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If you have had a hard week with your kids, you may enjoy some helpful facts about parenting from an experienced mom who has raised two kids.

These parenting secrets are not about following the next best parenting method but more about encouraging prayer and trusting God.

For me, the battle of the mind has been one of the most challenging parts of being a parent.

Looking back, I realize how much I worried about some parenting decisions. Even though most days I felt confident about my ability to be a good parent, there were other days, not so much…I felt like a total failure.

I wish more people had told me about the hard days of parenthood—that it’s a spiritual war.

Not just for the hearts and minds of our kids but a war on my mind too.

Here are a few pieces of wisdom I have gleaned along the way. Perhaps I can enlighten you on the war behind the scenes.

RELATED: Feeling like a Failure as a Parent? 6 Tips to Overcome Mom Guilt

3 Facts About Parenting I Wish I Knew Earlier

Here are three facts about parenting I wish I had known when I first had kids. These tips would have helped me begin praying earlier and trusting God with the gaps.

I didn’t realize how much more is accomplished in the heavenly realm than my manipulations, control, or demands.

1. Facts About Parenting: Parents Compare Their Kids

One of the first facts about parenting you need to know is that parents compare their kids in every way possible. 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 too.

I would panic when I heard how little “precious” was doing this or that and how amazing he was. I would wonder why my kids weren’t doing “whatever” at the time. This started with potty training and never stopped.

I was constantly wondering if I was doing things right if my kids weren’t number one.

(Or doing number 2.)

I promise you that your friend’s kids have faults. They just aren’t telling you. Learn to ignore “braggy” mom or dad. Some parents don’t want to be transparent about their life or their kids.

It is a real blessing when you can find a friend with whom you feel safe enough to talk about parenting struggles. If you can’t find a friend, MOPS is a great avenue to find like-minded moms who want to speak honestly about parenting and mom life.

Better yet, join a prayer group to share your struggles and deepest concerns with safe people. Commit those struggles to prayer. Ask God for wisdom as you make decisions.

In the meantime, remember one of the most incredible facts about parenting: other kids may have unique talents, but God has given your kids unique talents, too. Your job is to love your kids unconditionally and help them find their giftings over time.

When you do, celebrate your child’s skills and gifts–just don’t brag about them.

RELATED: Parental Anxiety: 7 Life-Changing Ways to Deal With Worry and Fear As a Mom

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2. Facts About Parenting: Peer Pressure From Other Parents Is Real

Second, you need to be aware of the peer pressure you will feel from other parents. Over the years, I have felt enormous pressure from other parents to conform to what everyone else was doing.

It permeated sports, social activities, grades, church, clothes, and social media standards. At the end of the day, you and your husband are responsible for raising your children.

You alone are accountable to God for how your family conducts its affairs. Don’t let other parents pressure you into doing things you know are wrong for your child.

Sadly, this is one of the most challenging facts about parenting; saying “no” may make you unpopular not only with the other parents who are pressuring you but also with your kids. It’s not fun.

It’s also important to apologize when you don’t get it right because this will happen too.

This article from Crosswalk goes into further detail on how to deal with peer pressure from other parents. 

RELATED: How to Pray for Your Child: 6 Tips to Pray In Your War Room (really pray)

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3. Facts About Parenting: Parenting Styles Differ

The third and one of the most interesting facts about parenting styles is that they significantly differ. What your best friend does with her kids may not work with your kids.

Every child has different bents (good and bad); you must learn how to work with your child’s wiring and make parenting relevant to them.

When I was parenting my son, we used examples of fishing and hunting to make a point. That worked great for him, but it was irrelevant to my daughter. We had to speak her language to get her to understand what was good and not so good.

Some kids are strong-willed and don’t like to listen at all; they have to take the field trip every stinking time. Watching them fail is excruciating, but they must experience pain before learning the lesson.

My best parenting tip is to trust that God has uniquely equipped you to parent your kids, even when there are days you don’t know what to do. God will show you. Eventually, they will get where they need to be, even if they have to take a few field trips (or all of them).

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What Is the Hardest Part of Parenting?

I wish I had known these three facts about parenting when I started as a mom. It would have helped me to know that being a parent is not just a mental game; it’s spiritual warfare. Satan is after the whole family.

