I know I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating. The worst parenting I’ve ever done has been when I’ve parented out of fear. My mind runs to the future, and all manner of frightening scenarios play out in my mind.
This is true about the really big things, but just as often hinders me as I deal with the small things with my children. I can remember being so worried that one of my children would never be able to sit down long enough to do his math. As a little boy, he paced around the dining room table during school, and I was sure this would lead to problems down the road. He now has a degree in finance.
I worried about thumb sucking, siblings fighting, potty training, messy bedrooms, SAT scores, and picky eaters. In more recent years I’ve worried about rages, destructive behaviors, bullying in our home, RAD, sensory processing disorder, and all manner of very frightening things – and do you know what? Not one of those worries has made me a better parent. I am not more loving, patient, or effective in my mothering when I let fear grab hold of me. I become a harsher version of myself.
Today I find myself worrying about the big things, like will Dimples heal enough to rejoin our family. Yesterday we had a glimpse of hope during a good therapy session…and that hopeful feeling lasted for all of five minutes before I found myself wrapped up in that sticky web of fear once again.
I often think of the verses in Philippians chapter 4, about not being anxious, but I stop too soon. I need to get serious about this later verse,
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Ph. 4: 8
I honestly have no idea what our family is going to look like a year from now, but I do know that parenting out of fear will not help us get where we need to go. Today I will think about what is true, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and worthy of praise.
Want to join me?