Dad and Mom, always keep trying
So many books have been written about good or ‘right’ parenting. Many people talk about it and offer their help (I’m one of them!). It might motivate you to now do things differently. Others could say: “Delightful book, delightful talk, useful information”, but not apply what they read or heard. Certain parents may also feel guilty for making many mistakes (my wife and I often found ourselves in this position – I thus genuinely understand that emotion).
Parenting has been neglected badly for years, just as marriage. At least with marriage the minister or pastor saw you once or twice a year and tried teaching you a few little things for the next 50 years. And as a result, what could have been 50 years, perhaps lasted five years and then followed the divorce. When you became a parent – the most important role and ministry with which you could ever be entrusted – there was mostly silence. No university offered a course for prospective parents; even the church was particularly quiet. Today there’s an awakening in this field and many writers, speakers and institutes play a role to turn things around (this is one of the reasons I started VitaAmp).
The best advice for any parent is simply to always do your best, to keep on trying. Your child yearns for a happy family life. You yearn for a healthy family unit. That’s why you have to keep on trying. If you violated your children’s trust along the way, come to terms with the fact that it’ll take time to restore their trust in you. However, resolutely work on it.
Should you become aware of mistakes, see them as learnings and opportunities for growth, and move on. Step away from the guilt! Should situations pop up that make you feel silly, welcome to Parenting 101 – every parent occasionally feels this way. That’s perhaps why I really can and want to help parents because it also comes from mistakes, challenges and moments of feeling stupid. Been there, got the t-shirt.
God is right behind you to help you on the challenging path. May there be hours, days, weeks, months and years of wonderful moments with your children on the road ahead. Put your hand in the best, most clever and loving Father’s hand and walk the road: sometimes tarred and sometimes gravel.
Always hold onto Jeremiah 51 verse 8 (NIV):
But my righteousness will last forever, my salvation through all generations.