3 Best Parenting Secrets I Wish I Knew When My Kids Were Young
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Would you like the best parenting secrets from an experienced mom who has raised two kids? These parenting secrets are not so much about what you need to do as a parent; it is more to give you encouragement for your own style of parenting.
Looking back, I realize how much I worried about some of my parenting decisions. Even though most days I felt confident about my ability to be a good mom, there were other days, not so much…
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Frankly, I wish I had more people telling me everything was going to be okay. Perhaps some encouragement the day my son accidentally poured a bottle of maple syrup over his head might have been nice. Or the day my daughter came home with lice. That was fun…
For those of you who have had a “maple syrup or lice” kind of day, this is for you.
Here are a few pieces of wisdom I have gleaned along the way. Free of charge. Oh, by the way, vaseline kills lice. I learned that on the third round of washing her hair.
Parenting Secrets I Wish I Knew
1. Parents Compare Their Kids
The first parenting secret is to know that parents like to compare 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 how amazing he was. 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.
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 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 to about parenting struggles. If you can’t find a friend, MOPS is a great avenue to find like-minded moms who want to talk honestly about parenting and mom life.
Better yet, join a prayer group where you can pray about your struggles and share your deepest concerns with safe people.
In the meantime, remember that other kids may have special talents, but your kids have special talents too. Celebrate your child’s talents and gifts–just don’t brag about it.
2. Pressure From Other Parents
The second parenting secret is to be aware of parenting pressures 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” to homes who allow drugs, sex, and alcohol.
The parenting secret you need to know is that if you have any biblical standards, this problem is coming to your home, and it is messy. You may have to battle with not only other parents but your own child as he may think you are uncool or mean for a few years.
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3. It All Works Out Eventually
The third parenting secret is to remember that kids mature and develop differently. Eventually, it all works out. 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 best parenting secret is to lean into your kid’s gifts and pray God will get them where they need to be. Somehow it all works out. I had my doubts some days. FYI: Getting maple syrup and vaseline out of hair is awful.
It Would Have Helped Me Not Worry
I wish I had known these three secrets when I started out parenting. It would have 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 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 and trials 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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