I remember eating with my parents, wife, and our 1 year old boy in an Italian restaurant. The place was quite empty and I think we were our waitress’ only table. Throughout the evening, she kept returning to our table and fawning over our baby boy. Over and over she would then express deep nostalgia for when her children were small and then bemoan how difficult and unjoyful parenting has become over the years. She deeply disliked parenting.
I also think about some of my friends growing up. I was always jealous because their parents let them get everything and do anything. I felt as though their parents were friends, while my parents were, well..., parents. Ironically, since I left my home at the age of 18, my parents have become my dearest friends for the last 22 years of life. At the same time, the parents of my childhood friends have faced many challenges as they now have to parent adult children.
I also cant help but remember the high school students I led for many years. I remember families like the Linns in Venezuela. All 4 kids went through the school. All 4 of them loved others, respected adults, loved Jesus and worked their tails off in academics and sports. In each school I have been, there are Linn-kinda-families where each kid, in his/her own personality, is amazing. And in each school where I have worked, I have seen families where each child challenges authority, often hurts others, and is genuinely unsatisfied with life.
Being a middle-high school teacher/principal is definitely some of the best parental training I have received as I now raise young ones. I learned it takes a miracle to change a high schooler’s heart when they have spent 16 years carving out the character in their soul. It is way easier to carve into a 2-year-old who doesnt want to eat brocolli than a 16-year-old who wants to sneak away with someone from the opposite sex.
As parents, we get one chance at this parenting thing. Don’t do it alone! And know that the preschool and early elementary years are the MOST foundational years in your child’s life. At CBA, we want to provide a network of parents along with biblical wisdom as you undertake the THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU DO IN THIS LIFE: Raise your children to love God with all their hearts, souls, and minds and love their neighbors as themselves.
This Wednesday I am leading a talk on parenting at our Director’s Coffee and Chat. Throughout the month of September, Friendship Baptist Church is teaching a series on Parenting. And on the September 18th Director’s Coffee and Chat, Dr. Rod West will talk about marriage, which is at the center of parenting. Each of these events will also be available through our school’s facebook page.
In the meantime, I recommend checking out these 2 sites: