Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Kamikaze Parenting: Foundations

*Expect parenting to take time: actual time vs quality time.

Yes, quality time is a great thing. There are going to be moments, however, when life must stop revolving like a tilt-a-whirl. Your child needs your undivided attention. It is going to take a while. Stay till you know you are done however long it takes. Miss soccer, dance, or sleep. Be fully present. If you aren't, someone else is waiting to do so, and you won't like the result.

In this bullet point kinda world, magazine editors require 500 word articles with sidebars in case someone is too busy to read an article. They want 10 hints for this problem and 5 shortcuts to that solution because we can't catch up with the life we are living now much less slow down and absorb the world around us.

We barely stop to make eye contact as we throw backpacks in the car while rushing to the next commitment. While it is all worthy 'stuff', not one thing is as worthy as you knowing the midnight cry of your child's heart when all the barricades come down and the truth comes out. Take that to the bank.

Courtesy Mad Penguin Creative
Owing to homeschooing, my sons have had the freedom to slip down at midnight to talk. For some reason, the teen brain seems most willing to share what has stayed bottled up inside at that late hour. Almost always, I was ready to scream, “LET ME SLEEP!!!” before they were through. In the end, I knew I had created an encouraging atmosphere that would entice them to come back again. They do even now that Son #1 is no longer a teen.

*Teach your children that they have value that is based on an eternal, unchanging, creator God who designed them with a unique purpose in mind.

No, I don't mean stroke them every possible way you can to foster their sense of self-worth. Self-worth for its own sake is a hollow concept that fails to deliver the hoped for result. You don't think so? We have a generation of kids who have been coddled, stroked, and reassured on self-worth. Where has it gotten us? It has gotten us a generation of entitled kids who don't know the value of life, work, morals, respect, or empathy.

Perhaps the 2nd defining moment of my parenting journey occurred when my little blonde tornado heard me sigh, looked up and said, “Oh, Mamma? Am I sick?” In that instant, I KNEW beyond a shadow of a doubt that the next thing I said could chart the course of his life for success or defeat.

So, when I took a deep breath and said, “No, honey. You are not sick. You are fearfully and wonderfully made,” I said it with the kind of assurance that a 7YO would never doubt. Even tho' I was unsure of the future, I knew God's word said we are fearfully and wonderfully made. My son could take that promise to the bank.

Over the years, I have driven that point home as often as needed. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. You have a divine purpose that God put into place when he threw the stars in space. You have value because he created you with a purpose that only you can fulfill in this world. Only you. Those words instill confidence, vision, hope, and many other things that secular self-worth 'doctrine' fails to inspire.

Courtesy A. Squires
*Teach the lost art of honoring your word, keeping your promises, and respecting others.

We love a curriculum by Richard Maybury composed of a series of “Uncle Eric” books. One of the first ones we cover is Whatever Happened to Justice? In this slender volume, Maybury asserts that there are 2 fundamental laws upon which all major religions and philosophies agree (p. 35):
  1. Do all you have agreed to do.
  2. Do not encroach on other persons or their property.
Oh my! As I watched news footage of the aftermath of the Kentucky Wildcats' basketball victories this last week, it took about 2 seconds to realize that no one had taught that unruly crowd Rule #2. Nor had anyone told them much about the Golden Rule of the Bible: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” (Matthew 7: 12)

Do you see how principle #1 flows into principle #2 which flows into #3. Do you? A child whose parents pour real time effort into his/her life no doubt finds it easy to believe that he or she has a wonderful purpose in the world. If you believe you have a higher calling, you do not live to a lower common denominator of the out of control crowd that thinks anarchy is fun. You will honor your word, promises, and others.

Courtesy B. Creasy
Well, my fraidy cat friend, we live in a fraidy cat world. If you know a parent, particularly a young parent who needs a place to call home, tell them to drop by? Bring them with you to sit a spell? I love you long and strong. All fraidy cats are welcome here!

Ephesians 2: 10 (Word English Bible)
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared before that we would walk in them.


  1. Love it!!! Thank you for this encouragement!

  2. :-) Quite the contrary. Thank you for YOURS!