“PARENTING 201” By Pastor YAU
Most people would agree that parenting is one of the most difficult jobs anyone may take. Yet many are rushing to be parents because it is also one of the most, if not the most, rewarding jobs. The potential of kids, the surprises, the mischief and the laughter, just to name a few, all contribute to the joy and grief of parenting. Parenting brings out the best and the worst of human character and nature. It is the single most lasting job anyone may imagine without end. There are many lessons parents may learn from events of everyday life. The following are only a few for illustration purposes:
PARENTING IS LIKE TEACHING KIDS TO DRIVE:
There are basically two kinds of driving teachers: the licensed, approved and authorized teachers and the amateur, volunteer and self-appointed teachers like moms, dads and friends, etc. Many parents are like the later. They never learn before they become parents, never learn after they become parents, never ask for helps or tips from the more successful parents. They parent their kids like the amateur driving teachers: teach whatever THEY THINK IS RIGHT. No wonder so many parents are exhausted and their kids are confused and lost. There are things good parents will do for better results:
1) Know the rules and teach the kids rules and the consequences of breaking them.
2) Be there for them as they learn: be available, consistent and ready to correct and advise. Be an example in word and deeds so kids may learn from live experience.
3) Have faith and trust in them. No matter how well you may teach your kids, it is their OWN responsibility to be a safe driver. There is no way you may monitor then the rest of their lives. You may able to teach them techniques but you are unable to make them a good and safe driver. It is a choice you can’t do for them.
PARENTING IS LIKE FARMING: (I Corinthians 3:5-8)
Farming is not like cooking: too many unknown factors that may change the results of harvest. One may words till he drops, and still doesn’t harvest what he should be rewarded. Many important elements are needed to have a good year of harvest:
1) There is NO substitute for hard work in farming. Parenting is likewise. The efforts, time and labor invest in the kids will play strong influence in their character building as well as physical growth.
2) Learn what to do in what season. No two kids are alike. Each has his unique personality, likes and dislikes, learning ability and disability. Parents need to cater to their different needs at different stages of life. Most kids learn 95% of basic treats and character before they turn 4 years old.
3) Patience is another important element of good farming. All plants take time to grow and each has its unique pattern and timing. Kids won’t learn anything without time and patience.
4) Acknowledge elements beyond your control: weather, temperature and amount of rainfall in farming are not things anyone can do to change but they are important factors of success or failure. No parent is all powerful or all knowing. There are times and places where parents have no control on their kids in learning, molding of character and personality. These are the times parents need to seek God for His intervention and guidance. Parents without God in time like this will burnout.
PARENTING AS FOSTER PARENTS:
Parents need to learn from foster parents many essential principles to be successful:
1) Acknowledging ownership: Our children are NOT our property. They belong to God. We are only awarded temporary custody rights or opportunity. This is a very important principle all parents need to have. Many conflicts between parents and their children sprouted from ownership misunderstanding.
2) Foster parents are people of good qualities, balanced emotional power, self-discipline, good character and a history of above average moral standard. Too often, people become parents without preparing themselves of the qualities they need. Children born to these parents are facing potential dangers.
3) Know the requirements and diligently following them. Seek wisdom from God and knowledge from more successful parents. Negligence or oversights may cause permanent damages to their growth and personality. Learning and diligence are vital in successful parenting.
4) Report to authority problems beyond their ability. Parents need to have an authority over them: GOD. All parents need to have HIM as the ultimate source of wisdom, guidance and protection from harm both to them and to their kids.
The Apostle Paul acknowledged his responsibility as a steward of God in I Corinth. 4:1-2. He also acknowledged his own responsibility as a steward: to be faithful. It is very important for parents to be faithful of God’s most precious trust: our children. If you are exhausted, confused or plain frustrated, you may always come to Him to ask for wisdom and guidance as James said his book, James 1:5. In Him, resource will never run dry.
In the scripture quotation above, God listed out conditions of obeying or disobeying His commandments. It is for the good of parents and their children to obey God and follow His lead. He is the ultimate guarantee of any success in parenting.