I have three boys and one thing that I find essential is that each of my children trust me. I will be the first to say that this does not always happen. I do my best but life, and simply being tired gets in the way. This may be what I find of essential importance but not always easy to carry out.
The child should trust me when I say that we will go to Church on Sunday. The child will trust me when I say I will always provide for him. My children will always be safe and I promise each one of them that. I will raise them to know the difference between right and wrong and I will teach them how to make choices. The child will trust that when we say something will happen it will indeed happen. I will teach them of Jesus and they will know it is the truth because my mouth does not lie.
I will guarantee to my boys that I will never leave them. Not at the park, not at the store, not anywhere; I will always make sure they are safe. When I say there will be no candy at the grocery store then I mean it. I don’t mind them screaming bloody murder throughout the store, it will not change my mind, I said no candy and I meant no candy. I also meant it when I said that there will be a spanking waiting for them when they gets home. I will promise my kids that I will do my best to raise them to make choices and understand consequences and so I will. Choices does not mean that I must buy them candy based on their threats, that I must stay at the store until they feel like leaving, that I must replace broken toys they choose not to respect, that I must clean up their toys every day. I keep what I clean. They have the choice to scream and cry and I have the choice to ignore it. The real world will not give my children whatever they demand and neither will I. My word is truth and that’s that.This is my dream; my hope as a parent. It does not always go this way, but when it does I see the calm return to my kids!
I am constantly working towards this goal; to always be stern, yet loving. I will always know where to draw the line. Yet I waiver. I get tired, I get guilty, I forget what I am working towards. Why; because I am tired. I make false threats, I lose my temper, I give toys and candy out of guilt for my poor attitude. I tell my kids I am punishing them to teach them how to be capable adults; and then I fail miserably… again. The guilt stabs me and I give in. I pray, I hope, I beg God for patience.
How do I untie this web, how do I stop myself from the repeated mistakes. I tell my kids I am sorry, I tell them I go to God and those I have hurt and hope they will do the same. Will this work? I am not sure;but I pray and I hope. I dream of my kids become capable, God-fearing adults. I pray more and hand it to God. At this point I usually kick myself in the head and start the guilt process again.
Moms out there, do not lose hope, remember that we all mess up, pray a lot, and wait for that day. That day when my kids grow up and I turn them over to God… and pray more. We will be standing there too. All of us moms and dads just crossing our fingers that we’ve done enough, teached enough, loved enough. So what is the number one truth of parenting? The number one truth is that no one will do it all right and no one can control the outcome and the best we can do is be honest with our kids and others and hope they respect and trust us for it.