Parenting Styles

I read this article off of the bulletin at my church and I just thought it was such a good read I wanted to share. It discusses parenting techniques and brings up the question of what kind of parent you are. It seems straight to the point, but sometimes things just need to be so clear and straightforward for us to fully understand and just take it in. When I read this, it reminded me of some of the information we got when we went through our Parent/Child Dedication in May. It is great to keep feeding our minds and souls with knowledge that helps push us to be the parents we desire.

The following was written by Walt Mueller in an article called Prioritizing Faith:

Research identified three approaches to parenting.

Parenting by Default

This is the path of least resistance. In this approach, parents do whatever comes naturally as influenced by cultural norms and traditions. The objective is to keep everyone happy without allowing parenting to dominate other aspects of their parents life.

Trial and Error Parenting

Parents see themselves as amateurs, believe that there are no guidelines to follow, and you just set out to do your best. Atleast you gave it your best right? 😏

Revolutionary Parenting

This is the least common approach, and these parents take God’s word on life and family at face value, and apply those words faithfully and consistently. This results in deep and real faith-based transformation in the lives of children.

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock” Matthew 7:24

Parents how are you parenting?

Did that make you think of your parenting style? I have to admit I have caught myself living in trial and error parenting throughout my journey. Especially the first 4 months with every child I feel like it’s completely trial and error. With learning the babies schedule, moods, sleep patterns all for it to change every 3 months the first year.

My first year of parenting was with a special needs child with everything being strategically done. Heavily scheduled and hard core to do list. The list of medications and alarms for “services” to be done went on and on. So, with me each child that I’ve had I’ve had to tone it down a bit. Each child has taught me to be relaxed, take it easy, get loose with parenting. It took me three years to let go of the “schedule” concept. I lived strictly off of schedules then literally one day I woke up and realized who cares if they are late for their naps by 10 minutes. My husband and I got in so many little tidbits because the first two years I fought over following the schedule to a T, then I switched on him out of no where and he was like ughhhhh arent we supposed to be doing this, or this. Then he was like all these years I’ve been attacked almost instantly for this and now you’re completely flipping the script on me. Quite confusing right? {

I just realized though that I put my focus on all the wrong things. Yes I want structure, I want my kid to feel secured based off of routine, love, trust, stability, etc. but most importantly I do want my children to know and love God.

In a book I read over the summer, “A Mom after a God’s Own Heart: 10 ways to love your child by Elizabeth George, she speaks on this topic with such devotion and motovation that it inspires you to want to be better. To set up to be a parent that leads your child towards a life filled with love and devotion to God. If. you want to read further on ways I have been moved to motivate mothers to raise up her parenting skills. 

She asks almost the same thought provoking question:

What do you consider to be the target of all that you do for your kids? What is the purpose and aim of your parenting? Take a look at your life and your priorities. What are you intent on teaching your children? How to tie their shoelaces? Tehchniques in brishing and flossing? Good manners? How to catch, kick, or hit a ball? How to make an A? How to play an instrument? Respect for others and for property? The most could go on and on. But as good and as necessary as these issues and activities are in your kids’ lives, what you must be asking your heart is, Am I making sure I tell them about Jesus?

The good news is, if this isn’t our thinking, we can change it!!! We always have time to influence our child, the sooner the better. More good news—> it’s never too late!! Start now, commit and succeed at it!! That’s what I’m always saying. I loved reading this book over the summer because Elizabeth explains it in a way that even if you haven’t done this and your kids are grown, we always have time and a chance to start. There’s always time to find ways to lead your children.

I have begun to be that mom that doesn’t take success in all the things I’ve checked off of my list. Okay wait I said that wrong, of course I do!! I wrote achieved by the things I do, what I’m trying to say is that I don’t get bummed out and beat myself up anymore over the things that I didn’t get done that day. If my house is dirty, I’m not losing sleep over it anymore. If the dishes didn’t get done and I fell asleep upstairs with the kids when I was putting them to bed, I’m not jumping out of bed anymore to rush and get them done. I’m starting to beat my anxieties of mommy guilt and I know you can too!! With one simple thought concept that just brings everything into perspective:

“Today, if I don’t get anything else done, I must teach my children about my Lord Jesus.” – Elizabeth George.

IMG_8875

I wrote this down to remind me of it every day. So I don’t fret over all those other parent worries and concerns. Don’t get me wrong I’ll alway worrry about my kids; Are they handling situations correctly, being kind, putting others above themselves, making good choices, thinking first, do they feel loved enough, am I setting them up for success etc etc etc etc. You know that list that tends to go on and on.

Lately, I have been reading statements from moms who recently had a child pass due to the teen suicide epidemic. Moms that believed they were doing everything right. They are 100% relatable woman, with every word being something I understand and completely agree with. It sends me into the “over-thinker Mommy abyss”. Thinking of ways to teach them coping strategies, working through obstacles, and raising resilient kids.

Truth is, it doesn’t matter how much I pour into them if they don’t know God, they are going to have all kinds of vices, people and other places to try and find their acceptance, and love from. I can’t control their choices they want to make, but I can pray that God stays present and help them learn how to listen for His voice, and to trust the Holy Spirits guidance.

Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6

I hope this brings motivation and some peace in knowing that it’s okay if you have a long list of to dos. If you have said one thing today about God/ Jesus to your child today that helps them grow in their relationship, well done good and faithful servant! WELL DONE!

Now, let’s ignore all those negative voices, distractions, and unimportant objectives. Take a new AIM that points your children towards God and give yourself a pat on the back. Everything else will fall in place at the right time.

Faithful parenting is challenging work, but it is truly a “labor of love” and certainly a choice that reaps the greatest blessings of all to a parents heart.

Connect with Ateam by sharing your thoughts