Ten Tidbits for Raising Children
Happy spring! Today, as I write this article, it is a beautiful spring day here in Santa Clara, California! It is hard to believe that on Sunday morning we had showers here in the valley and snow on the hills! It was beautiful! I know that for all of you back East, by now you are really tired of the snow and ready for some spring weather; but for those of us who never see snow unless we drive a couple of hours, it is always a beautiful sight!
We often hear the phrase “April showers bring May flowers,” and that is definitely true. I have been reflecting on other showers recently–specifically, “showers of blessings”! It never ceases to amaze me just how good God has been and is to me!
We are busy here at the Trieber household preparing for the events of the summer and most exciting of all, the wedding of our son, Tim. Bro. Trieber and I are really going to experience, for the first time in twenty-nine years, the empty nest syndrome! Although Tim has really been “on his own” for quite some time now, it will be a permanent change now that he is getting married. What started out as a journey with just the two of us has changed into a wonderful life with thirteen! (as of May 29)! It went so fast! I remember days filled with so many activities that I climbed into bed many a night completely exhausted! For those of you in the busy days of parenthood, let me remind you that “Your today will soon be yesterday.” It goes by that fast! Please let me reiterate to each of you the importance of enjoying these days, and not just enduring them. I am happy to say that, as I look back, I may have changed a few things if I could do it all over again–but I don’t regret one thing! I have given the following tidbits in various classes and in ladies sessions through the years, but please allow me to share them with you one more time. The older your children become, you realize more and more that you have only one chance at this thing called “parenting.” Please allow God to use these in your life:
I am happy to say that, as I look back, I may have changed a few things if I could do it all over again–but I don’t regret one thing!
- Get your priorities in order. Attitudes as well as actions say, “Look, kid, you are a hindrance to my work.” Children do not want to play second fiddle to a parent’s work. Remember the order is: God, spouse, children, work, church. I know that, as a provider for the home, work is top of the list for a man, but, it should never take important time away from your children.
- Live as consistently as you can. God doesn’t expect you to be perfect, but He wants to be perfect through you.
- Confess your failures regarding your children. When you’ve made a mistake, admit it! You will be setting a good example of honesty for your children to follow.
- Keep the channels of communication open. Anger, frustration, constant preaching and sarcasm are surefire ways to stop the flow of communication.
- Go easy with your criticism. You will drive your children from you with constant criticism and few compliments seasoned with praise!
- Surround your children with a fence of prayer asking God to guide, direct and protect them. My mind has been filled with a lot of “what ifs” since Tim was involved in a hit-and-run accident this past Sunday night while taking some teen bus boys home. Even though the car is a wreck, the outcome could have been so much worse. I am thankful that my prayer every day is for protection for my children.
- Let your child be himself. Clothes and styles that seem “trendy” to us don’t last too long. Don’t forget that your era is outdated. I realize that modesty is always in style but, as Marlene Evans said so often, “If it isn’t wrong, wicked or against the Bible, leave them alone.” That helped me so much as a mother.
- Once your child has joined his/her partner in marriage, help them to “leave” you. Genesis 2:24 Yes, I am getting to practice what I preach!
- Listen more than you lecture. A discussion is always more pleasant than a lecture, so do whatever is necessary to keep from preaching a sermon every time one of your children says something that sets off your alarm.
- Realize that God loves and cares for your children more than you do. As a parent, that is hard to comprehend; but it is true. If we have done all that we possibly can with God’s help, leave the results with God!
When Tiffany was a senior in high school, the school theme song that year was,“My Life, Lord, Is Yours to Control.” That song has been my theme for my children. The chorus says this:
“My life, Lord, is Yours to control; I give You my heart and my soul.
I’ll seek Your will, never mine, rich treasures to find.
Give wisdom to choices I make, along every path that I take,
So when I complete life’s race, “Well done” You will say.”
My children and your children all have a race to run. Let’s help them make it to the finish line!! May God bless you as you rear your children for Him. It will be “yesterday” before you know it!!
Until next month,