March 30, 2009

Introduction to Priority Parenting

It’s heart warming for me to play a supportive role in the lives of our daughter and son-in-law as they parent our granddaughter. Benj and Mary are a unique team! They work together very well, which brings a lot of security to Julia’s life. Their preparation for parenting started long before Julia was born. I would venture to say even before she was conceived. The thing that I admire about them is that they have prepared with purpose. They are submitted to the Lord and His purposes. They continue to look for resources to help them be the very best parents they can be. Some of us fail to plan at all for the most important aspects of our lives. I remember when Tim and I were young (wait a minute, we are still young!) and newly married. We wanted children right away. We both wanted a large family and had agreed on having twelve children. It took me a long eleven months to conceive, but finally Rebekah, our first bundle arrived. Eighteen months later, Rachel came along; twenty two months after Rachel, Bethany; and lastly, nineteen months after Bethany, Mary, our youngest, was born. Due to health complications, I was only able to carry four children. Our reproduction endeavor turned out to be a sprint rather than a marathon. We had an overall plan back then, but had never really thought about the purpose in it, except that we knew we believed in procreation. Needless to say, we chose the crash course in parenting unlike Benj and Mary.
We all have days when we feel like we are good parents, and others when we feel that we have failed miserably and are convinced that we are the worst parent in the world. This is normal! There are no perfect parents! The hard days in our roles as parents can be like surfing a wave “we can let it overwhelm us or let it lift us and carry us. It’s important to allow ourselves to be challenged to become better parents. It’s never beneficial to give in to self-defeating thoughts that tend to cripple and discourage.
Due to some of the questions that have come up lately in conversations with parents of younger children, I’m going to spend the next few posts sharing some parenting philosophies that Tim and I have learned through the years. In introducing these articles, want to note that there are several approaches to parenting. There is the “how to” approach and the “why” approach. I will focus on the “why” approach because, if parents understands the goals of parenting, they will be better prepared to apply the information that is available to them. There are also the psychological approach and the biblical approach. I will focus primarily on God’s design for the family and the biblical philosophy regarding children and their make up. Whether you are a Christian or not, the principles we will cover will be beneficial to you as you consider your overall approach to parenting your child. Keep in mind that these posts are only overviews. They will only address the high points. If there is any particular concept you would like further information about, you may email me. To be continued…Grace-Works