I went to a meeting at our church last night with moms who had raised their children.
They answered our questions and provided some great wisdom.
None of these are my thoughts, but I'm going to use them.
The following are the nuggets that I'm pondering from last night:
Remember that our imperfection as parents and their imperfections are why our children need a Savior. If we could be it all to them, they wouldn't need Jesus.
No matter how great the parenting, your kids will not come out of your home unscathed.
Our job is to equip them for adulthood.
At the end of the day, our job as parents is to get our child's hand in HIS.
Children are a blessing and arrows in a man's quiver. Proverbs says "Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them." Arrows weren't meant to stay in the quiver. They were meant to fly.
Find some significance outside of child-rearing. We are believers first. Not mothers first. Serve the kingdom even as you are raising your childrenIf you only serve your children, it will be difficult to let them go.
Humble yourself before your children.
Repent before your children.
If we feel their successes and failures reflect on us as parents that will be too much pressure for them.
There won't be one night that you go to bed and think "I did everything right today as a parent."
Always encourage their strengths.
When a family is kid-centered, our children can't help but think the world revolves around them.
When your kids are sharing something with you and you aren't sure what they want from you, ask them. Do you want me to listen? Do you want my opinion? Ask them what they need from you at that point.
Let them have opportunities to fall under the safety net of your home.
"We asked our children to wait until they were 18. Dating is to find a mate and before that point you aren't in a position to find a mate."
It's difficult when you break up and you are in a youth group and families are involved. It's even disruptive to the unity of a youth group when couples within the youth group break up.
The right person at the wrong time is still the wrong thing.
Remind them that you and their siblings want to affirm their choice in a mate.
Pray for their mate.
Tell your children to view those in their youth group as brothers and sisters in Christ...not as "potentials."
On Marriage in the midst of child-rearing:
God first. Husband second. Kids third. Kids third. Kids third.
You will be an empty nester. You will. Put your marriage first. Always.
In a healthy family, everyone takes turns getting their needs met. A child needs to know that sometimes it's not their turn.
Point out strengths in each child in front of the other children.
Remind the children that their siblings are the ones they are going to have for a lifetime.
No matter where you go...I will be on your doorstep.