3 Cups quality time;
2.5 Cups of Hard work;
1.5 Cups of discipline (Add more if the mixture requires)
5 tsp of guidance;
1 dozen quality friends and their families.
Mix the above in 1 large community , immerse and cover with affirmation. Leave to cure for 18 years and serve.
Wouldn’t it be nice if succesful parenting was as simple as following the steps of your favourite recipe, just add, mix, bake and enjoy!
For those of you without children (Parents, you know the sort, their eyes follow you with scornful disdain and stare you down with wisdom acquired through the ages from the careful studying of movies, TV shows, second-hand opinion gathering and other useful practices) Sorry guys, this recipe doesn’t exist.
In my experience, children are the products of parenting and the environment in which this occurs. Typically, a loving two parent family where a child receives loving input, affirmation, safety, correction and provision in various forms, with the absence of severe trauma, can be expected to become a well-balanced, fully functioning and value adding member of society. However, the reality facing many looks very different to this. The result? broken children, who become broken teenagers, who grow up into broken adults, fully equipped to repeat the cycle of brokenness in their families.
How depressing! Seems to be very little hope for the world!
On the surface, I would agree. But, the beauty with kids is their ability to leave you wanting to pull your hair out in frustration the one minute and then leave you dumbfounded in complete amazement the next. The key for me, is this; While we can never simply accept poor behaviour and other challenges, we must never forget that they are in the process of becoming the people we pray they will become.
By this I mean, we can never overlook our role in the moment whether it be correction, guidance or praise, but we must also remember our goal is not found in the moment but in the finished product. This means that, while we are dealing with someone who is manifesting in a way that frustrates, irritates or simply drives you crazy, that moment cannot dictate our expectations or beliefs of who that child will become.
One of the cardinal rules of Mountain biking is this “You go where you look”. Anyone who has ridden over a narrow bridge while looking at the stream or gorge below can attest to the results. Does that mean what’s below the bridge doesn’t exist, of course not! What it does mean though, is that while I am going over the bridge with all that is going on underneath, I keep my eyes fixed on the prize. In mountain biking that is solid ground, for us as parents it is the adult we know and believe our children can become.
They are a work in progress! Keep your eyes lifted and focussed on where they’re going, it may mean the difference between succesfully navigating the obstacle or becoming one with the river bed.