Remember that kids all develop differently. Each one is unique and special in their gifts and talents.  Cover them in prayer daily and trust God will guide you into their giftings. Forgive yourself for the gaps because there will be gaps in your parenting. I can promise you that.

You don’t have to be the perfect parent; your kids don’t have to be perfect either. This is an unrealistic expectation.

Furthermore, loving unconditionally, apologizing, and forgiveness cover a multitude of sins.

Now that my kids are older, I see how God worked in their lives to get them where they are now. We made it through some rough patches only by His grace. I realize the disappointments and trials were when my kids grew the most, and so did I.

One of the biggest shocks and facts about parenting is that the spiritual warfare has never ended. Even though my children are adults, I continue to battle for them daily in my prayer life.

My biggest tip: Don’t stop praying no matter what you see in the natural world today. God is doing something different in the heavenly realm.

If you have disappointments, trust God will use their pain for His glory. It all does come out okay in the end. Maybe not what you thought it should look like, but through their struggles (field trips), they do find their way.

What facts about parenting do you want to share? Comment below. 

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Got Family Problems? There is Help and Hope!

Are you struggling with family issues that have resulted in a family rift or a family estrangement? Are you feeling a sense of shame, anger, or rejection?  Check out my book Estranged: Finding Hope When Your Family Falls Apart on Amazon or at your favorite digital store.

In it, I share my own experience of a seven-year estrangement from my Christian family and how we eventually reconciled. Furthermore, I provide practical advice to help you navigate your family issues. Don’t let the pain of estrangement hold you back. Allow God to assist you in healing, no matter what has happened within your family. Remember, there is always hope to be found, even when things seem to be falling apart.

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Join the group Christian Family Living on Facebook

Continue the conversation on Facebook and join the Christian Family Living group. This is a place for Christian women to freely talk about parenting, marriage, faith, family, and culture. Being a Christian is hard! Let’s do it together. Most of all, a sense of humor is required. Got memes? Bring it on!

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Author

Julie is a wife, mom, teacher, author, and blogger. She writes about Christian family living, marriage, parenting with a touch of humor.

74 Comments

  1. So true! I wish I could have told myself back then (and told my girls) that everything was going to work out just fine. Alot of anxiety would have melted if I could have just trusted God more.

    • Donna, so true! I am trusting God more now than I did back then. I can look back and see his faithfulness even in the storms.

      • Insightful article on parenting secrets! The three key points you’ve highlighted offer valuable perspectives for parents striving to raise happy and healthy children. Thanks for sharing these insights!

        • Thank you, Mysa, for your comment. These tips are a few things I have learned as a mom. Hopefully, they are helpful to you!

  2. it all works out eventually is really the key. I laugh now but, boy was I worried that I didn’t know what the heck i was doing back then.

    • Rain, so true. We don’t always know everything. But God sure does. And we can run to Him everyday with our new problems.

  3. I think everyone has to go through these things only to realise later the reality if things. I’m pretty sure no one knows it will be eventually all okay until it actually is. And when it is, it’s like why were we worried in the first place! This is a fantastic parenting piece! 🙂

    • Aishwarya, we do have hard things at times, but somehow we survive them. It is all in the trusting of God’s hand with the good and the bad.

  4. Potty training is no joke. Its not like it is a school to teach children how to potty train its literally trial and error and lots of reptition. I will say my mom does it as she is a home daycare provider to infants and toddlers is to get them early…like 14 months try to get them in the habit before 2 because by two those terribles are kicking in and its harder for them to focus on such a serious task.

    • Kiwi, that is really good advice. Maybe I should have started earlier. Hope people read this! Thanks for your comment.

  5. Meagan Badore Reply

    This is a great post for new parents to read especially if they plan to have more then one child. Having 4 kids, I had to learn to stop comparing my kids to each other and learn each one is different and develops differently. It took #3 FOREVER to potty train so I feel the pain of that.

    • Meagan, that is so true! Comparing is really hard to stop doing when you have multiple kids. There is a certain balance as you don’t want to miss a real developmental delay, but then you want to give your child space to develop naturally.
      I think as long as they are getting regular check-ups at the Dr., things are probably on track.
      Thanks for your comments.

    • Charli, so good. I think you can’t really judge as everyone is on a different track. And kids are so unique. I found that my child would have great skills in one area and not so much in another but all was good. I learned to accept their gifts with great peace. Thanks for your comments.

