Wednesday, October 5, 2016

You are Good Enough

Mom-shaming is an art as old as parenting. It probably began with grunts and pointing at the beginning of human history, most often in cases of mental illness at that time. In modern times though, it has taken on a new and frightening scale. With the rise of social media, mom-shaming has gained international participation from more anonymous haters than could be counted. I would hope most people would agree that gossip and judging others is wrong. So wouldn't that also mean mom-shaming would be wrong? I would hope so.
God is the author of life which also means his is the author of families. Yes, we have free will but at some point during the creation process, the parents' free will ends leaving it up to God what the family ends up with. With adoption, there is more of the parents' will involved but hopefully with their heart open to God's voice. I was just telling another mom the other day that God knows best, so I'm fine with obeying Him. That includes his decision to give me one really spirited child and one fairly cautious child. Yes, God knows best what our families should look like. The parents are the ones whom the child needs and the child is the one whom the parents need hopefully with everyone's sanctification as the goal. Which means, moms, YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH.
Nobody has the right to judge other parents partially because behavioral issues may not be a matter of discipline. Another, parenting is a lifelong process as well as our sanctification. The human brain is not fully developed until early to mid twenties. Which means college students still don't have the same self-control as even a thirty-year old. And when a child is thrown into turmoil, his primitive brain really takes over. What does this all mean? SELF-CONTROL IS A LIFELONG PROCESS. How many of us adults have our own temper tantrums or engage in immature behaviors enviable of any preschooler? Is it because our parents didn't teach us any better? Most likely not. Sometimes maybe, but most of us know the difference between right and wrong.
Who best knows a child aside from God and Mary? The child's parents. Every family's values are different, every family's priorities are different, and with the parent's knowing what is best for their child ONLY the parents can decide what is best. Doctors, teachers, and therapists can make the best recommendations, but if the parents really don't agree they are either correct or in denial. Either way, the parents are responsible for shaping their family. If they decide to disagree with "professionals" for any reason, it's really up to them. Even in the end, much of how a child turns out is out a parents control. We don't have crystal balls and God will speak to our children differently than we may expect. Because we don't have crystal balls, we don't know if any of our fancy "techniques" will produce the desired results. God's will for our children may be different than our inward desires for them, but as mentioned earlier, He's really the one who knows best.
Based on my interactions with fellow parents and other children, I can tell when a child will turn out all right. Not based on whether or not the child receives time-outs or spankings. I can tell based on the parents' devotion. As imperfect as we parents are, our love for our children determines their future success. A loving parent will care if their child is inquisitive and will nurture that trait, a loving parent will treat their child with love so the child will know how to treat others with love, a loving parent will be present for a child so that he knows he is loved and valuable. Rich or poor, homeschool or public school, as long as a parent cares and is involved, the child has a chance at future happiness, holiness, and success.
Ultimately, we all need to take our cues from God. I do my best to find the parenting "methods" that most lines up with church teaching about love and mercy. I have read at least a dozen parenting books over the last two years. In fact, I get really frustrated because every time I want to read a recreational book, I find myself desperately turning to a parenting book for help with the latest issue. Most of the advice of which has either been forgotten or I've not had enough practice in order to implement it properly. When I truly make mistakes, I am acutely aware of it and have been working hard to avoid repeating mistakes. I too am a "saint in the making" as was once our Newman theme.
How does this all relate to the post's title "You are Good Enough"? Well, exactly what it says. No matter what people say or think, no matter your child's personality, as long as you love your child YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH.

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