While we’re on the subject of parenting, I thought I would link to Seven Observations for Parents, a very good article by Michael Spencer, who, prior to his cancer diagnosis, taught Advanced English and Bible at a private Baptist boarding high school and was a part time preacher. He’s also the father of adult children.) The anxieties and urgencies parents feel today are very deep. Maybe some of these thoughts will help. (Incidently, pray for the Spencers. Michael has suddenly developed very serious cancer.)
Here are two of the seven observations, and I urge you to follow the link to read the rest. I think you’ll be encouraged in your parenting.:
1. You want to produce a happy, healthy, productive, well-balanced human being. If, in your urgency to produce a religious child, you produce a distorted child, you’ve not been a good parent. The end doesn’t justify the means in Christian parenting.
Sometimes I hear things Christian parents do (hot sauce on the tongue was the last one) and I have to wonder at what point we gave ourselves permission to think like this. We aren’t training dogs here. It’s a whole different matter. This is someone made in God’s image. There are no buttons and levers.
3. Show up, be there, be present, don’t leave, be predictable, be stable, be a presence. That’s not all of parenting, but it’s a lot. All kinds of people turned out really well, not because they were raised by little parenting geniuses, but because they were raised by people who were THERE in their lives. They came home. They made breakfast. They put them in bed. They didn’t chase their own hobbies and dreams at the expense of their kids. They were just there, for the kids, on schedule, like rocks and mountains. They came up like the sun every morning. They may not have been interesting or overly gifted. They may have not been creative. They may have made thousands of mistakes, but they were THERE.
That is huge, people.