Oct 16, 2011

A parenting lesson.....the hard way.

As a single mom I have always felt the need to be both mom and dad.It's hard to be one parent much less two at the same time. I never wanted either of my girls to struggle the way I have had to over the years. I had strict boundaries, hard accountability and at times you could say pushed too hard in areas of their lives that really could have used a little more slack and growing room. I was never hateful to my children, just stern. Of course I feel sure if you ask my girls they would tell you at times mom looked like the big eyed monster ready to pounce. What I could never show them was my fear of them making similar mistakes I had made at their age. I realize we all make mistakes in our growing process, but I wanted so much better for my girls, there were times I was too hard. Out of my need to protect them I was controlling their every move. I can remember my mom telling me not to be as hard on my girls as she was on me as it could do the opposite and cause rebellion.Had I actually told my girls my fears and showed them my human side the anger I would cause sometimes could have been avoided. I have been blessed with two great children. They both are athletes and take pride in themselves.However there were times when I would make such a mountain out of a mole hill and the strife in my house hold was unbearable. A friend once told me I needed to pick my battles,choose the ones that really would make an impact on their lives and not to sweat the small stuff. I let that go in on ear and out the other and continued on the same "It's my way or the highway" parenting tactic.All teenagers dream of the day of being on their own, to make their own rules and boundaries. After all we did the same thing and that is why as parents we sometimes pull the reins in to tight. I had someone tell me one time when my oldest was a senior in high school (and I thought she was flapping her little wings just a tad bit too hard in the nest,) "Honey if you pull those reins too tight, she will jump that fence" That got my attention. I had to take a hard look in the mirror and realize her time was coming to leave the nest and if I continued to hold too tight she would not fly, but fall.
She was angry with me because she was growing up and momma was holding her back. Please understand I strongly believe in boundaries and accountability,but I was also doing something God tells us not to do.

Ephesians 6:4 "And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

When we are flapping our wings to fly, does our daddy God pounce on us? Does he provoke us to anger in his discipline?  So as my second child is on the brink of spreading her little wings, and I watch her start to flapping and getting prepared to leave the nest, I remember my mistakes with my first born ( my apologies to you honey) and apply God's word to every situation with my baby girl. I still make my mistakes as we all do, however I have had to learn the hard way when to press hard, when to sit back and when to just take her hand and walk her through this growing process in a whispering manner. After all words that are whispered and not yelled are the ones that stay in the heart. And as parents we want to be our children's safe place, not a place they run from............
On the flip side, children are to honor their mothers and fathers. Colossians 3:20 " Children , obey your parents in all things,for this is well pleasing to the Lord." When we all follow God's instructions we leave no room for the enemy to come in and cause strife and division in our families. For all my "mom" mistakes, my hard knocks along the way, and feeling as though nothing I do makes an impact on my children, I have learned that to discipline with Godly love, instead of turning into the big eyed monster, me and my girls leave no room for the enemy to come in and divide our household. Instead we learn together and we reap a harvest of God's blessings!

Much love,

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