The home can be a beautiful place where the parents are loving and responsible, and the children are happy and thriving. The parents and children respect each other, and everyone works together and helps each other out. The overall atmosphere is light and cheerful.
Does this sound like your home?
I hope so! But if not, the good news is that this can be your home if you want it to be. Seriously. I know because I had that kind of home when our children were young and growing up. While no home is perfect (remember that!), and some households certainly have more challenges than others, generally a home like this can be achieved if you are willing to take responsibility and put in the effort. (And it’s not that complicated!)
I am aware of an advantage that I have over many women. I have a wise mother who shared with my husband and me very early on the importance of discipline. My husband and I are thankful for that advice to this day. We definitely took the advice and made it a core value.
If no one in your life has encouraged you or pointed you in the direction of proper child training and a happy home-life, I would be honored to be that person for you. Maybe you don’t know where to begin, or maybe you just got derailed somewhere along the way; either way, there is hope! If I did this, I know that you can.
Over the last 35 years, my husband and I have become keen observers in the ways of children. In addition to our own years of experience with our children and grandchildren, we have observed many behaviors in other children and their parents.
Some parents blame their young children for their misguided ways, even calling them stupid or belittling them. Some parents make excuses for their children’s poor behavior. Some parents throw out crazy threats, like the one I heard so many years ago at the grocery store. I approached the counter too late to observe what the young child in the cart had done, but I was in time to hear the threat:
“If you do that again, you will never see your grandparents again!”
Wow! Even as a young mom I recognized that as a vain threat. Really, never see the grandparents again? Now as a grandparent I am especially dumbfounded. Do you blame or threaten your children? It’s an easy thing to fall into.
If you haven’t so far, are you ready to take responsibility for training your children?
To take responsibility, we must examine our own selves first. What kind of example are you setting for your children? What is your attitude? Do you treat your children kindly? Taking responsibility begins first with us.
Thirty-plus years later, I can assure you that what I have today is worth my years of invested effort. It is not perfect, by any stretch, but worth it! * **
Here’s my quick list of ways you can begin to take responsibility and lead today. More in-depth blog posts are to come, but until then:
- Examine your own attitude. Possibly more than anything else, this impacts your family – and it’s something only you can change.
- Examine your own daily time and walk with the Lord. Again, huge impact for you and your family, and something only you can do.
- Consider the way you treat your children. Do you treat them with kindness and respect?
- Think about your expectations for your children. Are you asking too much of them? Are you asking too little?
- Think about the consequences you are handing out. Are they appropriately matched to the wrongdoing?
Does one of these areas stand out to you? Begin by working in that one area and watch for the difference it makes!
*Spending years of prayer and effort child-training most generally pays off. However, if in the end for you it doesn’t, you will take comfort in knowing that you did your job well.
**If you’re coming to this place late, and you do not feel that you did your job well, there is grace for you. If you are living in guilt or shame, ask God once and for all to forgive you. Ask God to redeem your family, then move forward loving your family unconditionally.