Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Just Right....Parenting

Proverbs 22:6 Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.

In the story The Three Bears, Goldilocks finds porridge, chairs and beds....too hot, too cold, too big, too soft, too hard....or just right.

Oh, life would be SO much easier if we could skip the too _____ (fill in the blank) and just stay just right! That would work in fantasy land, but in real life?  Not so much. How boring life would be if we were that predictable! ha.  Life is messy. However, we muddle through and we get to our next "just right".

Parenting is hard work...and it is never really over.  I've heard parenting referred to as being pecked to death...by ducks.  We get the highs....but there are a lot of lows.  Times we pray we would have made a better decision on how to handle something as a parent.  Times we pray our kid(s) would make a better choice, but they didn't.

We may grow up and move on, but there is a part of us...small as it may be...that still longs for the love, attention and even approval of our parents.  As we grow up and become parents ourselves, hopefully, we develop a greater appreciation for our parents and their assistance through some of the times we could have made better/different choices while growing up.

For better or worse does not just apply to marriage vows.  For better or worse, we learned to parent from our own parents.  We may have sworn we would do things differently, but I'm guessing there have been times when you've heard your mom or dad's words.....come out of your mouth.  Some parents are too hard.  Some are too soft.  Finding a balance of just right in parenting is harder than it sounds.

My 3 lessons from the 3 bears:

1. Goldilocks entered the bears' house uninvited. I'm finding that as our kids become teenagers that we as parents can feel uninvited....but it is worth it to stick it out and get an invitation into their lives as they learn to move on with their own lives.  Being available when they are ready to talk and have us listen...not come up with all the answers, just listen...helps them be willing to invite us into the next issue they deal with.

2. Goldilocks tried each of the bear's things....porridge, chairs and beds.  As parents, we need to assist our kids along the way as they try new things and find out if they are just right for them.  This may not be the same just right we had as a kid....or even now.  Bear family or human family what works for one might not work for another.

3. The bears return home to find missing porridge, broken chairs and Goldilocks sleeping in baby bear's bed.  They went out as a family, they came back as a family and dealt with the issues before them.  As a family, there will always be some unexpected thing we weren't counting on. We learn from it and keep moving on.

Praying that we can find a balance and reach just right as parents.  Never perfect, always learning.  Putting our kids in the arms of the ultimate parent.  Realizing we sometimes still need parents too.

Ephesians 6:1-3 1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— 3 “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”

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