Parenting is a very tough gig. No matter how hard we might try, we all make mistakes along the way. Every parent has lost their temper or made a snap decision they later regret. The sheer number of judgment calls that are made during childhood assure us that some of them will be wrong.
And unless you are among the lucky few, you will have to suffer through some of the heartaches associated with raising a child in “the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” Stereotypically if you have boys, your pain may be most acute in their younger years. If you have girls, those teen years may be your downfall.
So maybe this week a word of encouragement would be just “what the doctor might order.” Semi-humorously, that encouragement might come from comparing your parenting skills to some pathetic parenting experiences like the ones I read about in
an article on the CNN website. It was called the “Top 10 Parenting Fails of 2011.”
With tongue in check, as I compared some of my own parenting “goofs” with those highlighted in this article, I began to feel a lot better. Maybe you will too!
Starting with the most egregious, consider the moms who tried to sell their babies. A gal in Delaware tried to sell her baby for $15,000. She wanted to take her other kids on a trip to Disney World. A mom in Texas was paying a little each week, a kind of layaway plan to buy a 7 week old. And then there was the mom who was “hawking her baby at a Taco Bell” for the starting price of only $500. Unbelievable!
There was the dad who threw his disobedient son off a cruise liner. Admittedly it was only a 5 foot drop, but the harbor was filled with other boats. There was a mother who visited a plastic surgeon and purchased a voucher for future breast augmentation for her 7 year old daughter.
One mom associated with those programs like “Toddlers and Tiaras” dressed her three year old in a miniskirt and thigh-high boots just like the prostitute in “Pretty Woman.” She wanted to make sure she stood out for the judges. And then there was the little girl who was so worried about her mom driving drunk that she slipped a bank teller a note asking her for help. The mom was soon arrested for a DUI.
See, you and I aren’t doing so badly. All of these guys had a REAL problem with their parenting!
So, if you are having a tough season with one or more of your children, please take a deep breath and recognize that it is a hard job. Your lack of patience or poor judgment can be corrected. You can give yourself a quick “time out” and collect your self. You can ask for help. There aren’t any perfect parents…just those who recognize the importance of the effort and with the grace of God want to do it perfectly.
By His Grace and for His Glory,
Sherry L. Worel