Parenting is difficult! It is not always fun and it is just plain hard! I see so many power struggles with kids and parents today. Parents are at their wits end trying to get their kids to get their rooms clean, homework done, not to talk back and more. In addition to that many moms or dads also often lay awake at night thinking they are failing the task.
Parents today face a few different challenges than I did as a young Mom, but I also feel qualified to lend my advice on a few common struggles since my daughter is now 23 and we have survived a few things! We have been through tantrums, girl drama, door slamming, clothing arguments, screaming matches I am not proud of, boy arguments, curfew talks, time outs, grounding and more. I have wanted to seriously just light a match to my house when I was overwhelmed with the mess. But, we made it. I did a few things right……I did a lot wrong, but thanks to God’s grace I can say I am so very proud of the wonderful woman my daughter has become and I am thankful that I had a few wise women who were older than me to offer me advice when I needed it. I have seen a few things lately that I wanted to address in this blog. These are all things I at one time struggled with, but thankfully there was a wise older mom I knew who made sure I was reminded of these truths. I hope they help you as you walk your parenting road:
Don’t be their “Friend”
I see so many parents that are simply afraid to parent their kids. They are too worried about their child not being happy or not liking them. They want to be their kids friend. God did not place you in charge of your little human to be their friend. That gets to happen later. I am now in that phase and it’s awesome, but right now God is entrusting you to LOVE your child enough to be his or her parent, not friend. If they don’t like you, I promise it will pass when they get hungry or they want something. Stay the course. Know that their anger will pass. Remind them of your love for them even if they are angry at you. As you correct them focus on your displeasure of their action, not your displeasure of them personally.
If your child says they do not like you, let them know that you are sorry to hear that (in a calm voice), but that you still love them, but your decision stands. Be strong!
“ because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.” Proverbs 3:12
Be in Charge
You are in charge, so act like it! Kids need boundaries and God is counting on you to draw the boundary lines for your kids. Are you asking your child if they want to take a bath or shower? Wrong! Are part of your daily expectations that they take a bath or shower each day? Then try saying: “Would you like to take your shower at 7:30 or 8:00 tonight? You are helping them learn to make choices but within your expectations.
Are you asking your child if they want to go to church? Why are you asking them? It’s not a choice that should be theirs when they are young. Are they driving? Nope. Is it your desire to go to church on a more consistent basis? Then make church a priority if that is your desire and your kids will follow. Be the spiritual leader. Model the behavior you want them to have when they are grown.
“Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6
Encourage your kids to own up to mistakes. We all make them. It is okay. We are all sinners and we live in a fallen world. Often parents are unwilling to admit their child made a mistake. I think that sometimes when parents hear their child has misbehaved or done something wrong that they take it as a personal attack on their parenting. Encourage your kids to own up to their mistakes. Stand up for them when you truly need to, but don’t make excuses for them. Demonstrate love and forgiveness for them but also hold them accountable for their actions. Don’t take it personal when your child misbehaves. Do what you can to offer correction to them to put them back on the right path.
“ Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy. Proverbs 28:13