So for those of you who were not able to join us, let me give you some highlights. Parenting is one of the hardest jobs you will ever have with the least amount of training..... thus the workshop!! Typically parents have questions about specific scenarios. What should we do when such and such happens. We not only had our "911 go to couple" for our marriage, but they were also our go to couple for parenting. There was the night that Tyler refused to eat his potatoes and after several rounds of discipline we made our 911 call to ask, "What now"! We were exasperated!!
All that being said, I feel like the best advise we have to give to parents is to not focus so much on what your child should do, and focus more on helping them to become who they should be. We shared two of our favorite parenting books with our group:
Romancing Your Child's Heart by Monte Swan and The Blessing by Gary Smalley and John Trent.
I will give you some highlights from Romancing Your Child's Heart in this blog and my next one will overview The Blessing.
Basically, this book encourages parents to parent based on relationship and not rules. If you win your child's heart, the chances of them being wooed to Christ increase greatly. So how do you win your child's heart?
First and foremost, Swan tell us that our relationship with God will have a direct impact on our child's. He states, "At any given moment, our children can sense whether we're having a firsthand relationship with God, because long before children can read words they can read hearts. And romance happens because it comes through us from the Spirit of God."
We are all familiar with Proverbs 22:6 , train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.
I misunderstood this for years and thought it was saying if you train your child in the right way, he/she will not stray when he is older. This book helped me to understand that in the way he/she should go actually means according to his/her bent. Another words, each child is unique and should be treated as such. No cookie cutter parenting. Each child is a unique bundle of talents, passions and inclinations and we as their parents are to be students of our children. We help to call out the talents we see in each one individually. This occurs as we enter their world as much as possible. He talked about going the extra mile to nourish each child's dreams, aspirations, and visions by protecting and cultivating their creativity. We help our children learn who they are more than what they should do. It is all about the relationship.
Space does not allow for a complete book review, but I strongly recommend you grab a copy of this book and incorporate these principles into your parenting. And by the way, you do not have to be the parent to have an impact on the life of a child. If you do not have children of your own you can become the aunt, sister, cousin or friend who helps a young person see themselves through new eyes. They will surely be talking about you in the years to come as one who helped them blossom into the person they were destined to be. What a privilege that is!!!