Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Parenting Advice

Today I'm offering unsolicited advice on parenting. There. You've been warned!
I'm also offering a not-quite-so-beautiful pic of the same daughter pictured above. This particular screaming fit was during the I-Hate-My-Tummy-And-I-Will-Never-Crawl stage.
And the first advice is about stages. There are a few very concrete facts about stages. #1 We're all in one stage or another at all times. #2 All stages end. #3 We don't usually skip stages. and #4 There are good stages and bad stages and we're almost always in both kinds at one time.
Our kids have stages (like the I-Won't-Crawl Stage) and they all end. Reminding ourselves of this is very helpful. My daughter (as some of you know) is in the "learning is for dummies" stage; my son is in the "maybe if I act like a baby I'll get more attention" stage. My youngest is in the "I can definitely get out of this by screaming like my life is ending" stage. I could tell you what stages my husband and I are in too, but that might take a while. : ) I definitely need the reminder that at the same time they are in beautiful stages--and that both kinds of stages, the good and the bad, will end.
Another good piece of advice is to focus on the heart. This advice is so difficult to take! This can also be broken down into different facets. #1 Pray for your child's heart. #2 Nurture your child's heart by both positive activities and love and by disciplining to the heart. and #3 Give your own heart (moment by moment) to the One who loves both you and your children more than you ever can.
Disciplining for the heart is the part that I find the most difficult. First of all, we have to be more concerned about our children's eternal welfare than how well they act (and make us look). That is HARD. And secondly the words and disciplinary actions that come from us must be humble and more about training than about venting our frustration. Don't ask me how to really do this; I only know that I should.
The other two pieces of parenting advice that I feel are most beautiful (and difficult) are in two other posts: positive parenting, which is in essence trying to head off problems before they arise, and raising our children for the work of the kingdom, no matter how much sacrifice or danger this involves.
This post is partly inspired by a post over at Simple Mom that has some great ideas!
Linked with Tuesday's Tip Jar.


  1. Happy Tuesday!

    I love your 3 steps: pray, nurture, and give your own heart


  2. good reminder about stages and looking at the big picture. hard to remember during the chaos of some stages!

  3. Ok, first I want to say that I LOVE that picture. It is so....real.

    It's awesome to hear about others who are in the trenches so to speak. We're going through some difficult stages right now too and it is hard to be most concerned about the heart rather than simply behaviors isn't it?

    Thanks for sharing!