Other cases, you were curious and just wanted to see what would happen.

 

Parenting Is Not Personal

Dare I start off with this audacity to say parenting is not personal. Years ago, if you would have said this to me, I would have tried hard not to laugh…in your face. Parenting is not easy and at some points of on my journey, I am sure my children were ungrateful, apathetic and ignorant to the love and sacrifice I was dishing out. After all, my children had no idea what it cost me to give them what they needed. Does this sound familiar?

What about the food, you slaved over to make, that they refused to eat, simply because they did not “like it?” Or the times when you were worried sick because they stayed out later than you expected, and you had not heard a single peep from them. Or let’s grow them up a little. When your young adult is doing everything opposite of the values you instilled in them or tried to teach them along the way. How is any of this NOT personal. I get it and I understand how you may feel like it is. Again, years back, I would have been right there with you. However, it’s not long before we realize that our children, each of them, are individuals, with their own personalities and identities. Even identical twins are two different people. We can prove this by looking at our own lives. There were some decisions you made based off your parent’s influence, but there were others you made opposite of that. Ultimately, you still were in control of your choices. If you could flash back on your youth, and you were honest, some of your decisions had nothing to do with your parents. In some cases, you just liked and wanted what you wanted. Other cases, you were curious and just wanted to see what would happen.

Parenting is not personal because it is about establishing meaning and purpose as it relates to our children’s lives. We are put here to help our children find their own personal meaning and purpose in their lives. The way they choose to do that is up to them. We get to be the guide, the support and in a perfect world…the voice of reason.

 

Parenting Is an Investment

For all my financial gurus this one is for you…and for the rest of us. Parenting is an investment. Naturally, when this term is used it is associated with money and rightfully so. However, in the context of parenting, it is giving your words, commitments, finances, emotions, relationship skills and spiritual habits with the expectation of a greater benefit in the future.

What is the greater benefit? It is ultimately helping your child find meaning, purpose and value in who they were created to be. Our job is to recognize the gifts, weaknesses and strengths in our children and use this as a guide to help our children survive and thrive in society. It goes a step further.

The greater benefit is to produce well-rounded individuals that affect the generations to come in positive ways also. See, the truth is, we are not just parenting for now or just for our children’s lifetime but for lifetimes, generations, to come.

 

Parenting Is A God Assignment

Ok, this one is going to tap into your faith. Not the random definitions we define as faith, but the original version. The substance of things hoped for. (Hebrews 11:1). I want to be clear here because we live in a world where we love to redefine and change things. In doing so, we lose original meanings of standards, morals, values and the like. Simply, we are calling faith, anything that comes to life because you hoped for it first.

In faith, in the places we cannot see, there is an original plan and purpose for parenting. Man and woman did not make parenting. It was created by God. Consider this, parenting, is an impossible job. Yet, many of us have been called to do it. We had no idea what it would mean to be our child’s parent. Even when we had multiple children, we had clues, but we still had to learn the personality and the path of each child separately. How would we ever have the strength to complete an impossible task.

God the father intended to help us by causing us to look to Him for help. I know parents who never learned to pray until they had children. God wants to use parents to help children learn how to come to Him, to love Him and to live for His Glory. God uses parenting to show us what love and sacrifice truly look like. The beauty here
is, since parenting is part of God’s plan, He does not expect you to be fully equipped for the task, but wiling and able for the assignment.

My experience and in the transformation I have seen in the parents I have coached is that God
meets us at our weak points, changes us, works on our hearts and we in turn pour what we
learned from our Heavenly Father into our children. A foundation is laid and the cycle repeats.

Be sure to check out the sister article, The Truth About Parenting for further encouragement.

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