You, the guardians of children are an essential service. Yes, you are. And you deserve our support. Without you family falls apart, in time so do our communities, and eventually society at large.
So, do not sell yourself short because children are our future, and you are the main influence on this future. So, it is important you are cared for and you take care of yourself. So, when you feel exhausted, overwhelmed, and ready to lose it reach upward to God and reach outward to friends, family, and surrounding community.
SUPPORTING PARENTS (The Job of the Supporters)
Look at parents in your life who are raising children. Are you part of their cheerleading squad? How do we the grandparent, uncles, aunties, extended family, friends, and surrounding community support you as parents of children, or in the task of parenting the elderly as roles reverse? We, need to empower, celebrate, and pray for and over you so you can do your best work, which is to parent. How?
9 WAYS TO SUPPORT PARENTS
The greatest support, loving you the parent. What does loving on parents look like?
- Acceptance – non-judgmental attitude
- Believe in you. -Your doing the best you can with what you have.
- Give you – A listening ear
- Controlling the tongue. Act wisely by knowing when to speak and when to be silent.
- Ask the right questions, open ended questions for you the parent to answer.
- Respectful – We need to be respectful by waiting to be asked for advice. Unasked for advice is NOT helpful.
- Be ready with a helping hand when we are asked.
- A willing attitude to do what is asked of us, not an undermining attitude of Mother or Father knows best.
- Pray without ceasing is the biggest and most important task – for you and over you. One very practical application is to pray scripture over a person personalizing it by putting their name into the verse(s).
PARENTS, YOUR PART (Encouraged to take care of you too)
You are encouraged to take care of your body, mind, and soul? Self-care is neither selfishness nor self indulgence. It is a balance. It is also leaning into God.
- Physically – eat well, sleep well, exercise consistently
- Mentally – Laugh often, spend time in nature, and reach out to God and others as you need to.
- Spiritually – Get right with God, cultivate a relationship with him, pray (have those conversations with God.)
TOOLS FOR PARENTING (to help you to take care of your child?)
If we view our children as gifts, they are given to you for a short time it, this point of view can change our perspective. Add to this way of looking at parenting these 4 tools –
- Love is what kids really need. Unconditional love. No small order, but with God in your soul all things are possible. Love covers a myriad of mistakes and Jesus is the example.
- Forgiveness, of yourself when you mess up, because you will, and forgiveness of those around your, because they will mess up too.
- Boundaries – Come from a place of love to set healthy boundaries for the good of all. No means no. Pick your battles.
- Discipline, not punishment. Logical consequence and clear consistent boundaries come into play. The goal in time is to help the child become all they can be as themselves. In time we as parents hope to be given good adult-adult relationships with our kids.
Yes, parenting is both a privilege and a responsibility. Done alone it is an impossible task. But God has your back, you are not alone. God is there and will put others in your life to help, if you let them in.
A PRAYER FOR PARENTS
We are so grateful for parents. Love them, nurture them, help them stay firmly planted in you. Fill their souls with unconditional love, kindness, and confidence. Help them with forgiveness, boundaries, and discipline. Give them your mind, your unconditional agape love so they in turn can pour this onto their child.
Thank you for the children as they are the gifts you give us. Guide the parents influence and show the rest of us how to be their supporters and their cheerleaders. Show us when to act and when to be silent. How to love them unconditionally and be your hands and feet for them.
Words to Take With You: “Truly he is my rock and my salvation, he is my fortress, I will never be shaken. Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.” – Psalm 62 verses 2 and 5
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