These days it seems as if many children have difficulties or differences, challenges or disabilities. Some of them are considered hidden (like in our Daniel) because the children seem to have a reasonable degree of functioning but some are very obvious. Even giftedness falls into this category because they become different than the norm. These differences in our children add a different dimension to our parenting – some hard things but definitely some joys.

Daniel has taught me a lot – I am a different parent, thanks to Daniel. He has taught me to hug, to sit and cuddle. He has taught me to slow down and listen. He has taught me to choose my battles carefully. He has taught me that there is more than one way to achieve a parenting goal.

When we have children with differences we have to be very clear what our goals are – what is the next thing we are working on and to what end? It is easy to get lost and not see the forest for all the trees. We get so caught up in the detail of this current challenge that we don’t consider the big picture.

The big picture for these children is the same as the big picture for any other child. Our goals remain the same – that they learn to love God with all their heart and that they love their neighbour. The only thing that is different is that the time and effort required may vary – actually, it will vary, from child to child (difficulty or challenge aside!) Parenting is a journey and each child, regardless of their extra challenges, will travel at their own speed, they may take their own detours but the destination must remain the same.

Destination: To love God and love others

  • Our children need to know God’s Word and have a desire to obey
  • Our children need to know how to pray, and involve Jesus in their life
  • Our children need to learn respect, obedience and self control etc

We cannot afford to make the excuse – my child is different. We may need to accept that they are, we may need to work with these differences, but never use them as an excuse for disobeying God and disrespecting people.

 

Two verses come to mind

Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.
Psalm 20:7 (NIV)

It is easy to trust in programmes and professionals – and they will be a help but the biggest help will be our belief, trust and hope in Jesus and seeing our child as Jesus sees him/her. We need to pray for our children (as I am sure you do), we need to pray for wisdom and insight so that we may help our little ones.

Never do we need God’s wisdom more than when we feel totally out of our depth, when we feel exhausted and have no idea of what to do next. God is faithful.

If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God,
who gives generously to all without finding fault,
and it will be given to him.
James 1:5 NIV

 

2 Comments

  1. angietester01

    Very true again Belinda. We have four children, and I would describe the youngest as the different one. So loving, so affectionate, so extreme in many things. We would struggle to ever be loved more by any other person. He is devoted and yet lacks self-control, passionate and competitive and a bit crazy. I think the result is that we are forced to have more understanding and compassion for others who also have children who a little different. However God is good and faithful and if we keep looking to Him for help with all our children, and point them to Jesus, we are doing the right thing.

    Reply
  2. Belinda

    Absolutely Angie. Parenting my four has certainly changed me – and I am so thankful for each of their individual quirks and perspectives on life. But bottom line is – loving God, loving people regardless of the quirks!! Thanks for leaving a comment today.

    Reply

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