In my first and second letters to you, I’ve outlined what you’ve taught me regarding parenting. It’s not possible for me to list all that you’ve taught me, but I just want to share a few more things that have really helped guide me over the years.
7) Love your kids, but not above your spouse.
In a godly marriage, our Father comes first, our spouse second, and children after that. Not children above the spouse…that creates a dynamic that causes resentment and is harmful to marriage. In any case, it’s good for children to see what a healthy marriage is, with two adults working as a strong team to parent the children.
8) Favoritism among the children is not good.
Oh, parent who taught me this lesson…I longed so much for you to see the pain and resentment in your less-favored children towards the one raised so high above the others. This was another negative example set for me and yet, this lesson was just as important for me to learn as the others. No judgement here…thank you for teaching me this valuable lesson.
9) Let your kids be who they want to be.
I remember my son wanting to go to the grocery store in his Batman costume. He was about 5 years old and my husband was reluctant to take him. In that moment, I realized that my son would probably not be a grown man wanting to go to the grocery store in his Batman costume. So for these five minutes he’s actually a child, I want him to be Batman in the grocery store, if that’s what he wants. Also, hair grows back. When my teen wanted a mohawk, other parents were shocked and amazed that I let her do it. Why?? It grows back and SURPRISE! The mohawk was short-lived. Tatts and piercings would be a different story, but hair is just hair. I just thought of my kid as a human chia pet.
It’s time for me to end this letter…my mindset and spirit don’t let me judge you. Good or bad, you have all been wonderful examples to me over the years of how I wanted to be or didn’t want to be as a parent. Knowledge of both is equally important and I’m grateful to you. To my own parents, I know you did your best…I see now that raising children is difficult. To my Peer Parents: Thank you for listening to me vent and sharing your philosophies on parental lifestyle. I’ve been taking it all in. To the parents older than me who shared their experiences with their older children: Thank you for bestowing your pearls of wisdom on me. I have cherished them more than you know. And to the new parents of firstborns: Many blessings and happy years to you and your children!