Wednesday, September 8, 2010

"Parenting Wisdom For Today"

There are some parenting issues that seem to be no brainers. Yes, you have to brush your teeth. No, you may not play in the road. Yes, you have to wear underwear. No, you may not have a swiss cake roll for dinner. Common sense kicks in and makes these decisions for us, unless of course we are exhausted and we feed our children sweets and send them to bed without underwear or brushing their teeth, but for the most part this is the exception and not the rule. Then there are those things that just do not have a concrete answer. For example, potty training. We can read tips, ask friends and try different technics, but there is no right or wrong way to potty train our children. It's just what works for that child. With our first son we tried the cereal method. You place circle cereal in the toilet and use it for target practice. The problem for a 2 year old ensues when the same cereal is in a bowl on the breakfast table. Confusion strikes and that novel idea no longer seems so great. If only potty training were the only gray area in parenting, but we find ourselves faced with many situations that cause us to seek wisdom from outside of ourselves. The problem with this search however is the fact that all of our children are different and what is wise direction for one child may not be wise for another. We find ourselves seeking wisdom this week where our Joshua is concerned. Joshua is my confident, self assured, can handle himself in any situation child. I have often said that if Joshua was lost in downtown New York he would know just what to do. He may be able to handle New York, but first grade has been a whole new world. He has an amazing teacher and a great group of children in his class. He is very smart and is a really good kid. However Joshua has begun to have anxiety attacks due to school. He has had tummy aches, his chest hurts until he can't breathe and he bites his nails and cries at the mention of school. Further research has taught us that Joshua puts a lot of pressure on himself. He is terrified of doing anything to get in trouble and has cut some friendships short because...and I quote..."I don't want to get in trouble by association." We are working closely with his teacher, counselor and principal to encourage Joshua towards personal freedom and learning to enjoy school. Their wisdom and counsel has been encouraging and appreciated, but we would be amiss if we did not seek our ultimate wisdom from our Almighty Father. He created Joshua and knows him better than we do. He knows what is going on in that little mind and heart and ultimately He is the only one who can heal those fears. Caleb has been a great encouragement to Joshua this week as he has been looking up scripture and sharing it with his brother. His favorite verse is Luke 1:37 "For nothing is impossible with God." I have been so blessed to watch these precious brothers encourage and pray for one another. We are praying for and with Joshua and we are memorizing scripture with him as we seeks God's wisdom concerning his anxiety. Yes, we are taking practical steps at school to help him, but we are seeking God's wisdom. Just as in potty training, you pray and ask the Lord to guide you in what works best with your child but you don't leave them in diapers hoping for a miracle. With each of our boys we prayed and potty trained a little differently but we took steps to encourage bladder discipline. The same is true in every parental area we face throughout the years. It may not make sense to everyone else. It may not make much book sense, but as Godly stewards of our children we must seek God's wisdom and ask for direction in how we encourage, discipline, guide, direct and help our children through the different phases of their lives. These are not just coincidental phases, but these are the things that God brings into the lives of our children to mold and shape their character and make them into the children of God that He desires them to be. This is only accomplished through His wisdom and guidance. The next time a situation arises in the life of your child that causes you to scratch your head or throw up your hands, seek the wisdom of our all knowing Father. Ask Him for guidance and direction and watch Him work so that we can give Him the glory, honor and praise for the work He has done. That is where we are today. Seeking and waiting!

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