I’ve officially shared the vision and mission of my writings on this blog in the past few posts. I am now excited to begin sharing the themes for each posting day every week. We will begin, as most things should, at the beginning.
Welcome to Mom and Dad Monday:
Advice comes from everywhere. You read books, blogs, magazines, Facebook posts, and whatever else you can get your hands on. You get ideas and tips from your friends, from your parents, and from your spouses parents. You get advice for anything: recipes, car repair, home remedies, even big stuff like your spirituality. We live in a culture inundated with advice, and we soak it all in. Until it comes to raising our children.
Why is parenting our sacred cow? We resist the temptation to tell people that their baby isn’t that cute when they’re born. You know you’ve done it, you walk into the hospital room and see that alien monkey hybrid wrapped in a blanket and think “Holy Lord, what sin did they commit to have a baby that looks like that?” But you SAY, “Bless your heart…he’s so…little.” It doesn’t stop there. when that kid is a terror and pokes your kid in the eye you think, “If you’d spank your child every now and then, he wouldn’t do crap like that.” But you SAY, “Oh geez, kids are kids, you know.” And laugh it off. Then when they’re teens, you tell your kids to stay away from their kids not realizing they’re probably saying the same thing about your teens to theirs.
Parents DO NOT like advice. We all have ideas of how other people’s kids should behave and would behave if you had “just 24 hours with them.” But we wouldn’t mention it to those parents for a thousand bucks. That’s the right decision too. Most parents aren’t ready to hear what they need to do to help their child behave better. Can you blame them? Of course not. When that baby was born those parents were filled with all the hope and expectation in the world. Now that their kid is behaving like something out of Planet of the Apes they don’t know what to do. They’re lost, stuck, sunk, and frustrated all at the same time. A parent struggling to control their kid is one of the saddest people you could ever meet.
All this frustration and almost no desire to get help. I have proof. As a youth minister, I’ve tried to involve parents in many ways–one of which is a parent conference. We were even able to bring in a pretty well known (locally) family ministries speaker. Our attendance was abysmal. When we hold meetings before events, I struggle to get half of the parents of students who have signed up to attend those meetings. It’s a really strange pattern, the ones who need help the most very rarely seek it out. And when they do seek it out, the advice they receive is often rejected or excuses are made.
On this, the first installment of Mom and Dad Monday, I’d like to challenge all of us to begin taking advice when it comes to our kids. No, everyone doesn’t know your kids like you do and maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe an eye that sees what they’re doing and not why can help you see that something has to be done. Is it possible that we are blinded by our love for our children? Could we maybe be making excuses for our kids because when they are having trouble it feels to us like our own failure? Maybe it does feel this way but the truth is that wisdom comes from council. People who know what they’re doing, have been there before, or have a different or new perspective on your kids can help in so many ways. Let’s decide to listen. Let’s take advice. Let’s become better parents.
What parenting advice have you received that has helped you?
Do you have someone you go to for advice? If so, who?
Answer in the comments below, and we’ll see you on Wednesday!
Author: Michael Prince
Michael Prince co-authored “What’s in Your Pocket? A parent’s guide to protecting your children online.” with his wife Melinda. They have four kids and live in an RV anywhere in the USA they see the need for an internet safety expert. Michael is leading the conversation in the American Church about family online security. He and Melinda founded BecauseFamily, a ministry that exists to inspire and equip parents to be the first influence in the lives of their children, in 2013. Michael is also a geek and loves Star Wars, Doctor Who, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and strategy board games.