Parenting by Grace

Ever notice how many labels there are for parenting styles?

Can I admit I have never been in favor of labels?

In high school I avoided belonging to a specific clique,
honestly, I pretty much liked everybody.

Having a few children with unique traits could easily be labeled…
adhd?  ocd? gifted?
Even with Asperger’s, I do not have any interest in getting an official diagnosis.
why?
because the labels don’t define who my child is.

Same with parenting labels.

Parenting labels don’t define who I am.

Instinctive Parenting- ‘trust your gut” old school method.
the positive- having your own personal style of parenting
the negative- apparently this means that you will mimic how you were raised.
the reality- I believe ‘trusting your instincts’ is a God given skill that let’s you reason beyond how you were actually parented yourself.

Attachment Parenting– the goal is to build a strong emotional bond.
the positive- being sensitive and emotionally available to your child(ren).
the negative- pressures specific choices in your parenting.
the reality- by definition alone, I suppose this is what I am.  We homeschool.  We let our kids sleep in our bed.  We don’t spank.  baby wearing?  never managed the whole cool wrap thing mom’s do know-a-days, but I definitely was a baby-on-the-hip mama.  Ummm, natural childbirth?  not.so.much- only my first and last (of the 6) were considered “natural”.  I tried that whole birth-at-home thing (love the idea), but yeah, the results were a high-risk hospital delivery.   See?  I don’t fit into labels much.

Authoritative Parenting– my roof, my rules.
the positive- clear expectations, firm discipline.
the negative- sometimes a quick decisive correction lacks nurturing and understanding.
the reality- kids need rules, and they need consideration.  I always ponder the ‘why’ behind the actions when disciplining.

Helicopter Parenting– I don’t even know what this one means, but it makes me laugh.  I get the gist that it is smothering your child, but when I see explanations of this, sometimes I see mixed messages, like ‘dependent on advice from parents as adults”.    pshhttt, I don’t know about you, but my mom has had the best advice ever and always!
the positive- being available as a parent helps create security
the negative- to lack the ability to switch from a nurturing stage to a mentoring stage at the age appropriate time.
the reality- I am on top of all thing related to my child(ren).   From habits, to peers, to interests, to struggles.  However, they are not bossed nor babied, and thus far are turning out just fine.

Permissive Parenting– lenient with little discipline.
the positive-  child is allowed to think for themselves
the negative- creates chaos and lack of boundaries
the reality- let’s face it.  We all want our kids to like us, right?  and honestly, my mom is my best friend.  That being said, God gave us our children to nurture, love, and guide.

So basically, all of these titles apply to me, none of them define me.

We chose parenting by grace.

Ever hear, “I must be doing something right, because my kids turned out ok” ?

or

“through you, you can make a difference for your kids” ?

Well, honestly?
Through my skills on parenting alone, I will certainly not make a difference…

however…

Christ through us can make a difference for our kids!

You know that old Bible verse… The Golden Rule.

Do to others what you would have them do to you.

Yep, that one.  That is how we parent.

Take the time to listen to your child when they are young,
and they will take the time to listen to you as they get older.
Be available to your child, and later, they will be available for you.
Live out your faith by action, and they will begin to act by faith.
Love them unconditionally, and they will be able to unconditionally love others.

Parenting by Grace~
…intentional kindness,
…to be considerate,
…a thoughtful way of responding to our child(ren).

Therefore, my child, be strengthened in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
   ~2nd Timothy 2:1

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4 thoughts on “Parenting by Grace

  1. Sheri, I love this and I appreciate your wisdom and ‘seasoned’ understanding . Your posts just speak so much to my heart… I feel like you’re my distant mentor 🙂 God bless you!

    1. Michelle, I am very honored at such a kind statement as it only seems a few years ago I was writing those very similar words to someone who seemed to speak so much to my heart. She (Joanne Calderwood) is still my distant mentor to this day. May our friendship continue to grow also…

  2. I can see this about you, Sheri!! I would add to Grace Parenting: raising your children to not be afraid to make mistakes. As I am now raising Part 2 of my children (one set 20 and 18, the other now 11 and 9), I see what a difference that makes. Open communication, forgiveness, support (not a crutch, but support), and helping them through (not taking away) their consequences while knowing the whole time that it really is okay, that God will take bad and make good of it.

    1. I completely agree! and funny enough, I feel like I’m going round two also; my older boys homeschooled together (just about 18 & 21), and it’s like reliving a second chance with the youngest two (almost 7 & 10). The blessing has been that they are all close friends.

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