In your parenting role, about what do you feel insecure? Whether you planned to have children or it just happened, the insecurities begin while they are still in utero. It starts with unanswerable questions and a lack of experience. We don’t even know how we will handle labor and delivery, much less nurturing a child for the next eighteen plus years.
Many of us entered parenting with strong convictions of what we will do like our parents did and other things we will not do as our parents did. After all, “we are much smarter than our parents were at our age. We have lived and learned through their mistakes.” ….I wonder how many generations of humanity have thought this. Maybe, every generation has.
I recall telling my parents, as a seventeen year old, that I thought they had been good parents. But there was one area which I wish they had done a bit differently. I told them I wished they had given me more information about male and female anatomy and sex. At 11 years old, after the topic was introduced to all the 6th grade girls (only girls) by the school nurse, I was given the basic information a girl needed to enter puberty. My mother told me more than her mother had told her.
As I look back on this setting, I am rather ashamed (insecure) by my teenage boldness and audacity. My comments to them were unnecessary and unhelpful. The irony of this situation is that plus twenty years later, I did sadly better with my own daughter.
Also, I look back with wiser perspective at my own parents and am amazed at the extraordinary job they did at parenting and juggling two full time careers. My mom chose to work the third shift so that either she or my dad were always at home with us. They were incredibly sacrificial parents. I wonder when she slept.
Parents continually make sacrifices of which their children have no knowledge. Nor do they have any understanding. It is not until we are parents ourselves that we can fully appreciate our own parents.
As parents we probably will have one or more of our teenage/adult children boldly proclaim or gently describe what a mess or a mistake we made while parenting them. Even after our children are grown such a confrontation adds to our insecurities. They may describe how badly we managed some situation. Of course they are looking back on it and don’t have full knowledge of all that was involved. We too, can examine the setting with hindsight and perhaps decide a different action should have been taken.
When our children are critical of our parenting, it often is really more about them and whatever they are dealing with than it is about us personally or our parenting. But we project onto others what we cannot resonate within ourselves.
Just as we made parenting decisions based on the knowledge and experience we had at the time, some day they will do the same. Then they will have a new perspective on our decisions.
Every stage of parenting has its challenges and we may not feel confident in our ability to handle those challenges. About the time when we do figure things out and implement our strategies, the needs change. In addition to this, every child is an individual and has different needs and a different temperament. I have frequently heard my parents say a stern word was sufficient to change my sister’s behavior, but I usually needed a spanking to receive the message (another area where parenting has changed).
If you feel anxious or apprehensive (insecure) about parenting issues, then start by praying about it. Pray for yourself, the need and your child. Keep praying until it is resolved.
You may discover your own parents to be quite insightful and pleased to be consulted about parenting. Other parents can be empathetic and might share a creative strategy that effectively helped them. Parenting books, blogs, podcasts, and even radio programs can be helpful. My parenting was heavily influenced by the Focus on the Family radio program. It was always encouraging, inspiring, and challenging.
The best thing you can do for your children is love your spouse. Strengthening your marriage and making it a higher priority than your children, gives them a secure home where love is demonstrated and expressed. (see my post: dianesergeant.wordpress.com/2015/03/27/guarding-marriage/)
No one is a perfect parent. No doubt you won’t be perfect either. You don’t have to be. Just be loving, patient, kind, selfless, gentle, persistent, understanding, wise, . . . . . . .and when you’re insecure, ask the Lord to help you.