I’ve been a mother for 25 years. Before I had kids I knew the answers to all of the problems, everything was black and white. Then I had kids and found out that I knew very little! Then we started to live the Christian life, learning to obey God’s commands rather than the world’s logic, by this point I realized that I knew NOTHING!
Now that I am 25+ years down this parenting path I realize that I had so much wrong in the beginning, even as we began to homeschool and pour everything we had into equipping our children academically, spiritually and practically we made a LOT of mistakes. We had some wrong motives and wrong methods. Don’t get me wrong, God has been very good to us in-spite of our shortcomings and being on the closing end of our (serious, heavy-duty, training) parenting days I see so many things we should have done differently.
My #1 piece of advice for parents is to WIN THEIR HEART!!! Do NOT STRESS about the academic subjects, it will come, just keep plugging away at it a little each day. The most important thing is to win and keep their heart, and it takes a lot of work. We are surrounded with distractions to keep us from building close relationships and even more so there are so many things and people to pull your child’s heart from you. If you have their heart they will confide in you, they will trust you and they will listen to your counsel as they grow older. If you do not have their heart none of that will happen. This does not mean there won’t be disagreements and conflict but overall you will have their heart.
So how do you win and keep their heart? You have to work at it EVERY DAY! And if you have already lost their heart work double time to get it back because their future and future generations depend on it.
The house may be clean, the math lessons may be mastered and on the outside everything may look “normal”, but if you do not have your child’s heart none of it means a thing.
If you were not raised in a loving home you have may no idea how to go about winning the heart of your child, much less training them in righteousness.
HERE is a great article, especially if you feel that you are loosing your child’s heart.
Parenting is a journey and sometimes…well, OK, a lot of the time it is HARD, but the biggest part of the battle is winning their heart. Take time to enjoy your children at every age and every stage because I promise you, the days may be long but the years are so very short! There are no perfect parents, just as there are no perfect kids, there is only love, forgiveness, and tons of grace! If we were perfect parents and raised perfect children, well… then there would be no need for Jesus would there? He is our Redeemer, and He not only redeems our souls, but He redeems lost time and broken relationships.
As we learn how to parent, we learn about God’s love for us and just how patient and long-suffering He is. Let us be careful to show our children the same love that has been lavished on us. Relax and enjoy life!