Lately, Lydia has been taking beginner swimming lessons. She already feels over-confident, yet doesn’t realize the safety belt keeps her afloat! “See, I know how to swim!” Her sense of independence has carried over to other areas, too.
Perhaps it’s part of growing up…but the last few weeks have been tough on me as a parent! On several occasions, I’ve needed an extra-large dose of God’s grace to stand firm with discipline. More than once, I’ve lost my patience and needed a parenting pep-talk!
There have been genuine—but mislead—moments of helping me with household tasks. Lydia was proud of herself but spilled water everywhere. I’m glad she’s learning…but each time she ‘helps,’ it requires a time-consuming clean-up!
There have been full-blown meltdowns too. We’ve had personality ‘power plays’ and other issues. However normal, I could do without the whining and tears!
So, I have reinforced the importance of listening and first-time obedience. We’ve talked about boundaries and respect, forgiveness and grace. It’s an hourly process at times.
I know ALL parents go through these challenges. Most kids do similar things…indeed it’s a little funny, hearing my mom’s familiar voice coming out of my own mouth:
“I love you too much to let you act that way!”
Still, we’ve had some really good moments too. I’ve given and received extra attention, hugs, and “I love you’s.” When I point out what is going well, Lydia beams.
Yes, I am thankful for my smart, healthy, spunky, and beautiful girl. I’m keenly aware some people would give anything to have children…but for some reason cannot.
Let me not take this child or this season for granted.
Father’s Day is coming up. In the past, I’ve had Lydia send notes or pictures to her grandpas and uncles. Now she’s old enough to realize that her Daddy is not here to celebrate. But, we are not alone. We have a great support system, near and far.
Also, God has been with us the entire time. He loves Lydia even more than I do. What’s more, He promises to be a father to Lydia (Psalm 68:5). True to His Word, He’s graciously placed many wonderful men in our lives. Besides grandpas and uncles, we also have great friends and neighbors who influence Lydia for good.
I appreciate the men who have stomped in mud puddles, played ball, and taught Lydia new things. A few brave guys have let her paint their nails! They have read to Lydia, given her piggy back rides, and made pictures with sidewalk chalk.
I’m amused at the difference between how men and women handle kids. My “mom-friends” are amazing, but surely, I can learn a few tricks from the men!
Last weekend, I tried to feed Lydia dinner before going outside. She, however, was eager to play with one of the neighbor girls… “I’m not hungry, Mom.” Soon, I got a text from the little girl’s dad: “Can Lydia have some deer sausage?” He was grilling out for his family that evening. In addition to two helpings of sausage, Lydia enjoyed tater tots and a popsicle! 😀
A few days before, we visited other friends, who live across the street. Their little boy was learning to ride his bike without training wheels. He did really well, with some coaching from his dad! I have no idea how I am going to teach Lydia to do this… But after talking with my neighbors, I’m sure this dad would gladly help Lydia learn how to ride her bike too.
Tater tots and training wheels? Yes, please!
Clearly, I’m not an expert on parenting. 🙂 Thus, I need the help of those around me and the insight of those ahead of me. There is no such thing as a perfect parent. But I can be present, persistent, and praying for wisdom.
I’m always looking for good resources. Recently, I’ve been using, Praying the Scriptures for Your Children, by Jodie Berndt and Personality Plus for Parents, by Florence Littauer. Great books! Also, I found this podcast helpful!
Parenting is certainly a challenging job, but God will help us accomplish it. When difficulties come, let’s stand firm and work enthusiastically, knowing that nothing we do for the Lord is useless (1 Corinthians 15:58)!
Heavenly Father, thank You for this precious child You’ve given me. Thanks for providing encouragement and reinforcements on this parenting journey. Please give me Your wisdom and grace every day. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Questions: What are your favorite parenting resources? For those of you with older/grown kids…Do you have any nuggets of wisdom or funny stories to share?!