Hi, my name is Grandma Viv. I wish I had known more about being a parent when my first child was born but that’s quite a few years ago now. When Rachel was born I remember telling my husband, “This baby needs to go back to the hospital until she gets older.” I felt insecure and wasn’t sure I would do a good job. But we wanted each of our babies. We had four children and the desire to love them and understand that they are real little people with their very own personalities and needs propelled us forward. Over the years we picked up a few ideas here and there. We tried to learn from our mistakes which were quite a few. Thank goodness there is excellent material on parenting. “Children are a gift from God: they are his reward.” Ps 127:3 Can anyone say that better?
It’s important to remember that a child is mostly formed into the person they will be by the age of five. It’s smart to study your child from an early age to discover their abilities and talents, their personality and inborn responses. Don’t forget to enjoy your children’s intelligence, uniqueness, and quirky charms. Most important of all is to ask our heavenly Father to help us and give us wisdom when ours comes to an abrupt dead end. “How can men be wise? The only way to begin is by reverence for God.” Ps 110:10 Are you ready? Here we go! Let’s learn about the amazing responsibilities in the great venture of being a parent.
A home is a place to learn values, to learn to give and receive love, and to develop relationships. The atmosphere should be one of love, acceptance, openness, forgiveness, and honesty. Home is at its best when it’s a place of fun, creative activities, encouragement, and relaxed attitudes. You may have already heard that it takes about five positive comments to overcome one negative. The tone of the home is greatly enhanced when parents as the prime example are openly admitting their mistakes and asking forgiveness from their children when they embarrass them, break a promise, or treat them poorly. As parents we all need to ask ourselves, “Am I enjoyable to live with?” If the answer is no we should begin to make a few important changes. Here is one consideration we might have overlooked. We need to treat our children with courtesy, to say please and thank you to them. We must be what we want our children to become. I believe this calls for dependence on God and personal discipline to train ourselves to be under God’s wise leadership.
A top priority in parenting is giving affection. “Without strong bonds of parental affection, a child may develop feeling of insecurity, inferiority and inadequacy.” Kenneth Boa We all really do want our children to be happy and secure. Children take great security from the assurance that their parents love each other. It truly affects a child to see parents fighting or yelling at one another. Remember, love is the glue that holds a family together. It’s also important to give lots of physical contact and expressions of affection. Children need to be hugged often by both mother and father.
Here’s an easy practice to fall into- the habit of yelling at our children. As someone has observed, “shouting to make your children obey is like steering your car with the horn.” Kenneth Boa Let’s not forget that children are immature and need to be allowed to make mistakes in order to grow. When we don’t expect them to be perfect they don’t expect us to be perfect either. It’s clear that as children grow they learn more from who we are and what we do than from what we say. I’ve learned that the transparent life of a parent does more to develop a child than anything else. When children come to respect us for being a genuine, consistent person they will also most often accept our core values.
Whether your child is very young or grown, children spell love T-I-M-E. So take time to play and do things they enjoy. Reading is a wonderful way to connect and spend time together. Last of all, may we listen, allowing children to express their feelings and opinions before responding. Share your own thoughts, hopes, dreams, and feelings too. Open communication is great for closing up any generation gaps.
Every child is God’s personal miracle, making them remarkable, exceptional, and extraordinary. “You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body, and knit them together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex. It is amazing to think about. Your workmanship is marvelous.” Ps 139: 13, 14 A life is an important thing to miss. May we discover the wonderful gift sent from God, our children. May the faith of mothers and grandmothers be passed on to the next generation!
Click here to read another blogger’s insights into God’s wonderfully light burden.