Parenting When You Don't Know What to Do

So often as a parent I don't know what to do.  

More often than not I am way over my head.  This is true with my three teenage and adult kids from a previous marriage and I am sure it will be when God blesses me with my fourth child soon. Throw in blended family issues, teenagers and girls (don't judge me :)), and you find me often in "over my head" mode.

So what do you do when your kids are arguing and nothing seems to make them stop or you can't get your 2-year-old to use the toilet or your teenager only speaks to you in monosyllables?

You pray.  Proverbs 1:7 says that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

You look for principles in the Bible that apply.  There are plenty in Proverbs and more in the examples of parents (good and bad) in the Bible.  

You ask wise friends.  We all need a parental support team of wise parents we admire and who share our values.

You manage the grace and truth tension.  You err on the side of grace but you don't enable or entitle your kids.  You set boundaries in love.

You realize your kids are crazy and choose not to go crazy with them.  Proverbs says that foolish is bound up in the heart of a child.  

You don't judge your parenting by their response.  God stays consistent with us even when we are inconsistent and at times rebellious towards him.

You pray some more.  So much is out of our control.  We are often like the Prodigal Father waiting on the porch for our kids to come to their senses, repent and come home to a hug from us.  

Ron JohnsonComment