I see it all the time. Parents missing the point. Well-intentioned, loving parents completely missing the point.
It is easy to do. I have done it and continue to miss the point myself. I get tired. I get down. Life happens, and it takes me some time to get back on track.
This is when it is time to take a step back and reprioritize. To get back on track. So that I will not miss the point again.
What is the point in parenting? What is the goal?
Regardless of your faith or belief system, your culture or background, our point in parenting is to raise children with strong character traits.
Our children can tackle any obstacle or disappointment when they have a strong character backbone to hold them together.
Now your character traits may look completely different from mine. But the point (and where a lot of parents are missing the mark) is that we have to train and mold and guide our children to have strong character traits. IT WILL NOT JUST HAPPEN.
I encourage you to take a few moments and think on the two top character traits you want to instill in your children.
To get you started, here is a list of some traits that I believe should be instilled in our children today.
Let’s take this a step further.
Here are My Top Five Ways to Be Sure You Are Not Missing the Point in Parenting.
#1: (and most important!)
TEACH THEM THE CHARACTER TRAITS OF GOD
So often we can get caught up in missing the importance of the loving God we serve.
We teach our kids the stories and the message, but sometimes forget to remind them of the characters behind these stories. We can show them how David was brave, how Mary was humble.
It is essential that we are looking beyond the stories and into the hearts of the people of the stories.
This gives our children someone to model after and to remember when times get tough. I particularly want my children to know that God is omnipresent, loving, kind, full of grace and strength.
I want them to view their Heavenly Father as someone they can relate to and come to even when they have made big mistakes.
MAKE SURE OUR HOMES ARE NOT CHILD-CENTERED
Our children should not be the number one priority in our homes.
The order is God, marriage, and then children. I have found that my children are more secure because they know the world does not revolve around them.
It is ok for them to have to patiently wait. And it is perfectly fine for them to receive natural consequences. Our children need to grow up and understand responsibility while they are living in our homes.
We can not send them off to college without an understand of responsibility and expect them to succeed. It is unrealistic. I sometimes feel like as parents we have convinced ourselves that our children always need our help.
I know it is hard for me to watch my children be upset or fail. But in my heart, I also know that this will allow them to grow and to mature into a stronger person. Give your kids the chance to make mistakes and let them learn from each one with your guidance, not by your control.
In parenting, it is essential to work backward. Think about the end goal. I am sure you, like me, want your children to be respectful, hard-working, and kind. These character traits are nurtured in the home, by parents, and at an early age. It may be cute for a
These character traits are nurtured in the home, by parents, and at an early age. It may be cute for a 2-year-old to talk back, but it is certainly not cute for a 12-year-old.
It is not fair to let our kids talk back or be inconsiderate when they are young, and then decide that it is not cute anymore at the age of 8. This is too inconsistent.
I make it a priority to be sure that I start when my kids are toddlers. Some of my non-negotiables are no whining, no complaining, and training them to see that they will have to work to succeed.
TEACH YOUR KIDS HOW TO BEHAVE IN CERTAIN SITUATIONS
This seems so simple that you may be wondering why I have listed it. But I have seen it time and time again where we, as parents, think our kids should just know how to act in a certain situation.
It is obvious to us, but not so to them.
I know that I make it a point to be sure I tell each of my kids the expectations beforehand. Even if it is a simple trip to the grocery store, I have better luck when I clearly state what is expected.
For the toddler, I tell him that he will stay in the cart. I remind the older kids we will not run around. I show them the list, what our goals are for the trip, and make sure that everyone understands before we step foot in the store.
While this takes a few minutes of time, it results in a much smoother trip and helps my children to understand how to act out and about. By taking a few minutes, we can be sure our kids know what is expected of them in different situations.
Sometimes parenting is downright exhausting.
We may be working against a deadline or working through a mile long to do list. We have access to our jobs 24/7.
Even if you are a stay at home mom, there is the laundry, the cooking, the shopping, the cleaning that can really zap your time. I have found the importance of having a simple routine to be sure I am getting things done, while still being present.
I have to make sure we schedule family game nights, family movie nights, trips to the park. I want to look back on these years with memories of our times together. It is so easy to get caught up in my own goals and to miss out on important times with my kids. I am sure to be aware of spending quality time with each one of my children.
Putting in the time now will pay off when my kids are teenagers. I want them to know I care, that I can be counted on, and that I am always here for them to lean on when things get tough.
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