this is a page for

Daily Archives: December 6, 2017

5 Universal Truths for Parenting

Parenting…one of life’s great joys! Today’s post is brought to you by a revelation, of sorts, from this morning.

The Love of a Child

Yesterday I received a series of text messages from Little Miss. She was using my mom’s phone and I was stuck in traffic for an extraordinarily unusual amount of time. In the series of text messages, she told me how much she loved me and how glad she was that I was her mom.

I’d be lying if I said it didn’t make me feel awesome.

A Car Moment

This morning, on the way to school, as we were eating our breakfast in the car, she told me she wanted to be just like me when she grew up. I’ve grown accustomed to a high amount of maturity from Little Miss over the years; so much so that it’s sometimes easy to forget she’s only 8. Hearing this statement this morning, it sounded so innocent and childlike that it tugged at my heartstrings.

I asked her why. She said, “Because I love you and you’re awesome and I want to be just like you.”

Take It Seriously

Mamas, our children are listening. They’re watching. What we show them is what they will aspire to do.

As if it isn’t weighty enough to know that raising a child falls squarely on our shoulders as parent, suddenly there’s this realization that, regardless of age, our children will always be our mimics.

That could be a lot of pressure.

Or it could be an opportunity.

We need to take parenting very seriously. We in this vocation are called to be wives first. A huge part of our marriage vows, however, is that we lovingly and willingly accept children into our marriage from the Lord.

“In children we have a great charge committed to us. Let us bestow great care upon them, and do everything that the Evil One may not rob us of them. But now our practice is the reverse of this. We take all care indeed to have our farm in good order, and to commit it to faithful manager…but we do not look out for what is much more important, for a person to whom we may commit our son as the guardian of his morals, though this is a possession much more valuable than all others. It is for him indeed that we take such care of our estate. We take care of our possessions for our children, but of the children themselves we take no care at all. Form the soul of thy son aright, and all the rest will be added hereafter.” ~St. John Chrysostom

Five Universal Truths

I don’t pretend to have all the answers. As I stated, I’m only 8 years into this gig, so I definitely don’t pretend to be an expert, either. But I do think there are some universal truths that we can all apply to our parenting to help us be successful.

  1. Be present. As a child, my parents worked a lot. This meant that sometimes my mom had to take my brother and me to work with her after school. But she was there. My dad was unable to take us to work with him, but even though he was exhausted when he came home, he made time for us. My memories of being with my parents are about fun, and games, and stories. When they were with us, they were really with us. We can be present with our kids in the same way. Yes, life is hectic. And yes, many of us have to reside in dual-working homes. That doesn’t mean that we have to be absent, though. We can carve out time to play: Frisbee in the back yard, dolls on Saturday mornings, game nights on Fridays. We can carve out time to be: cooking together, the commute to school.
  2. Shut up. Look, I know that that sounds harsh, but sometimes we forget that our children are little people. They have ideas and thoughts and opinions. Just like us, they want to share them. Therefore, we should give them that opportunity. Some of my favorite moments are listening to Little Miss. I absolutely adore the way her mind works. The way she sees things astounds me at times. If we listen to our children, we get to know who they are and we might just learn something ourselves, too. For us, these moments happen just after she’s been tucked in, when her mind races and comes alive, asking all the questions she’s stored up during the day. It’s okay to carve out an extra fifteen minutes to listen.
  3. Affection isn’t bad. I know that physical touch is not everyone’s love language. I know that some families are not touchy-feely. And I know that in the midst of stress and turmoil, my Little Miss just needs a hug sometimes. I think back to her as a baby and how I just couldn’t stop kissing her little cheeks. Occasionally, she’ll still want to cuddle with me in our rocker/recliner, and if she happens to fall asleep in my arms, I find that I’m still drawn to kiss those same cheeks. She looks angelic. Physical touch, whether our love language or not, creates endorphins that tell our brain we are loved. You don’t have to do it every second, but I totally recommend being affectionate with your children.
  4. Have standards. It is absolutely okay to have expectations of your children. Kids crave structure. Obviously, you want to make sure your expectations are realistic, but I will tell you, as a former teacher, that structure makes all the difference. Have fun. Have free time that is totally unstructured. But also have routines. Kids find comfort in that.
  5. Be gentle with yourself. Parenting isn’t just about the kids. It isn’t always easy. It’s hard, in fact. An entire human being is entrusted to you: you, a mere mortal. You’re not always going to get things right. Remember that we are given grace upon grace through the love of God and the mercy of Jesus. If Jesus can be merciful to us, the sinners who nailed him to the cross, then you can be merciful to yourself. These are also wonderful teachable moments so that your children don’t beat themselves up when they, too, make mistakes.

Role Models

We are our children’s role models. Let’s make sure we’re modeling something worth repeating.