I know it can be our instinct as parents to fix things for our kids. To answer their questions for them, resolve their problems, and remind, remind, remind. But, that does not help them.
When we let our kids do the thinking and figuring out their problems and solutions, while giving empathy and walking alongside of them, it empowers them. It shows them that they are capable, which makes them that much more confident.
I have been reading the book, “Parenting with Love and Logic”, and it has really spun things around in my mind. I didn’t realize how many things I had been telling my kids to do – reminding them of things before leaving the house for school, if they need their coat, and if there is a problem at school, giving solutions. Which basically implies, you can’t figure things out or remember things for yourself, so let me keep telling you.
Now, since I’m not reminding them, if they forget something for school, they forget it – they’ll learn far more powerfully through natural consequences instead of nagging words or constant reminders which take away their need to think.
Releasing those reigns on my kids and letting them decide and think through things themselves as they get older is one of the most empowering feelings, not just for me, but also for them. It shifts the responsibility off of our shoulders and to our kids’. Yes, guiding when we need to and problem solving with them is part of parenting, but many times, part of parenting is also simply listening and putting the ball in their courts by asking questions. It simply prepares them for life.
When my daughter told me she was frustrated about something at school, my instinct was to give an idea or solution. Instead, this time, I said, “I know that’s hard. What are you going to do about it?” That communicates empathy, and that I know she can handle the problem, and overcome it.
Encouraging our kids to look to the Lord and to do more of the thinking and working through their problems while showing them empathy, gives them the confidence that they are capable simply because of who they are.
That’s the kind of confidence I want my kids to have. ❤️
Sometimes we give our kids cereal for dinner because we’re just having one of those days.
It’s okay. Our kids will be fine. This is a small example, but mamas, it’s okay.
Sometimes, we’re just plain exhausted and can still feel guilty about not being the “perfect” parent.
But, there are no perfect parents. None.
When our kids see our own imperfections and see how we move forward through them, they are more able to handle their own. It’s just a part of life.
So, when you’re having one of those days like I did yesterday and you give your kids cereal for dinner, even if it’s three nights in a row, or whatever it is, give yourself grace, take a deep breath and know that you are just the mama your child needs, and that they’ll be just fine.
You can do this. We can do this. Lean on someone when you need support. We all need that sometimes.
Lord, thank you for each person reading this. I pray that you would empower them with your Holy Spirit. I pray that you would give them the strength and grace they need for parenting their kids today. Thank you for meeting our needs according to your glorious riches in Christ Jesus. Thank you for being with our kids, blessing them, and speaking to their hearts today. Show us how to parent and love our kids well, a moment at a time. Thank you, Lord. We praise you and love you. In Jesus’ Name, amen.
Natural consequences speak louder to our kids than lecturing and creating our own consequences. For example, instead of constantly nagging our kids to remember their things, if they forget to bring their computer or lunch or water to school without reminding them, the natural consequence is that they have to get a school lunch, school computer, or cup of water at school. They learn by the natural consequence far more powerfully than lecturing and nagging to remember it the next time.
It also puts the responsibility on their shoulders, instead of our own, which only helps them think for themselves and build their confidence. (And, FYI- I’m constantly reminding myself to stop reminding them of things- haha!)
I know sometimes we do have to come up with the consequences, but the more we can let natural consequences do the speaking to our kids, the more they will have an affect.
Lord, please give us the wisdom to parent our kids well and to guide them in ways that will build their confidence. In Jesus’ Name, amen.