Raising Godly kids isn't easy. But I'm not going to tell anyone how to do it. You see, I'm not an expert. I don't have all the secrets. I'm not sure I even know how. But I can share a few things I've learned about parenting in general.
- I am a fallible human being and I am going to make mistakes. I can make that a learning experience for my children by owning my failures and apologizing when necessary.
- Each of my kids is a unique individual with their own thoughts, ideas, and dreams. I don't believe parenting them is a one-size-fits-all kind of job. But I do believe that they will all do well with boundaries, clear expectations, and fair consequences.
- I can teach my children humility, tact, and respect only by example. These things can not be demanded or punished into my children.
- I must be skeptical of anyone who thinks they know all about raising kids "God's Way". Because I am responsible to both my children and the God who gave them to me, I must be sure that anything an "expert" tells me has merit.
- Happiness is temporary. While I hope that my children lead happy lives, more than that I pray that they become people of character. I believe that character will last through difficult times, and attract people who will help see them through it.
- Prayer works. Even if it's only to center me and remind me that I'm not in this alone.
- I don't believe that I have to spank to raise good kids. And if I don't have to spank, if there are perfectly good options besides spanking, I will not choose to do that.
- Every day my kids are learning who they are and how to be. Every day that they are here is a chance for me to learn how to be a better mom. I will take every opportunity that I find to be the best mom to them I can.
- My family is a gift. Even when I think about selling the kids to the circus and running off to Ireland, I remember that.
- I will speak out when possible against those whom I believe teach parenting methods that do harm to children. I believe it's important for my kids to see that we all have responsibility to act within our power to protect those who can't speak for themselves.
As my kids get older, I get a better idea of how these ideas are working for me. Right now Reagan is sitting next to me on the couch. He's smart, he's healthy, he talks to me, and he still trusts me. I think I'm doing okay.