Doubting Parents, Quivers Full and the Only Parenting Book that Truly Matters
Have you ever said something in regards to parenting your children and were immediately met with a snicker of doubt? Perhaps you were even met with a comment or two such as, “Yea I’d like to see that happen” or a sarcastic, “Good luck with that!” or even, “Yea just wait, you’ll change your mind!”
It happens all the time. In fact, it’s a lot of the “fuel” to my fire when I had my first natural childbirth; it was just to prove everyone wrong who snickered and said, “Yea good luck with that.” But that’s for another day…
I find that when it comes to parenting our children, if we start to break away from society’s expectations or simply state a goal that we have for our children that may be different than the norm, that we are immediately met with speculation that we simply can’t do it. We are met with sarcasm from other parents as a self defense mechanism because they think we are trying to be “better” with our standards or stricter ideologies.
Some examples where people will chime in with doubt include:
Having a natural childbirth
Breastfeeding for an extended period
Cloth diapering or Co Sleeping
Refusing the cry it out method
Not giving preteens a cell phone
Not letting preteens have social media
Not letting kids have sleepovers
Monitoring the shows your young children watches
Limiting or doing away with iPads
Admitting that your children will eat healthier
Avoiding McDonald’s or sugary drinks
Deciding to homeschool
And much more!
These are just general scenarios, most of which I have personally encountered, where your expectations and beliefs are met with doubt, sarcasm and ridicule simply because it’s different. Why every child will have Happy Meals from McDonald’s, right? Every child in today’s time and age will have cell phones by the age of 12 right? “Social media isn’t that bad if you just “monitor it,” your children will have it too!”
The list goes on.
Here’s the thing, just because someone plans to parent differently or just because they intend to do things totally opposite than you, doesn’t mean they can’t. Society’s expectations for today’s millennials does NOT have to decide the course of parenting for our children. Just because every other twelve year old in a child’s school has a cell phone, does NOT mean that my child will or should have one. Just because children have been having sleepovers for years, doesn’t mean my children will participate.
Let me repeat, “Society’s expectations for today’s millennials does NOT have to decide the course of parenting our children.”
Do you know what does help to decide the course of parenting for our children aside from myself? The Bible.
“Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court.” Psalm 127:3-5
The Lord gave me a quiver full of arrows and it’s my duty to steer them, guide them and train them. It is not my duty to please others, to appeal to society’s milennial standards and to “move with the times” if it goes against my beliefs that are written in the greatest book of all time.
Just because everyone else is doing it, doesn’t mean my children have to. Just because the foundation we lay down as parents may be stricter than others, doesn’t mean we are incapable of sticking to it. Sure, we may change our course along the way or we may give here and there, but in general the guidelines that we establish for our family should NEVER be ridiculed, doubted or made fun of by others just because it is different.
Personally, I always enjoyed being a little different. When it comes to modern ways, I find joy in reversing and going back to the good ole’ days and the old fashioned ways that seem less appealing to many parents today. I like being outside of the box, and not in it. But that’s just me!
And here’s the kicker…no way is right or wrong. Now way is better than the other. The only way there is, is the way of the Lord and the ways in which each family will decide how to follow that. It’s okay to be different, it’s okay to be stricter, it’s okay to be just the same. But it’s never okay to doubt someone’s capabilities just because they are going against the modern grain and sticking to the old root. Just because someone may establish more rules or guidelines that are different than yours, is never a reason to doubt them. It’s never a moment to snicker.
Instead of doubting parents, lift them up. Pray for them. Find inspiration from parents all around you; not doubt and sarcasm. We each have our own quiver full, and we are just doing the best we can.
There’s no right or wrong way, just the way of the Lord. Let the greatest parenting book of all time guide you, let it inspire you and let it lead the way for the greatest blessing and role you have…parenting.
18 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
2 He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. 3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.
6 “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.