Parenting is definitely a life journey that includes ups and downs, challenges and adventures, beautiful reward and blessings, and often much sorrow, worry and frustration. Most of us are far too hard on ourselves, always thinking the ‘other’ parent does it better than us, forgetting that God does not call us to be successful, only faithful to the task.
As a Christian, I also believe that God would never call me to a task without providing all grace and tools needed to fulfill it. One of my favorite sayings is that He doesn’t call the qualified but rather, qualifies those He calls.
Parenting in the modern world is certainly not for the fainthearted. Today’s youth face exorbitant amounts of pressure, danger, tragedies and confusion that were rare-to-non-existent long ago. Parents today must combat dark forces and know how to recognize and disregard erroneous information that threatens to break down their families by tricking them into believing that they must be politically correct in order to succeed.
Debunking a few myths may help parents regain confidence in their own abilities to provide for their families and raise mentally and physically strong children who possess skills and motivation to become productive, caring members of society.
Myth: Families can’t survive unless both parents work full-time jobs outside the home.
Fact: Not only is it often possible for families to include a stay-at-home parent, many households nowadays have two parents working from home. Entrepreneurism is gaining more ground every year and parents are often able to provide for their children’s needs without working outside the home.
There are many benefits to raising children with one or both parents at home full-time. In fact, children often fare better when they spend more, not less, time with their parents.
Myth: Children should be involved in as many outside activities as possible in order to succeed.
Fact: Many families choose not to participate in sports or outside activities for various reasons, sometimes temporarily, other times, permanently. Every family is unique and parents know what’s best for their children. It’s okay to have down time where no one is playing an outside sport or participating in extra-curricular events.
Whether based on finances, logistics (such as vehicle availability) or personal reasons (family crisis or a child struggling emotionally or mentally), parents can prayerfully, confidently determine what is best for their kids even if their decisions are counter-cultural.
Myth: Children should never be bored.
Fact: One can argue that placating every whim or trying to organize and fill every moment of a child’s day may do more harm than good. Creativity and self-awareness is often borne through supposed boredom. It’s not hurting your child to let him or her daydream or have ‘nothing’ to do. Children who whine or complain about such times should be encouraged to use their own imaginations or enjoy some quiet time to themselves to pray or simply ponder life.
Over stimulation is a serious problem in today’s society. Children are not the only ones affected. Many adults suffer mental and physical health problems because they never make time for down time in their lives.
Myth: The more freedom (as in unsupervised or directed time) children have, the better.
Fact: Children need instruction, parameters and guidance to help form their thoughts and make informed decisions regarding their own actions as they mature.
Many parents nowadays are afraid to discipline their kids. They try to be friends with them instead of parenting them. Parents are persecuted if they inculcate convictions, faith-based beliefs and traditional work ethics in their children’s minds and hearts. Although it takes courage to stand up against such attacks, it’s well worth it. Parents who are not afraid to parent increase their children’s chances to reach their full potentials in life.
A relativistic and secular viewpoint threatens traditional family life in the modern world. The disciple Paul reminds us that we must persevere and finish the race if we wish to accept the blessings our Savior offered us through his death and Resurrection.
Allowing children to waste away without direction, foundation and proper daily nurturing under the guise of free-spiriting not only harms our kids but cripples our society as well. Don’t be afraid to debunk the myths and embrace all the tasks, duties, obligations, responsibilities, joys, sorrows, anxieties and efforts that parenting adds to your life. Your children will be glad you did!
Writer Bio: Judy Dudich
Judy Dudich resides in the beautiful woods of Pennsylvania, where 24 acres of land and a home-office provide the perfect setting for her children’s home-education and her own homesteading and business ventures. Life is full of blessings (and challenges!) for Judy, as a wife, mother of 10 and Grammy to six. She is a published author, whose book, “I Surrender/A Study Guide for Women” continues to encourage and support others in Christian family lifestyles throughout the world. Judy has also previously worked in the online speaking circuit. Her passion for permaculture, re-purposing, foraging and organic gardening fills her days with learning and adventure that she loves to share.