Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Seasons of parenting

The weather has cooled off, and last night I was enjoying the smell of fallen leaves. Today, I have a different reason to be grateful for the cool weather—I left the groceries in the car when I got home today. Two hours later, the ice cream was still okay.

Parenting has its seasons, too. Maybe that gives us time to “chill out.”

I recently read a note from one mother who was concerned that the Terrible Two’s never ended, but became the Terrible Three’s and Four’s. I remember observing our girls and asking myself, “Is that a stage of life or a character flaw?”

Universally, women discuss their children. One complains about her two year old. Another says, “Wait ‘til they start school.” Yet another adds, “Wait ‘til they’re teenagers.” A grandmother in the group sniffs and says, “Wait ‘til they’re forty.”

At every age, even as adults, we test the limits. It is our character training and grace of God that keep us in line.

One of my goals was—and is—to enjoy my children at every age. If I didn’t enjoy being around my children, I figured other people wouldn’t find them enjoyable either. Sometimes, I’d see a child trying out a naughty behavior, and I heard myself thinking, “Isn’t that cute?” I trained myself to also think, “How cute would this behavior be with my teenager?” That kept me motivated to correct the children when they were young.

May your season of parenting be enjoyable. God bless...

Millie McNabb, BA, BMus

Strategies and support for parents who are intentionally raising children to become Christian adults.

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