Parenting is tough. Anyone that does it day in and day out knows this.
Temper tantrums, picky eating, homework, questionable decisions, time management, messy rooms, last minute forms, and bad attitudes permeate everything.
Sometimes, I love being a parent; other times, not so much.
The challenges can be overwhelming and draining. With faith as my strength and my husband as my partner, I persevere through the toughest moments.
I work hard at being an attentive listener for my kids.
I do my best to pay attention to the Pokemon references and the anime discussions; I sincerely ask about their day and listen to the good and the bad. They are all important.
I especially enjoy the times my girls joke and laugh together, then look at their dad and I and say, "Inside joke," then giggle some more.
I talk, too, as they roll their eyes and make faces, and their body language screams, "OK. OK. I GET IT!"
My girls are not "typical" girls for their age. Neither of them is what we call a "girlie-girl."
Do not come near them with makeup, hair products of any kind, fancy dresses, or even dress clothes.
From the time they were little, they preferred trains, dinosaurs, Scooby-Doo and Diego over dolls, Disney princesses and playing dress-up.
Their friends tend towards the "less than popular" group of kids - the geeks, the nerds, the brainiacs and the gamers.
I suppose the apples don't fall too far from the tree on this one.
We live in a great neighborhood on a cul-de-sac block. The kids play street hockey, kick-the-can, ghosts in the graveyard and other warm weather games, while the grownups gather in camping chairs on their driveways, indulging in tasty beverages.
My youngest loved to play street hockey; so much so that she asked for her own stick and ball. An athlete, she did well in the games.
Then, suddenly, she stopped playing. I know a couple of times she walked away from the group when some of the participants started bickering. She detests conflict, so instead of taking a side or listening to it, she came home.
I figured she'd go back out eventually and play again, but that never happened.
A few weeks ago, when I arrived home from work, the kids were outside playing street hockey, so I suggested to my youngest that she go outside and play. She said she didn't want to.
I asked, "What happened? You used to love playing street hockey with the other kids. Why don't you play anymore?"
Here response blew me away, "Mom, they are all older now, and they act like they're older. They swear and tell dirty jokes... I just don't like it. I don't want to be part of that, so I just don't play."
Oh my word, she IS listening!
I could not be prouder of her desire to be a person of integrity and good character. She's not willing to compromise what she believes in just to fit in.
My prayer for her is that she can stand strong in the face of all adversity in her life. If so, she will do great things in this world.
Ephesians 4:29 (ESV)
29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
Proverbs 22:6 The Message (MSG)
6 Point your kids in the right direction — when they’re old they won’t be lost.
Matthew 12:36 (ESV)
36 I tell you, on the day of judgment, people will give account for every careless word they speak...
What is your proud parenting moment?
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