parenting

13 Nov

We sleep train our babies (which means we let our kidlets cry it out—even before the age of 1).

We are *not* into attachment parenting (gasp!).

Our kids eat as much organic foods as possible.

We homeschool.

We don’t have TV services.

Our school day is quite structured.

Our kids have never eaten a candy bar from the store, ate popcorn at the movies, or eaten Halloween candy (which we choose to not celebrate).

We believe that children thrive when they know their expectations and have a set routine implemented in the home.

We enforce consequences when our children talk back, don’t follow through with their work, and when they treat themselves or others poorly.

Our kiddos have chores to do every day—at various times each day.

We don’t bathe our kids every night (who has time for that?).

We enroll our kids in sports—we try all different kinds until they find one that they want to stick with.

We drink raw milk.

To date, we’ve chosen to not vaccinate.

This is how we roll…

And let me guess…something in that list made you twitchy, uncomfortable and dare I say, you may have judged my husband and I’s parenting style.  Perhaps you may now have a different impression of us and our family.

I find that kind of sad.

As parents, God gave us the wonderful and beautiful gift of our children.  He entrusted them to us for whatever time He desires and has asked us to take loving care of these precious gifts.

Interestingly, though, He did not give us an instruction manual that outlined just how we are to raise His children.  I take that to mean we have choices.

And more importantly, He gave us some wonderful commandments to follow, the greatest of which is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind’; and your neighbor as yourself” Luke 10:27.  In this commandment, our children are to be the recipients of a love that is complete and unconditional, like our Heavenly Father’s.  This commandment?  This is at the center of all that we do in raising our children.  I’m guessing it’s at the center of your parenting style, too.

Yet, as a parent yourself, you might look at some of the things that I listed about our parenting ways and exclaim, “Oh no!  No way!  What unloving and strict parents!”  Maybe not, maybe you roll like us, too.

But what if you don’t?

Why do we all get so twitchy when other parents don’t do it Just. Like. Us!?

Because they seem too strict?  Too lenient?  Too “of this world”?  Too religious?  Too eccentric?  Too crunchy?

What is it?

I tell you what, I know the one thing that all parents can agree upon is that parenting is tough work.  I mean c’mon, I don’t know of a job that is any more challenging.  Do you?

So wouldn’t it be eye-opening if we could approach one another in a spirit of love and understanding, grace and support?  Wouldn’t it be better for all of us if we shifted our focus and stopped wasting our time judging how they do it?  I mean, of course, no child should ever be harmed in any way what so ever while under the care of anyone and most especially not their parents.  Those types of situations are not what I’m referring to.

But when it comes down to what foods we eat, what holidays we celebrate, and what schedules we do or do not implement in our home, wouldn’t it be lovely if we could look to other families and recognize that as parents we all love our children deeply and are thoughtfully and prayerfully making decisions for our family based on the information that we have?

Because, really?  We all are doing the best that we can to live out the commandment to love as God loves, and this hits closest to home with our children.

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