I stress over being a good parent. I’ve watched 1-2-3 Magic and I’ve read John Rosemond’s New Parent Power! (two of the more helpful resources I’ve looked into) and while very helpful methodologically, I sometimes need a simpler idea to keep me focused on what my goals are with my kids.
In this passage there are two great ideas:
1. Don’t cause a little one to stumble or you need to have a rock tied to your neck and be thrown into the ocean…. Nice.
2. If one of these little ones gets lost, stop everything and go find him or her. What about the others? Leave them, and go get the lost one. Simple (this is the whole shepherd leaving the 99 sheep to find and rescue the 1).
How is this simple? It helps me view my actions this way: Does what I say or do hinder my children’s growth or help it?
Keeping a child from stumbling doesn’t mean micro-managing. It means making a clear path. I don’t have to direct every step. I need to get things out of the way so they can explore and discover. The biggest thing I need to get out of the way is me. This doesn’t mean lack of involvement. It means enough sense to stop doing things that mess with a child’s desire to grow and start doing things that help open the world (i.e. make a clear, large, open path).
I’m learning to ask myself these questions:
- Does the way I talk to their mom cause a stumbling block?
- Does my use of technology (i.e. turn the dang phone off!) cause them to stumble?
- Does my use of time give an example of living life to the full or sitting on the couch and let time slide on by?
- How do I approach my job?
- How do I approach my faith and my disciplines?
- How do I handle money and material stuff?
On the other hand, if a child is lost, listless, floating, heading down roads of lostness and destructive habits, etc, it’s pretty important for me to make an effort to seek him out. I have a feeling this will apply much later and it will be difficult: what constitutes being ‘lost’?
This one’s going to be tough, but I do know that it means being aware of where my children will be at all times. I will always be a Dad. I’ll always love these three little ones that live in my house. I don’t care if they’re 3 or 63 and I’m still drawing breath, I’ll want to know where and who they are.
What are some hooks that help you keep focused on what’s important in your parenting?