  6. Blair Villanueva Reply

    Am not a parent yet, but I’ve been closed to my Mom and her Momma friends, and I think each parents have its own unique technique in racing their kids. Its not good to give comparison, because each techniques doesn’t suits to everyone. But all MOMS are great!

    • Blair, that’s true. We are all different trying to do the best for our kids. Prayer always helps when confused about what to do. Thanks for your comment.

  7. Great post! I am not a parent yet but I have such empathy for parents and caregivers! I agree that you have to be careful with comparisons with all aspects of life. It’s so unneccesarily stressful.

    • Vanessa, I think I still do it with life. I have to stop myself often and stick to what I know I am supposed to do. I even compare blogs. EEK.
      Thanks for your comments.

  8. I loved reading this because you don’t often hear this perspective from a mother who no longer has young kids. I suppose you have a lot of wisdom to share with us all! I will definitely refer back to this when I have kids!

  9. Wow. This is something I will definitely keep in mind when I start to have kids. I never even knew this was something parents felt.

    • Ada, you will be surprised at how crazy your feelings get when you are a mom. The mother bear comes out. And a bit of crazy. Ha ha.
      Thanks for your comment.

  10. This is something that a lot of parents do, I’ve gone through the same thing, comparing myself to others as a parent and how bad it felt when my children didn’t reach a milestone as soon as another child did. It’s important that we realize that all children are different and that they develop on their own pace. Comparing ourselves just isn’t healthy.

    • Alison, yes, it is hard to stay focused on where your child is at the time. I’m sure it is really hard for parents who have kids with special needs. You compare and pray to God your child reaches those same milestones some day.
      You will see your child grow and change in ways you never dreamed whether special needs or not.
      Thanks for your comment.

  11. Totally feel for you. Love your post! I had a similar experience and I still remember one thing which I din’t like was the pressure from other parents. I like their advises but sometimes can be overwhelm in a big way and I lost a few of them along the way…

    • Ouch, I am so sorry. I think that is the great thing about blogging. If you don’t like what you read, you can click it off! No hard feelings. Hope you do well with your kiddos.

  12. Yep, Yep and Yep. You’ve touched these topics spot on!!! OMG the comparison and pressure from other parents is killing me!!! Every family is different!!!

    • I am so glad I hit a nerve. I am not the only one who felt discouraged at times. The pressure to have your kid in the right school, the best classes and the right extracurricular activities is overwhelming. What happened to just being a child!?
      Thanks for your comments.

  13. Once we learn that each child is different things tend to go easier. Of my 4 boys only one got the potty training thing down right away.

    • Yeah, that’s the way life is, huh? Only 1 out of 4. Haha! They all have their own timing. I am sure they were all learning other things at the time.
      Thanks for your comment.

  14. Loved the article. Never read a blog talking about parenting in deep before. Helped me relate with parents deicisions. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  15. I don’t have children so I can’t relate to this, but I do understand that each child develops in his own time and parents shouldn’t rush or worry about it. Comparing with other children is not healthy at all.

  16. My kids are still rather young, but I totally feel this post! Comparison is the thief of joy, and we cannot compare ourselves to other moms and can’t compare our kids. We are all different, and that’s good!

    • Such a good saying. I still have to make sure not to compare even though my kids are old. Everyone has their own talents and gifts. Thaks for your comment.

  17. I so agree: it does all work out in the end. Parenting can be stressful though, that’s for sure. I try to never compare myself to others–I parent in my own way!

    • Amber, I am glad you parent your kids the way you need to for their needs. I would always add prayer helps! Thanks for your comment.

  18. This is a lot of great information. Thank you for sharing. I am not a parent yet but I often like to read these articles for my sister. She is in the same predicament with her son not peeing or using the restroom where he should.

    • OH, Andrea, tell her I can feel her pain. My mom used to say that they won’t graduate wearing diapers. Tell her she will get through it eventually. It is hard, but you just have to be patient and keep trying.
      Thanks for reading.

  19. Although my children are now grown, these are some great pointers for all parents. I should pass this along to my son, who is now Dad to two beautiful toddlers!

    • Julie, thanks. I hope you will pass this blog along. I pray you will enjoy being a grandma. I can’t wait! I bet it is fun. Thanks for reading.

