Parenting: 3 Biggest Secrets I Wish I Knew When My Kids Were Young
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Parenting is not an easy gig. When I became a new mother I wobbled between great confidence and terrible doubt all in a matter of minutes.
I was a teacher by profession and had the luxury of two older sisters to call which helped greatly. But there were just some things I had to experience first hand.
Here are the top three things I wish I knew when my kids were young.
Parenting Secrets I Wish I Knew
1. Comparison From Other Parents
Parents like to compare their kids. It is natural and can be okay, but sometimes it crosses into bragging and over-inflated egos. If our kids look good, we look good.
I remember I would often hear about how little “precious” did this or that and is so amazing. Their child was perfect in sports, school, musical abilities, or even potty training. It starts early. I was constantly wondering if I was doing things right if my kids weren’t number one. Not to be confused from doing number 1.
I promise you that your friend’s kids have faults. They just aren’t telling you. Learn to ignore “braggy” mom or dad. Focus on the Family gives some great advice on trophy parenting. (It explains why we do this and how to stop).
Some parents just don’t want to be transparent about their life or their kids.
It is a real blessing when you can find a friend who you feel safe enough to talk about your struggles as a parent. And she will talk to you in the same way. MOPS is a great avenue for that when your kids are young.
Better yet, join a prayer group where you can pray about your struggles and share your deepest concerns with safe people.
All kids are difficult at one time or another. Don’t be fooled by your friend’s bragging. It’s hot air. Smoke and mirrors. Little “precious” has failures and faults. You just aren’t going to hear about it. EVER.
2. Pressure From Other Parents
Over the years, I have felt an enormous amount of pressure from parents to conform to what everyone else was doing. It started with potty training at the right time and didn’t stop. I felt that I was being judged constantly for my parenting choices.
It permeated sports, social activities, grades, church, clothes, and even social media standards. At the end of the day, you and your husband have the responsibility of raising your children.
You alone are accountable to God for how your family conducts their affairs. Don’t let other parents pressure you into pushing your kids to do things they are not ready to do or allowing your kids to do things you know are not right.
I still have a few parents who probably don’t care for me because of our decisions to stick to biblical values in our home. It was really painful, but I am not sorry.
Be confident to stand up for something you know is right.
I never thought this is where I would be persecuted the most in my Christian walk. You would be surprised what parents are letting their kids do now.
This article from Crosswalk goes into further detail on how to deal with peer pressure from other parents.
Even Christian parents have become dangerously permissive. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or say “no.”
If you have any biblical standards, this problem is coming to your home, and it is messy. Just know you are going to have a battle with not only other parents but your own child, who might think you are totally uncool or mean.
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3. It All Works Out Eventually
Kids mature and develop differently. Both of my kids were highly social and didn’t love school work. (Gasp) I still made them do their work.
They were both “B” students. And I am here to tell you they are fine. The world did not come to an end.
I think my kids would both say they are happy with their efforts in school. It got them where they wanted to go. I am relieved to say they both were accepted into all the colleges they applied to when they were a Senior in high school.
They were involved in many things such as FCA, Young Life, Club sports, cheer, school sports, church activities, camps, mission trips, and volunteering.
I have to believe all the social stuff is what helped them get into the college of their choice since they didn’t have all the AP classes many other kids had on their application.
My take on this is to lean to their gifts and pray God will get them where they need to be. Somehow it works out. I had my doubts some days.
It Would Have Helped Me Not Worry
I wish I had known these 3 secrets when I started out parenting. It would have really helped me not worry so much. (I know you are still going to worry, but perhaps I have lightened your load a bit.)
Now that my kids are gone, I see how God really worked in their lives to get them where they are now. It is only through His grace we made it through some of the rougher patches.
Looking back, I realize the disappointments are where they grew the most. And so did I.
Don’t give up. If you have had disappointments, you will make it through. It all does come out ok in the end. Maybe not what you thought, but through their struggles, they do find their way.
What parenting secrets do you want to share?
Do You Have Family Problems? There is Help and Hope!
Are you experiencing family problems or even estranged? Are you feeling shame, anger, or rejection? Check out my book Estranged: Finding Hope When Your Family Falls Apart on Amazon or at your favorite digital store.
This book not only talks about my seven-year estrangement from my Christian family, but it also gives solid tips to help you with your family problems. Break free from your pain. Allow God to heal you no matter what has happened in your family of origin. There is hope when your family falls apart.
Creating Family Memories Book
Get Creating Family Memories. This book will help you manage your family in a way that allows more time to be intentional with your kids. It includes a schedule too. You can get it at your favorite bookstore.
Join Christian Family Living Facebook Group
Continue the conversation on Facebook and join the group Christian Family Living. This is a place for Christian women to share their experiences and get helpful tools to navigate the Christian life. We love to laugh, cry, and encourage each other to live out our faith one day at a time.
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