{Parenting} Real life is hard.

By: Mandy Hill

Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way. (James 1:2-4)

As a parent, you want the very best for your child. You want them to grow up and do well; not just taste success, but feast on it. I know I certainly want the very best for my three babes!

I believe that part of being successful is making mistakes; learning from our experiences. Take for example, an experience I had watching a mom and her little boy interact at the grocery store tonight…..

I was about 8 steps behind this weary Mama throughout the entire store. (I was shopping solo as my hubby was at home tucking in our three little people! Thanks babe!) This mama was shopping with her son who looked to be about seven or eight years old. The first incident happened near the meat aisle. The little boy who we will call ‘Carter’ was playing with a firetruck dinky car. He was asking telling his mom to buy hot dogs. Over and over and over he would chant “You better buy me hot dogs, mom. Do you hear me? I said, you better buy me hot dogs, mom!” She was quietly responding, not today ‘Carter’, maybe another time. Carter, not very fond of his mothers response to his demand, said ‘I said I want hot dogs TONIGHT!’ and in one swift pitch that firetruck went flying across the aisle. It actually made quite a crashing noise so I glanced over to see if he had cleared a shelf of glass jars, but what I saw was his firetruck in about a dozen pieces scattered over the floor. As he realized the consequence of his outburst, and the tears started to flow, Carter’s mom ran to his side and quickly said ‘We can buy you a new one, honey! It’s alright.’

Oy.

The second incident happened as we approached the frozen section. Carter’s mom was asking him what he had left to do for homework that night. He replied “I didn’t finish my book questions last night, and my teacher gave me zero for that part already. I don’t feel like doing the rest of the questions if I already got zero on some of them.’ I listened in as Carter’s mom quickly explained that she would be giving Mrs. So-and-so a call in the morning and if she wouldn’t accept his questions late for marks she would ask her to come up with a reasonable way to make up some extra credit.

Friends. I am a mommy to a five year old, a four year old and an almost two year old; I am certainly not claiming to be an expert at being a Mommy. However, I do see so much value in helping our children THROUGH their mistakes; not always fixing them. If your child breaks their toy, don’t replace it. They’ll learn a valuable lesson in taking care of their stuff. If your child gets a zero on some missed homework, let them be the one to take ownership for their mistake and work out making up the credit themselves.

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Real life is hard, sisters. If we try to cover up every challenge or hardship that comes into the pathway of our child, he/she will never make it as an adult. If you truly want the very best for your child….don’t take away the worst; walk them through the worst instead.

Point your kids in the right direction— when they’re old they won’t be lost. (Proverbs 22:6)

Jesus, thank you for the promise that you will never leave us or forsake us. Thank you for giving us these blessings we call our children. I pray God, that we will always take our role as parent seriously; that we would endeavour to guide these lives that you’ve entrusted to us down the path of righteousness. Please help us to always remember that mistakes are a part of growth and maturity. Instead of trying to cover up mistakes, please help us to walk through the challenges and consequences with our children with a heart of grace and mercy. I pray that you will bless each Mom (and/or Dad) that reads this today. Please fill them with strength and wisdom for the days to come. Thank you for all that you are doing! In Jesus name, Amen.

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