TODAY’S FORECAST: Learning
Today, in honor of my kids, Meghan and Jake, I wanted to write a post to complete this phrase, “God didn’t give us children to…” As a parent, in this busy, chaotic world, it is sometimes very difficult to step back out of the day-to-day and realize the blessing God has given us through our kids. Especially when they are trying our patience or going down a path that we don’t agree with, it can be difficult to appreciate the guardianship we possess as parents. I confess that I am not a patient person. Sometimes my kids have to bear the brunt of that impatience. I also struggle with the issue of control, so sometimes I have to pray that God will give me the wisdom to step back and know when I should guide and help and when I should let them do it for themselves. My children are two of the best things I have ever done in my life. I pray today and always that I can appreciate what a gift they are and help them to be aware of their own self-worth, especially in the eyes of our Savior.
God Didn’t Give Us Children To…
- criticize their every thought, emotion, feeling and action.
- fulfill our own life’s goals that we dreamed about but didn’t get to fulfill in our youth.
- be dishonest with them.
- abuse them physically, verbally, emotionally or sexually.
- feel jealous of their accomplishments.
- stifle their unique talents.
- set unrealistic expectations of what they can or should achieve.
- model an unhealthy body image. (For example, saying “I’m fat, not addressing personal health issues, etc.)
- vent about our spouses or loved ones.
- punish us.
- spoil “rotten.”
- apply a “what works with one will work with all” philosophy
- teach or reward ignorance, prejudice or injustice
- control, but rather to foster independence with appropriate levels of guidance from you, teachers, leaders, coaches, and God.
- let others raise your children for you (neighbors, friends, teachers, etc.).
- practice inconsistency.
- give inaccurate or negative feedback to them.
- take out your frustration and anger regarding your marriage, health, job, finances, etc. on them.
- “tune out”
- ignore the tough questions they ask.
Oh, God, make me a better parent.
Help me to understand my children, to listen patiently to what they have to say and to answer all their questions kindly. Keep me from interrupting them, talking back to them and contradicting them. Make me as courteous to them as I would have them be to me. Give me the courage to confess my sins against my children and to ask of them forgiveness, when I know that I have done them wrong.
May I not vainly hurt the feelings of my children. Forbid that I should laugh at their mistakes or resort to shame and ridicule as punishment. Let me not tempt a child to lie and steal. So guide me hour by hour that I may demonstrate by all I say and do that honesty produces happiness.
Reduce, I pray, the meanness in me. May I cease to nag; and when I am out of sorts, help me, Oh Lord, to hold my tongue.
Blind me to the little errors of my children and help me to see the good things that they do. Give me a ready word for honest praise.
Help me to treat my children as those of their own age, but let me not exact of them the judgments and conventions of adults. Allow me not to rob them of the opportunity to wait upon themselves, to think, to choose, and to make decisions.
Forbid that I should ever punish them for my selfish satisfaction. May I grant them all of their wishes that are reasonable and have the courage always to withhold a privilege which I know will do them harm.
Make me so fair and just, so considerate and companionable to my children that they will have a genuine esteem for me. Fit me to be loved and imitated by my children.
With all thy gifts, Oh God, do give me calm and poise and self control.
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“Oh God Make Me a Better Parent” Prayer By Garry Cleveland Myers, P.H.D. Co-Founder Highlights for Children
Copyright Highlights for Children http://www.highlights.com/a-parents-prayer