I’m baffled! For many years now I have seen an alarming trend in parents to “not parent” their children. I’m not sure where this is coming from. Is it the fact that we now live in an amoral society and morals and values don’t have a constant meaning? Kinda of like a “You have your morals, I have mine” kind of mentality? Or is it that a parent who got bad parenting doesn’t know how to parent? Maybe it is that we just want to be “friends” with our children and make sure they like us so we “let things go”. I could go on and on with a lot more reasons that I think but suffice it to say that many parents just don’t know how to “parent” their children.
So, I’ve been pondering on this today and, really, many other days before this one and here’s a little advice from someone who has raised her own children (along with my husband, of course) and who has helped to shape and mold many hundreds of children in the last 20 years of working in childcare.
Children need guidance! Children need discipline! Children need someone to tell them right from wrong! Children need someone to teach them. Children need someone to love them SO MUCH that they will do whatever it takes to help them to learn how to be a great person. Because, really, what is it that we want from our offspring? We want them to love and be loved. To be respected by others, to be able to self-regulate themselves. We want them to have compassion and wisdom and empathy for others. We want them to be confident and likable. Again, I could go on and on but you get the picture. The question is “How do we as parents help our children achieve these attainable goals”?
And here is the answer. We, as parent, must guide, direct, love, challenge, discipline, correct, lead and help them. That is the ONLY way that they will be the kind of adults that someone wants to call their friend.
If I had a friend that hit me all the time, I would discontinue our friendship. (And maybe have them arrested.) If I had a friend who constantly interrupted me when we talk, I would cease talking to them. If I had a friend who talked about me behind my back while smiling at my face, I would not be their friend.
Parents, do you want your children to be like a good friend? Do you want them to thrive and excel? I know the answer is YES! Then my question to you is “Why don’t you do those things that will help your child achieve this goal”? What is preventing you from being the parent that you need to be? Fear? Boredom? Busyness? Maybe you just plain don’t know how to do it?
Mom and Dad, if this is you. I encourage you to get moving. Read some books on the subject. Ask a trusted friend. Get counseling. Seek out someone you trust to help you. Children do not come with a manual on how to raise them. (I wish they had.) But God did give us some great older parents that we can look to and ask for advice. They are out there, willing to give you some help if you just ask.
My door is always open to help you navigate this tricky road called parenthood.
I may not know all the answers but I do know who and where to ask for help if we can’t find the answer together. I hope you’ll knock on my door soon if you are struggling. I would love to help you in any way that I can.
So maybe soon I’ll hear, "Knock, knock."
And I will be glad to answer