The Toughness of Parenting
When it seems like things are awry and you can’t seem to get it together as a parent, there are some things you can do. Instead of listening to big or little people voices telling you how poorly you’re doing as a parent, listen to facts instead.
No parent, no matter how hard he tries, can be all things to his kids all the time. In their small, immature minds, kids ask for things and expect things that we can’t completely fulfill. They want life to be fair; they want to be free of responsibility; and they want to be able to express themselves without care of being respectful. It’s their human nature – which they inherited from their parents. At times, their expectations can be ridiculous, their wants out of budget, and their opinions devoid of rationality. Those are the times when it is hard to find truth in situations.
The Rationale of Parenting
There are some things we can – and should – do when our kids have complaints about our parenting. They are not as easy as 1, 2, 3, but they are doable.
- Hear the complaints with an open mind. Sit back and consider the child and the complaint. Is there a nugget of truth there? Recognize the truth and be willing to concede where you have been negligent.
- Measure whether your approach is working. Consider the desired outcome you expect in the parenting decisions you have made. Is the outcome attainable, and is it working? If it is attainable, don’t give up; keep plugging away. If it’s not working, consider a different approach.
- Ask advice of other parents, especially those whose children exhibit the character qualities you want to see in your own offspring. Remember that what works with one child’s temperament is not guaranteed to work with every temperament. Don’t be afraid to try the advice of seasoned parents; it just might work with your child.
- Recognize the things that you are doing right and keep doing them! List them! One day I commiserated with a friend about the difficulty we were having with an elementary-age child at home. Yet when we attended PTA, the teacher had only glowing reports of this child’s care for other students, assistance in the classroom, and cheerfulness all the day long! I asked the teacher, “Are we talking about the same child I have living in my home?!” My friend said to me, “When your kids behave so well away from home, then know that you are doing some things right. You are not a failure.”
The Endurance of Parenting
It’s easy to look around us and think other parents have it together. We think no other parents struggle like we do. Guaranteed, that’s not true. Stop comparing your family with other families! Instead, take these three steps:
- Focus on the things you are doing right
- Bone up on improving the areas in which you lack
- Above everything else, ask God for wisdom. When we are truly sincere and ask in faith, He will come through.
Guaranteed. Ask me how I know!