Parenting can be an overwhelming task at times – here are two phrases that have helped me keep my perspective are:
- Focus on the Process not the Product
- Parenting is a journey
Parenting is a Process
When we see raising our children as a training processes rather than a one off teaching event we will have a much better long term understanding of being a parent. Focus on the Process not the Product. The obedience maybe the end product but the process of training and practising is what raising children is all about.
I need to focus on my child’s growth, step by step, not just expect that he will get it – He won’t just suddenly get motivated or function without instruction. He won’t just be obedient with a month of training. The training goes on and on and on. Little bit by little bit he will walk towards these goals I have for him but it won’t happen instantly. My focus has to be on dealing with one issue at a time; one process, one step, one little growth spurt at a time.
When we focus on the end product that we want so much we don’t want to wait for the growth. It is like pulling up a carrot before it has matured. We plant the seeds, we water and then we wait. Growing vegetables is all about waiting – sometimes we can’t even see the growth but it is happening. This is the process of vegetable gardening; this is the process of parenting.
We tend to the garden and we wait for the fruit to appear. That end product – it will bring much rejoicing at harvest time – but there was a process that made that fruit happen.
Parenting is a Journey
If we take that analogy of Parenting as a journey and relate it to our children we have to see that the destination is the same for each child – moral maturity. The difference that comes for each child, even for each family, is that the road is different. Therefore the journey looks different for each of us. Some roads will be straight and narrow. Some roads will be full of roadblocks, twists and turns. Some roads will be straightforward others will be full of adventure. What road are you on with each of your children?
I know of this diversity, even in our own family. The road towards moral maturity has been different for each of my children. What one could do at 6 or 7 another couldn’t do till they were 9 or 10. We often accept these differences in physical skills, but there is a difference in moral training as well. One child will seem to have a desire to walk consistent with the family values, and another child will resist. One road seems easy, another seems hard. But we must know that our children are on the road to growing in these moral skills (as well as intellectual, emotional, social etc) They may not have arrived – but they are on the road. This is what parenting is about.
When we look at different families, or we read different blogs, we need to know that though we may all be walking towards the same end our journey will be different. Each family, each child, each person has their weaknesses, their baggage, their strengths and inclinations, all of which will affect the journey. Each family starts their journey at a different time and place – this will define your road.
It is a different road, but its the same destination!
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