Do you often feel inadequate, or that you are up against a vast number of challenges as you navigate today's culture? Do you feel discouraged when listening to all the difficulties that your children are facing?
Rest assured, you are exactly the parent your child needs for the here and now. Take heart, and allow me to share five things that are true about you right now, despite what your circumstances or mind may be telling you:
1. You are the parent your child needs.
Hear this: You, my friend, are a good parent; even on your worst days (and boy have I had my share of them). You are a good parent, or guardian, because you are present—you care enough to be here and you want to be the best parent to your child. That, in and of itself, speaks volumes.
In our family, it is an intentional aspiration that a parent is present in the afternoon when our child arrives home from school. The foundation of simply providing presence provides security, comfort, and boosts self-confidence for your child. While this may not be feasible in your home, the opportunity to at least check in via phone call or text is a great way to let your child know that you are thinking of them and sharing how much you care for them.
2. You are learning, too.
One way we’re able to show our kids grace is by reminding ourselves our children are still learning. As they are learning, an intentional focus on how missteps are meant to happen, allows us, the parent or guardian, to learn to be patient through the process.
In parenting, we are equally learning and growing all the time. So, why don’t we start viewing our mistakes as the first step to growing into the parent we’re meant to be? And, that understanding and tenderness we show our kids when they mess up?
Give yourself some of that, too. Grace upon grace.
3. You need all the same things your kid needs.
We might pull out all the tricks in the book to get our kids to eat their vegetables, but more often than not, we give ourselves lackluster effort and scraps.
Starting today, why don't we start giving ourselves everything we want for our children, such as balanced meals, a full night’s rest, safety, love, and time to socialize? We cannot give our kids our best if we’re not okay. We need to fill our own emotional and spiritual bucket, just as their individual buckets need to be filled. Not sure what I am referencing? Check out: How Full Is Your Bucket? by Tom Rath
4. Your best is good enough.
Some days, you will have 100 percent to give and feel as if you have super-human powers to confidently address every area of concern. Yet, there are other days when you will have way less.
But both are your best when you give what you have. Remind and encourage yourself daily that what you have to give is just the right amount. Likewise, lean into Christ and depend on His fulfilling and sustaining Spirit to uphold and provide, especially in those moments when you simply feel unable to do so yourself.
5. Your support system is not optional.
Parenting was never meant to be done alone. As humans, we were not created to exist on an island. We were designed for relationship.
Asking for help when we need it is one of the best ways we can show love to ourselves. So, whether you’re blessed to have a built-in support system from the beginning, or whether you have to work to build a solid foundation of community, make support your priority to maintain and build.
Simply put: Parents need people.
Raising the next generation to be loving humans is one of the hardest jobs. Our thoughts have the power to shape how we approach our role as parents, so let’s make sure our words to ourselves are loud, positive, and true. Immerse yourself in God's Word, speak His Truth over your life, and share His love and truth with those sweet little ones you are raising.
Adapted from Take A Deep Breath: 5 Things that are true today by Stephanie Thomas, Parent cue
This too shall pass.
This phrase is one that has reverberated through my heart and mind as I go through trials and difficult circumstances in life. Goodness knows none of us are exempt from adversity this side of heaven, and we need the strength of God's Holy Spirit to uphold us as we navigate the challenges that come our way. But, how do we encourage our children to build resilience in the face of adversity and hardship?
Oxford defines resilience as the capacity to withstand or to recover quickly from difficulties. It's the ability to bounce back and to recognize how mistakes, setbacks, or difficulties will not overwhelm or hold us back.
This is a challenging lesson for adults, as life hits us over and over again with unexpected setbacks, discouragement, and tragedy. And then we are to rise up and show our children how to be resilient? Perseverance can be a terribly difficult lesson to model when we, as adults, are feeling weary, weak, and bereft ourselves.
Come near to God and he will come near to you. James 4:8a
3 Ways to build resiliency in children
Adapted from the article, 3 Ways to Raise Resilient Kids, Gina Abbas shares incredibly helpful insight to uphold parents in growing, modeling, and building resiliency within the hearts of our children. She shares 3 questions that we can ask ourselves, and ultimately our children, as we navigate discussion and conversations through the challenging circumstance at hand:
- What is happening? When you ask this question, you’re giving your kid an opportunity to share their experience. This allows you to speak into their experience when the timing is right. When a kid or teenager can regularly verbalize their struggles, challenges, and disappointments, they start to see setbacks as an accepted part of life that they’re not stuck in all alone. Not to mention, when your kid shares with you, this means they trust you. This is a big deal.
- What is true, no matter what? Guide them back to what is true. Help recenter your kid on what is true—like how much you love them, how brave and strong they are—and invite them to pause and take a deep breath. Help create a centering opportunity to remind them they are here and their body is working, and that it will be okay. This is where routines—such as dinner time, bath time, and bedtime—can be helpful. When everything is hard and tears are plentiful, getting back into a routine helps to redirect kids to what is true, no matter what.
- What can I do? When there are tears over unfinished book reports, a stressed-out teenager in the middle of exams, a toddler in the middle of a major meltdown, asking this question is a reminder that no matter what happens, you’ve got their back. Even if all you can do is offer a hug or help them find their school library book, offering your help is essential for building resilience. Research from the Mayo Clinic acknowledges that “being able to reach out to others for support is a key part of being resilient.”
Show up and engage
More than anything in this day and age, our children need us to show up for them and shine the way forward. They need our devoted attention, hugs, and moments of modeling the practice of pause.
Pause and take a deep breath. Pause and lift up a prayer to our heavenly Father. Pause and invite His Spirit into the moment, seeking His guidance and wisdom for all things. Pause and respond to your child, the situation, and the challenge knowing the Lord is on your side, He is for you, and He is good.
As we consistently lean into the Spirit, allowing God to strengthen where we are weak and yielding to Him leading the way, our children will likewise yearn to grow in resiliency and truth.
What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31
We are living in a culture increasingly hostile to Biblical truth. Cissie Graham Lynch understands the challenges of raising a family to live for Jesus. This devotional study of 1 Peter will inspire and equip you to spend daily time in God’s Word. Peter wrote this short epistle to believers living in turbulent times, just like we are today.
This study is ideal for parents, grandparents, teachers and others with a passion to live Biblically and to share “the good news” (1 Peter 1:25) with the next generation.
"Every moment of each day should be steeped in His Word. Only then will we—and our children—be able to stand fast, “blameless and innocent…in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation,” (Philippians 2:15).
-Cissie Graham Lynch
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Bible Study Tool
Looking for a great way to study the Bible, either with a group of friends or on your own?
Check out the WordGo Bible Study app! Some studies/courses currently available are Abraham, Jonah, Philippians, and the book of Ephesians, just to name a few! More are added everyday!
Download it to your device today and enjoy digging into God's Word on your own, with your family, or with a group of friends!
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