There are very few things in parenting where numerical benchmarks are useful. Instead, we should ask, “What characteristics does my child need to show in order to get a cell phone?” This gives our kids something to grow into rather than passively waiting for that magic number. We know we are responsible for their moral character and development, ultimately teaching and modeling the gospel.
As hard as we try, it is impossible to be a perfect parent. We are going to sin against our children in some way. We are continuing to grow and mature as we raise them, and they will see our weaknesses and our sin. We can rest in the fact that God has forgiven our sins, and we humbly ask for forgiveness from our children for the ways we have let them down.
Even a careless word spoken in anger can do horrible damage to your child. Watch your words when you are angry, and if you are upset, give yourself some time to simmer down before starting a conversation on the same topic.
This summer, I am making it a point to say yes more often. Yes, to fun. Yes, to time together. Yes, to spontaneity. Yes, to crazy, out of the normal ideas. Yes, I know the sound of that may not sound fun if you are an initial "no" person like me. But, when we strive to bond with our children and cultivate simple joy, it starts by saying yes!
As an adult, I've struggled with anxiety, all the while hoping and praying my kids would be spared the same struggle. Unfortunately, it seems anxiety is something my kids have begun to experience. Thankfully, my personal battle has given me eyes to see the difficulty they are facing. When I think back to my childhood, I had similar struggles that I observe in my own children, but no one was able to identify this as anxiety. Research has shown that children of a parent with an anxiety disorder have a 33 percent higher chance of having it themselves.Anxiety can feel like a beast that is daunting to defeat, but the good news is it is possible to overcome the sensations that flood our minds and bodies when anxiety hits. We can help our children by teaching them strategies that lead to a more peaceful mind and body. It's our job to walk alongside them as they learn to understand how their minds and bodies work.Here are a few tips to help you calm your anxious child:
What if your dad is leaving you a little bewildered, and you want to do something truly different this year, but you can't seem to conjure up any new or unique ideas? Well, not to fret; I've gotcha covered! First, tap into what makes your dad tick. What does he enjoy or like to do in his spare time? Is he a golfer? Does he love boats? Maybe he likes to explore and step out in nature.
Nobody feels cool in middle school - not even the self-proclaimed orassumedcool kid crowd. It's one of the times in our lives when everything changes at once. The time we need to be reminded of what doesn't change.
The most important thing you can do is to be an example to your children. How can we expect them to give freely if they don't see you giving?Just as we are to be Christ's example in every area of our lives, we can also be a good example through our giving. Although it takes faith to tithe, especially when money is tight, it demonstrates that God is a good God that provides for his children.
Hearing my mother be vulnerable with me about the state of our finances was comforting. I couldn't do anything to change the situation. However, I'm glad they were able to share their struggles with me. Because I knew they were struggling, it made it easy for me not to ask them for anything frivolous as they could not afford it.
The afternoon our senior-in-high-school son announced, “I’m applying to San Angelo State University’s in ROTC so I can become a fighter pilot,” sticks in my heart like a hive of turbulent bees. Part of me was proud, but most of me was scared spitless.“Why Angelo State?” his step-father asked. My son was quick to reply, “They have been in the top honor flights in the nation for the past five years. It’s a smaller school with the same number of flight drops.” Apparently, he had spent a great deal of time planning and thinking—more than we gave him credit for doing. But I’ve spent a number of years since that moment with one ear tuned to the tube, the other to the telephone, and a great deal of time on my knees. All these years later prove, with prayer and God’s approval, dreams can be fulfilled.So, what’s a parent to do when their child seeks a career we would never have chosen for them?
You might want to give up on God. You might want to give up on life. But God’s grace is available. Grab it and hold on tight. His grace never runs dry. It has no limits. Today, tomorrow, and forever, His grace is sufficient for us. That means it is always enough.