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Monday, September 26, 2011

They Don’t Need Another Friend

Kathryn Neff Perry

Many years ago, actually too many to count, I taught parenting classes. One of the mistakes I witnessed was that of a parent wanting to be a “friend” to their child.

We all want to be popular. We all want to be liked/loved. But one of the most important things we as parents can do for our children is be the parent. They only have one Mom and one Dad.

They have friends at Church. Friends at school. Their friends will come and go. Friends will hurt them, share with them, make them laugh, or make them cry. The one stable in their life will be you.

I often remarked I wish we had a book for parenting. One where you could go to the index, look up any given situation, and know exactly how we should react. Kids don’t come with instructions. It’s pretty much “on the job” training.

I know I made countless mistakes raising my own children. However, I am incredibly proud of the way they turned out. They are successful and happy. By contributing to their friends and family, and their jobs they are creating stable environments for their children. But most importantly, they love and respect me as their mother.

Was it easy? Absolutely not. And in most cases, it was a day by day endeavor. In fact at times, I think it would be fair to say, hour by hour.

Kids want stability. In fact they crave it. They want rules and regulations. The trick is to learn the balance between love and discipline.

Another mistake I heard parents make was to promise to take action “when we get to the car”, or “when your Father gets home”. And then forget about that promise once they were outside. Don’t ever threaten something you have no intention of following through on. Kids are so smart. It only takes one or maybe two times of telling them you will be taking away a privilege, and if you don’t follow through, they remember. And lose respect for your authority.

Teach them the Ten Commandments as well as the Golden Rule. Teach them, by example to love their neighbor as themselves.

Lead them by example. You are the parent. They will look up to you. What better example can they have?

You are a follower of Christ. They will be also.

Written by Kathryn Neff Perry

Kathryn is the author of Boone’s Creek mystery series. Kathryn has been an inspiration to me as well as to others. Welcome Kathryn.

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