As everyone is easing into summer vacation, I have a few things to say. Because I know from experience that summers can be tricky. Whether it’s with those school-aged kids wanting to be entertained non-stop, or adult kids trying to figure out jobs and college applications and humongous life decisions, our motherhood duties shift. They are always shifting, yet our love stays the same. As I’ve been working to help some of my own children with their summer plans, I’ve been thinking about the best place to reach for parenting help over the years. It’s the same with little kids and adult kids.
Oh I’ve read parenting books by the dozens. I’m always drawn to parenting podcasts and deep-talking parenting struggles with friends. But do you know the very best place I’ve found to work out parenting quandaries?
On my knees.
The Best Partner in Parenting
I believe these children (young adults) in my care are first and foremost children of God. And I’ve learned, over and over again, that He knows so much better than I do.
How do you get “answers?” you might ask? Well, I believe when we take our struggles to God, and we put our worries and woes on the altar, we are partnering up with the Source of love. They who know these kids best. When I do that, I open my heart up so much more for the little nudges or promptings that come. Little things like that I need to put my phone away. Or that I should ask one of my kids a specific question. Sometimes my little nudge is just to leave that particular child alone to figure it out themselves. It’s often nowadays, to step back.
I’ve said this before, but I love blog readers with all my heart. One sent this quote that I will forever think of here on out when I think of “reaching up” in prayer:
I used to pray that God would feed the hungry, or do this or that, but now I pray that He will guide me to do whatever I’m supposed to do, what I can do. I used to pray for answers, but now I’m praying for strength. I used to believe that prayer changes things, but now I know that prayer changes us and we change things.”Mother Teresa
Oh, there may not be answers right away. But I believe when we give our parenting hearts to God, we really will be guided. Or given a blanket of peace. When we seek to change our own hearts, and we slow down enough to listen, answers will come.
I was a guest on a new podcast I love
There’s a new podcast that I love. It’s called “Magnify,” and I love the interviews I’ve heard on that thing. So I was honored when they emailed to see if my sister and I would be their guests for an episode. They told me to chose any conference talk to discuss together. I had to chose “Jesus Christ is the Strength of Parents” because it spoke to me. It spoke to me about all these things I’m talking about here in this post: where to reach for parenting help. The longer I’ve been in this parenting gig, the more I have realized I just don’t have all the answers.
During the ups and downs of parenting, there’s no one I’d rather have on my side. Jesus is the strength of Parents.
I would highly recommend listening to that talk.
So many gems in there. Here we are getting ready to record:
Love these awesome women we worked with and that awesome sister Saren.
Loved the opportunity to talk all about so many things on this episode.
My Notes from the Talk before we recorded
You are qualified to get guidance from above because of your love for your child. How beautiful is that?
The Savior can heal relationships
He can multiply the love and joy in your home just how He can multiply the loaves and fishes.
How are we making our home a place of prayer, learning and prayer, a house of JOYFUL EXPERIENCES?
Small and Simple Things Make a Difference!
At times it may feel like you’re not accomplishing much. One good example might not change your child in a moment, just like one drop may not nourish a flower. But your consistency matters!
Just like one temper tantrum from us won’t ruin our kids (thank goodness!)
We just have to keep TURNING to Him for guidance.
Another strength you have as a parent is a DAILY influence. No one else has this. You are the most constant and steady thing in your child’s life.
When we turn to Him, these things will happen:
We will be warned of hidden dangers.
We will be able to see strengths, hidden gifts.
Guide your family with personal revelation.
Greatest gift is a “MIGHTY CHANGE OF HEART” when we are ready for it.
I love the picture Elder Uchtdorf paints about the perfect family. We can feel so inferior and not good enough to be doing this, the most important job in the world. Especially when we see so many examples around us in social media of “the perfect families.”
Best advice ever: RELAX. Put in the work to make those baby steps.
“Oh God of Second chances, here I am again”
Little by little you will develop more Christlike attributes.
Provide rich, nourishing soil. GET RID OF things that block Heavenly sunlight. Create the best possible ways to grow.
Let God work His miracle.
He will always give HOPE.
You’ll have to tune in to the podcast to hear how all those notes came to fruition:)
Some of the main questions we address:
- How do we show that we trust in our kids as God has trust in us as their parents?
- How do we show that we have trust in God to be our guide?
- Has there been a specific time you have felt guided in your parenting? Talk about examples.
- How do we hear divine guidance? I talk about Lucy’s diagnosis during this part.
- What if you feel like it’s too late to change your parenting trajectory?
- How do you see the Savior influencing your relationships with your children?
- What happens when you change your vantage point to let God help in your parenting relationships?
Some of the parenting concepts we discuss:
- Give hugs, even with your big kids
- Small and Simple things make a difference. Consistency matters.
- Family Dinner complete with “happies & Sads”
- “Family huddles” for family prayer
- “Tuck-In Compliments”
- Look for the good in your children. One good way to do this is through “Fingertip Talents“
- What do to if you feel like it’s too late, and you missed the boat on some of these parenting ideas.
- The outcome is not up to us! We are here to provide an environment of love and to guide the best we can. Give those “little drops” of consistency when we can. But ultimately, our main responsibility is to love.
- God will multiply our efforts.
Challenges we left with listeners:
- Pray very specially for something you can do on a regular basis to show more love.
- Search to create a “mighty change of heart” in ourselves so we can listen for the promptings that come in a more deliberate way.
But even if you don’t listen to the podcast, I hope you know what you are doing each day makes a difference. Whether your kids are old or young. Your job as a parent can always be aided by reaching Up.
I believe God truly is the strength of parenting.