The key to becoming joyful parents and joyfully parenting is learning how to parent with grace. There are two ways I practice grace during parenting. And in the process, it helps my children become who they’re meant to be.
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My sister-in-law once told me that she would rather go through all of the drama and aches and irritations of the third trimester twice, than have to go through the fourth trimester—a term that was new to me at the time. Those first three months with a new baby have been dear ones and I wouldn’t trade them for anything, but they have also been some of the hardest of my whole life.
“I hate that I’ve been mean to my children before,” confessed a father I was speaking to recently. Instead of calmly handling difficult situations, this father had become frustrated a few times and lost his temper with his children. His voice tone and body were humble as he confessed this. He wasn’t making excuses for his bad behavior but was being honest about what he had done. He was showing remorse while expressing a sincere desire to change. Is there hope for us as parents when we are continually losing our tempers with our children?
I was 25. I had a daughter just over a year old. I was doing the best I could figuring out this “new dad” gig. And then, on June 5, I had a son. I had long dreamed of this day. I think every father has hopes for warm summer nights teaching a son to pitch, hit, slide, throw, catch, tackle, and shoot. I know I did. But not very long after, my hopes would have to change.
We have an 18-year-old son who recently graduated from high school and has no interest in higher education or vocational training and, when asked about his future plans, tells everyone he’s going to be in a band. He’s a talented musician, but we’re trying to be realistic. He accuses us of being unsupportive and then he dives deeper into his music. How can we support his plans even though we have no confidence his plans will work out?
There’s absolutely no place for hazing in a civilized society! I wish someone would tell that to my newborns. Including the pregnancy, my newborns haze me the better part of two years. Something about esprit de corps…I’m not sure anymore. Its’ been a while since I’ve slept.