  20. You have mentioned some amazing and so realistic points in this post. Parenting is such a learning curve and one piece of advice may work for one kid and not for other. Comparing and pressuring the kids is something I do not believe in, it is difficult to not but yet again, no two kids are same even in the same household and of same parents, we should appreciate and advise of their individualities and interests.

    • Preet, I see so much of this in Dallas. It is a big problem pushing kids too much. There is an enormous amount of depression and anxiety to keep up. It is important to push our kids to reach their highest potential and balance it with common sense. Thanks for your comment.

  21. These are great tips, because parenting isn’t always easy it is refreshing to read information that reassures it will all work out somehow.
    Xx, Nailil
    thirtyminusone.com

    • Nailil, thanks for your comment. It does seem to work out most of the time. Maybe not how we thought, but you do find God has a plan!

  22. I wish I knew that my wonderful, behaved kids, would turn out to be stubborn, frustrating teen boys! LOL I agree with everything you wrote. I think we all compare ourselves to other parents constantly and it really does need to stop.

    • Anna, oh the teen years. They do turn back into humans after they go to college. Hold on. The good years are coming back! Thanks for your comment.

  23. I don’t have kids but I think that parenting is hard! There’s no right and wrong or any must rule when it comes to parenting. Whatever works best for you and your kids is just incredible!

    • Ana, I would agree mostly. It is never wrong to go to God and raise them biblically. It will not return void. And lots of prayers. Thanks for your comment.

  24. Valuable information from parenting point of view. I loved reading your emotional journey with your adorable kids.

    • Indu, thank for saying that. They were good kids and I am glad to be their mom. Not perfect, but wonderful! Thank for reading.

  25. Such wisdom in this post. Thank you for sharing your beautiful journey. It is amazing that as we raise our little Ones, we deepen and mature in the process. How circular it is that we feel like we are the adults when they are our spiritual teachers. ? Xo, Evelyn, PathofPresence.com ?

    • Evelyn, thanks for your sweet comment. Oh, my. How my children have taught me so much about God and His love. I am a better person for having them in my life.

  26. I really value advice like this from moms who had been through what I’m going through now!! I appreciate your raw honesty! <3 We struggled with potty training the first time we tried, but he excelled the second time! Not worrying about other people's opinions or standards is so important but definitely hard to practice!

    • I am so glad you realized this early on. I still struggle with this, but my kids are both doing fine. They have their struggles, and no one is perfect. Keep up the good work. Thanks for reading.

  27. Elizabeth O Reply

    #3 It all works out eventually is the best piece of advice you could have given in my opinion. Parenting is such a learning curve, no two children are the same but as parents all you can do is your best. Which it looks to me is exactly what you are doing.

  28. The points you brought up are so real! I’m not a parent yet but I’ve noticed there’s this unspoken amount of pressure and outright judgment if you or your kids don’t fall in line. It’s quite sad. Glad you were able to overcome all of that.

    • Yes, it is hard not to pressure your kids to do things to match up with the “Jones'” I have had to realize they all develop at a different rate.

  29. So glad you were able to overcome those challenges, and be able to share them with us today. Thank you for sharing these valuable secrets with us!

  30. This is really great advice Momma, I literally did all of it when I was a new mom. Moms constantly have so much guilt about how they are parenting or if they are doing it right and then on top of that other parents come in with their own ways on how we should be doing things. Pray, Less Stress, and Love and we will be fine! httpss://www.blyssyourheart.com

  31. Oh man this was good. I personally have struggled with other people who will critique or question what I am doing etc. It’s natural to want to explain yourself and I have had to learn to not. It’s not their child. Thanks for this!

  32. sarahcornell2005 Reply

    I get so tired of the parent comparison! Each child will learn and develope in his/her own time. My son was around 3 when he finally decided he was ready to talk and potty train all in the same week! He also didn’t walk till he was 14 months. I can’t tell you how many tricks and unwanted advice I was given and suggestions to have him tested because he was behind. He is now almost 10 and you would never be able to tell we struggled with those issues. Great post!

    • Thank you so much! I am so sorry you had to go through that. That’s kinda funny that he talked and potty trained all in the same week. I’m sure you were shocked. Its so hard for parents to know if it’s a learning issue or just developmental timing. Glad it worked out for you.

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