Monday, January 3, 2011
Parenting Spiritually in 2011-Prayer
It's not exactly a news flash, but parenting today is harder than ever. I'm always struck back to reality, when I see how we parents and our teens interact.
Everyone LOVES babies! We get really excited about the shopping, preparing and anticipation of the arrival of a new baby. As they grow, we have parent teacher conferences, little league baseball, soccer games, Sunday school and birthday parties galore. Fast forward a decade and a half, and the intention is the same, but the application is different. Before I scream, I say a quick prayer for wisdom and patience (ooooh, that patience is an elusive character).
Then puberty hits...dum, dum, dum. Hormones, power struggles and endless hours of parental anxiety hit the scene. As the mother of a 13 and near 15 year old...I can attest to the fact that the joy, pride and love I feel for my kids is often tempered with tension, frustration and fear (for their futures). Grades, test scores, college and career planning, peers, social websites, drugs and alcohol, sex, spirituality, emotional growth, compassionate spirit, self esteem...whew, no wonder I often can't sleep at night!
In every instance, what has helped me the most, beyond therapists, parenting magazines, fellow moms (whom I love dearly) and lovingly nosey mothers and in-laws...prayer and meditation. Prayer is asking the questions and meditation is listening for God's answer.
In her book "The Power of a Praying Parent," author Stormie OMartian says, "God didn't promise that nothing bad would ever happen to my child. But praying released the power of God to work in his life, so I could enjoy more peace in the process." I pray often...alone, with others, with my kids. My goal is to show them that peace that comes from spending quiet time alone with our Creator, can give us time to let the smoke clear and the clear thinking to return.
Parenting.com has a timely "Moms and Dads New Years Resolutions" on their website. Tips like nurturing a marriage separately from the kids and carving out quality family time for outdoor play, all reminded me how important it is to relax and slow down. Like many parents, my husband and I are actively engaged (trying) to stay connected to the kids and to stay in their inner circle.
We struggle to swallow hard, breath deep and remember we are stewards, not dictators. These new generation of kids energetically come here with a different agenda (and BS radar) that us old folks had to work hard to remember. We were never taught to question authority, to build a deep relationship with God for our self (without the dogma of the world or the church on the corner), to utilize intuition for everything and to live life freely an open without fear. Metaphysical Mom Leigh Harris lists some great mindful goal setting ideas in her blog this week.
Watching my boys become men, right in front of my eyes, has me thumbing through the photo albums and boxes of old jerseys and sports equipment. I remember how idealist I was, as a new mom. And I distinctly remember saying "Their life, and dreams, are their own...not mine or their dad's." Now, with their help, I'm learning to put those ideals into practice.
MiChelle Jeneen, Energy Skills Educator