If you clicked on this link to find THE answer to raising good kids, well I’m going to be very upfront. I do not have the answer for you. In fact, you have been misled to believe that there is ONE way to raise good kids. Well, I suppose there is ONE way to raise kids, but not the “how to raise GOOD kids” mentality.
As parents, we are raising our kids in an environment when I think there is an incredible amount of pressure on HOW to parent. Do this. Don’t do that. Feed them this, how dare you EVER feed them that! You let your baby sleep with YOU? They ate mac ‘n cheese HOW many times this week? And it wasn’t organic? Dessert when they didn’t even eat their supper? How dare you!
This may all sound comical when read in one paragraph, but you know what? These are the exact questions that our culture has answers to, on how to raise good kids.
Do I have some news for you!
THERE IS NO ONE RIGHT WAY TO RAISE GOOD KIDS.
Let me repeat, there is no one RIGHT way to raise GOOD kids.
Is there a way to raise kids? Yes, but I believe in fact, it doesn’t even start with US.
It starts with God. It starts by giving them back to the Lord in surrender, acknowledging that we do NOT have all the answers as parents, but are going to wholeheartedly try our best, our deepest best, to raise them the best we know how.
Have you ever looked at the parenting section of a bookstore and wonder ugh, where to even start? How about the “What To Expect When You’re Expecting” book? Talk about feeling like ya know nothing when you crack open that book. Though I will fully admit, that book I read from cover to cover and probs made me the parent I am today, thanks to the practicality of that book. I’ll be the first to admit that when our daughter came into this world, I didn’t have a clue what I was doing, but it’s amazing how our natural instincts kick in. But ya know what? I still don’t have a clue what I’m doing, but then I wonder, according to whom?
My child did eat mac ‘n cheese twice last week. My child did sleep with me after my husband got up for the day, after she couldn’t fall back asleep. My child hasn’t eaten vegetables in over 1 1/2 years because she refuses to eat them. She asked for carrots one day and I started to sing the Hallelujah chorus, but realized she only wanted to lick the ranch dip off of it. My child struggles with constipation and yes, if she ate more vegetables, she wouldn’t be as constipated. Am I raising a “good” kid? Well, according to the cultural standards, no. But the more I experience life, I could really care less. I am doing the best I can, without getting caught up with what the books tell me to do.
Why do I worry about what she can and can’t do, when she’s not even 3? How many of us have created a “I’m a good parent if my child knows how to…” you fill in the blank. Who created this “good and successful” kid measuring stick anyways? Well, you want to know who did? WE DID.
We do it to ourselves. We run around with our heads in tailspin, trying to create this perfect life for our children. Well, newsflash, we don’t live in a perfect world so therefore, our kids will NOT be perfect. Again, our kids will NOT be perfect. Doesn’t that thought just offer an incredible amount of freedom? We can strive and strive for perfection, but it will only lead us to a dead end every. single. time.
There is research and articles on the internet for any answer you are looking for. If you want to find support for how YOU are raising your child, you will find it. But in the end, what we do, is we end up creating this defense for everything we do. We feel we need to stand up for what we allow, for fear of judgment from our fellow moms. Let me free you from that bondage by telling you this too: NO ONE HAS IT ALL TOGETHER. Really. Everyone has been spit up on. Everyone has had a blow out. Everyone has woken up in the middle of the night and I’m sure, had bags under their eyes. Everyone has had a hard day.
The only way to raise “good” kids is to realize that there is no ONE right way to do so. The only way we can raise our children is to give them back to God and daily ask Him, how HE wants us to raise OUR children. And I can guarantee you, it will be a different calling than what your neighbor was given. You see, God created each of His children uniquely, with different gifts, different desires, different backgrounds. Therefore, how we raise our children, will reflect that and no family is the same as the next. Therefore, there is no ONE right way to raise good kids! Every kid will fail you in some way. We all failed our parents in some way because we live in an imperfect world.
We need to free ourselves from the bondage of perfection. We need to free ourselves from the bondage of needing to have it all together. We need to free ourselves from the belief that there is a certain way to raise good kids. And we need to fall into the arms of the One who created us. Who created our children. And Who loves us for who we are.
Not who we are not.