Sunday at church we went to the first week of a four week parenting class for parents of young children. We watched part of a video about parenting by Gary Thomas, a great author that I really admire. Then we were lead in a short discussion by one of our pastors, Matt Miller who has 5 kids ages 7 and down.
Personally I left that class feeling revived and full of hope to be a better parent. Gary Thomas’ approach to parenting isn’t by telling you how to do it, it’s by telling how and why you need to grow in Christ in order to be a better parent. Matt Miller opened up his heart and soul by telling us the things that he has been doing lately to be a stronger parent. It was amazing. Who wouldn’t walk out of that class ready to grow and become super parent? (cue super parent theme music).
Then as things commonly happen, the winds of time changed and our kids all freaked out. It wasn’t a day for simple step by step parenting. Sunday was a day for in the trenches fighting. Rough. It was one of those days that was so rough that at the end of the day you’re just begging for a rubber room and a straight jacket.
Here’s what I’ve learned about parenting in the last 6 years; No one is right. There is not a cookie cutter step by step way that is going to work for every single parent and every single child out there. Everyone is different. Children are different, adults are different. Our schedule and our model of discipline may not work for a family that has working parents with crazy hours. Our hours are the same day in and day out so a strict set schedule works for us.
So how can you learn what is best for your family when no one is right? By taking the little tidbits of knowledge from different people and tying them into your family life. If we see something that works and that we like, we’re going to modify it into our family.
Are we the best parents? Was that my kid at Walgreens throwing the largest temper tantrum known to man? Or was it my child that didn’t like what I served her for dinner tonight and told me she was going to dump mud into my meal? We’ll let that question answer itself.
Most importantly I think we all need to stop judging parents by the five minutes we see of them at the store or passing them at the park. I always smile when I see the parent dragging the screaming kid out of Target. Partially because I’m glad it’s not me this one time and partially I smile because I’ve been there and would rather see a smiling face than a judgemental scowl.
Working together in a community, a community of God, we can all be amazing parents (with the occasional temper tantrum, theirs and ours).
Things coming up this week:
a free printable
The best bread recipe known to man
Have a great Monday!