Parenting is a humbling and daunting task.
It’s also not a solo sport. No matter what background you come from whether you are a single parent or if you are married you know that the axiom “it takes a village” is very accurate.
I believe that’s why the church partnering with families and parents is so important.
With that said I know I would not be the father I am today without these lessons I’ve learned from watching my wife.
My amazing wife has taught me so much in life but so much in the way that she has been a Mother to our children.
So in honor of the Mother’s Day 5 years ago when she first became a Mother, here are 5 lessons she’s taught me and modeled for me on parenting.
- Widen the Circle
My wife models for me the basis of what this post really is all about. The idea that neither of us can parent on our own. Between always presenting a united front with me to the kids to asking for advice from parents who are little farther down the road than us, my wife models the idea of widening the circle of influence you let into your kids life. Parenting is a team sport and my wife has helped us find great, solid, faithful parents that help us raise our kids.
- Imagine the End
My wife and I when we had our kids sat down and talked about who we wanted our kids to be one day. This is important because it helped us prioritize what our kids do, how we discipline, and the things we tell our kids. Decisions of letting our kids spend the night without us, how often we bring them to church to work with us, what kind of reading we do with them was shaped by who we want to help our children become.
- Make it Personal
My wife is very good about making things personal. If we are challenging our kids to do it she circles it back on us. Meaning she realizes that we can’t lead our kids to a place we haven’t already been. The other side of this is we are living in a world where work follows you home via smart phone. My wife is great about encouraging me to lean in, un plug, and be present with my kids. In her devotions and spiritual life, my wife has consistently shown an ability to make it personal.
- Create a Rhythm
When it comes to our family the glue holding us together is my wife. We learned within the first few months of having Lizzy that a routine and a rhythm for our family was very important. That’s not to say we’re not flexible or spontaneous. It just means that we realize creating a rhythm helps our family keep the values that are important to us front and center. Finding time to eat at the table together gives us a chance to talk about our faith. Bed time is a time to pray as a family. Driving in the car is a great time to play music and worship as a family. My wife keeps us organized but more importantly has helped us create and restructure rhythms that underlines what’s most important to our family.
- Fight for the Heart
So often as a parent I try to parent a problem not a person. Let me explain that. I’ll see a behavior that I don’t like or isn’t appropriate and I’ll parent in a way that makes my kids feel like they have been identified by that behavior. They are bad. They are naughty. They are annoying. I’ve learned from my wife there is a better, healthier way to approach this. My job is to parent and correct behavior but I can do it in a way that prioritizes our relationship and protects that child’s heart. By watching her parent I’ve learned to get down on their level and communicate the behavior needs to change BECAUSE of who they are; instead of communicating they’ve changed who they are BECAUSE of what they’ve done.
- My wife has shown me so much in how to interact with our kids, how to encourage them, how to discipline them, and most of all how to model what’s important for them. I couldn’t ask for a better partner in raising children who love God and love others.
While my wife has modeled all of these the branding for these lessons came from parentcue.org. Check them out to see great content.