I have a big problem with beating myself up over little things. So I’m writing this to any of you who struggle with the same thing. Like I said in a previous post, we are INUNDATED with other peoples views, opinions, and perspectives. EVERYONE thinks they are right about everything and know what’s best for everyone. Not only are we subject to it when we are in person interacting with others but now we have email, facebook, blogs, tv, and the whole rest of the Internet to tell us “If you aren’t doing it THIS way, you’re wrong.”
I am very sensitive to thinking people look at me and wonder “what the heck is she doing with those kids!” What I’m doing, is trying my best to raise them in the way I feel God wants me to. And it’s definitely been (and still is) trial and error, process of eliminating this or that, and finding what feels right in God’s eyes.
So in regards to children:
We are all going to raise them differently. And we should, because each child is different and each parent is different. There isn’t one single method out there that would work for every single parent on the planet. There are all kinds of books on the subject of child rearing and I’ve read a few myself and incorporated things I’ve learned from them. But I firmly believe the one ultimate source we should all resort to for information on ANY topic is the Bible. And looking at how God instructs us to train up our children.
Example: Spanking might work for one parent and one child but then might be completely counterproductive for another. Some kids need a little switch on the hand or hiney here and there but some just need to be stuck in a corner for time out. But the parent can decide what is best and doesn’t need someone else telling them how they should raise their child or have someone looking down at them for the way they choose. It’s really frustrating when you constantly have people expressing their opinions, and maybe not intentionally, but end up making you feel guilty for how you believe your child needs to be raised. Proverbs 29:15 Correct your children and they will be wise; children out of control disgrace their mothers. (CEV) The KJV refers to using “the rod” as a method of correction. But ultimately I think God just calls us to love and discipline our children and not allow them to just run all over us and every other authority. So once you have figured out how God has designed and wired your child and you decide what works for you, be confident in your decision. If you are seeking God’s will for your child, there is no reason you should ever doubt your parenting.
Another thing, mothers out there who either can not or choose not to breast feed wont hear the end of it and how it’s so horrible to give your baby formula. If breast feeding works for you and your baby that’s wonderful, but if it doesn’t don’t allow anyone to guilt trip you over it. I have recently seen some really ridiculous opinions on this topic that I think can really hurt those moms out there that do not breast feed. That’s why I wish people would just keep those kinds of opinions to themselves. I know we have freedom of speech and what not but sometimes I wonder “And what was the point of you sharing that?” And this isn’t in reference to an article. Because I think there are great writers out there that can WRITE things with references to back the argument or opinion up so that people can on their OWN research things to decide what is best for them. And then hopefully keep it to themselves, lol.
There are so many things that myself and others I know feel guilty about these days when it comes to our children. It’s like if you don’t send your babies to swim school, or dance class, or pre k, you are depriving them of LIFE. I think people these days put too much emphasis on the activities their kids do to define THEM as parents and then they completely MISS whats really important. Even Christians can be guilty of their particular perspective. You know like if you don’t home school or do Christian private your sending your kids out to the wolves, hope they survive! And once again, I have no problem with either of those options. I attended private, home school, and public. And if I had it my way and knew I could successfully do it, I would more than likely home school my children. But by no means would I ever look down upon someone who chose a different route. Like everything, there are pros and cons to each option.
For me what’s really important all goes back to Biblical principles. I want my kids to know that Jesus Christ is the most important thing in my life and should be in theirs too. And I don’t think playing soccer on Sunday would convey that. I want my kids to know that praying and being in conversation with God is important, and so is spending time in the Word and learning that loving God and loving others is our highest calling. I want my kids to learn that putting others above themselves is important. You can look at society and see that we are overrun with a bunch of selfish kids that think they are entitled to everything. And I want my kids to grow up knowing that what we are called to do is to “Go! and make disciples of ALL nations.” (Matthew 28:19) And for them, that might mean going to their public school.
But the bottom line is, I think WE ALL (myself included because I’m just as GUILTY as anyone else) as parents need to recognize that each of us are going to do things different. And we need to stop judging others and start being confident and certain that we (not “the Jones”) are following the will of God when it comes to raising our children. I think we need to stop trying to push people to conform to our way and strive ourselves to conform to GODS WAY.
Being a follower of Christ is not going to be “cookie cutter”. Neither is marriage, or parenting, or anything for that matter. Except for maybe your cookie cutter neighborhood 😉 and we all know how boring that is. hehe.