Always a Child of God: Pope Francis’ Wise Words

Isn’t it wonderful to know that no matter how our lives turn out, how many times we fail, or how many time we lose our way, you are always a child of God! How comforting is that fact? This is what the Pope reminded the entire Catholic Church in his homily during Mass on Thursday at the Casa Santa Marta.

At the close of his homily, he said these beautiful words, “We are saved in Jesus Christ and no one can take from us this ‘identity card.’ This is how I identify myself: as a child of God. What a beautiful identity!”

Want proof? See these Bible texts:

John 10:28-29  “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me, for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else. No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand.” 

John 1:12 “Yet to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, he gave the right to become children of God.”

Galatians 3:26 “For you are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.”

If you want to read more about the Pope’s homily, here it is: “No one can take away our identity as children of God.” You are always a child of God, don’t forget that!

Guide Your Child, Don’t Control

I read a question this morning that made me do some thinking, and I want to share it with you so you could do some thinking too. The question is a title of a blog post and it read: “When Does Parenting Cross the Line From Encouraging to Controlling?

I believe that it is innate for every parent to want their children to achieve something. While our intentions are good, we often end up making our children do something that they really do not want to do. Having our children follow suit to our whims can be satisfying, but this does not have the same effect to our kids. Studies show that kids who feel they have no autonomy are also more likely to be depressed and anxious. It is my belief that you should guide your child, don’t control your child.

We may have more knowledge that our kids, but this does not mean that we need to make all the decisions for them. Our kids are better off if we do not coerce them to do as we please. Our kids need someone to guide to help them make positive life choices, not someone who will control them. So guide your child, don’t control.

Parents should spend time teaching our kids the right values in life and having faith in their capacity to make the right decisions.

Sometimes Your Child Will Be Uncomfortable

It is painful for parents to see our child suffer. Reading this post, “Parenting Teens: Consequences, Peer Pressure and Making A Way Out,” reminded me of how much I need to keep myself from giving in to the urge of helping my children with every difficult situation that they go through. Yes, it’s very tempting, to shelter my children from things that cause them pain and discomfort, but then I have to ask myself what this will this make of them? Will my constant helping prepare them well for adult life or am I actually staging a life of failure by constantly bailing them out?

We may have learned a lot of things through books and lessons, but there is no denying that experience is the best teacher. If I do not let my children sort out their own problems, they won’t have any experience to learn from. Sure, it would be hard to see our child struggle, but we just have to remember that when a child is feeling upset, frustrated, angry, or sad they’re in a position to develop some important coping skills.

If we want our children to be confident adults who can think for themselves and navigate through difficult situations on their own, we must empower and encourage them to face problems and develop their own solutions.

Should Children Have a Shorter Summer Vacation?

I recently read an article that talked about that possibility of a longer school year. The article went on to speak about the positives and negatives to potentially shortening summer vacation substantially. Advocates of this say that the benefit to a shorter summer break would be students retaining more information. Their argument is that the longer lapse of summer vacation causes students to move backwards in their education.

Many parents are also against this proposal saying that summer break is needed as a way to recharge their children’s batteries. They also argue that it would take away from all the quality time children get to spend outside in the summer. I certainly see good points on both sides of this argument, and there are more points than I included here.

Where do you stand on this issue? Do you want kids to have a shorter summer vacation or do you like things the way they are?

How Do You Measure the Success of a Parent

Every parent wants their child to be a great success. They want to be able to say that they raised a doctor, lawyer, engineer, or chemist and that makes sense. So much of today’s world is wrapped around what you do for a living. Many people would see it as a great parenting success if you end up having kids that turn out to be successful people at their jobs. Having said that, I tend to disagree with that being successful parenting. Surely you do not want to see your child become unemployed later in life, but I don’t think successful parenting depends solely on what your child ends up becoming. You have to look at the happiness factor, and if your child had a fun life growing up. There is a lot of value in one singular good memory from growing up, which is something that not everybody can say they have.

A post called “How to Measure the Success of a Parent”, caught my attention recently when it talked about this topic. Make sure that your child is having fun as they grow up. They might have more fond memories of you if you separate work and special time with them.

Enjoy Your Children’s Birthdays

When you were a child you probably looked forward to birthdays so much. Cake, friends, and presents are a great thing. Most of all children like to become a year older because it typically means they are allowed to do more. This means going to friends houses for longer, staying up later, and maybe being allowed to play in sports leagues. These are all exciting things! For parents, birthdays are less of a fun event, and more of a reminder. Birthdays remind you that you have become a year older, and as an adult that’s not really that cool. I have a suggestion though, stop focusing on your own birthday and get excited for your child’s birthday. Experience the joy that they feel on their special day each year, and be happy when they are happy. You can also use a child’s birthday to think back on the year that has occurred. In most instances this will make you feel really proud of your child and yourself for maturing as the child and the parent respectively.

I thought of this idea while reading a post about what a birthday means on Domestic Dork. Her take on how she has felt on each of her daughter’s birthdays so far made me want to write this post.

Teach Your Child Responsibility When It Comes to Electronics

Chances are your child probably asked for some sort of electronic gift this Christmas. Between the new iPhone 5, mini iPad, or all the gaming consoles around today your kid is bound to desire one of them. Technology is now an integral part of our society, and most parents wouldn’t hesitate to give the newest technology to their children. I am not saying that they should, but I am saying that there should be distinct and clear limitations on how often they use the technology.

A post I read on She Knows Parenting titled, “Gardget-Gifting Gone Bad” talks about the dangers of giving your child the electronic devices they so strongly desire. While these gifts are all, admittedly, really cool children can become obsessed with these things. This can cut into things like their grades and development of a social life (friends). So just make sure to set a limit of these sort of things if you’re getting your kid the newest technology this Christmas. Set an example and show them how responsibly use technology. If your face is constantly buried in your iPhone, chances are theirs will be too.

Why Do Kids Always Want a Puppy for Christmas?

If you have kids there is a very good chance you have seen one thing on their Christmas wish lists for years. A puppy! Unless you have a family pet of course. It just seems like kids can’t resist getting their hopes up and asking for a puppy every single year for Christmas. I can’t personally blame them because I did the same thing back when I was a kid. Come on, who can resist a puppy! Realistically though it can be difficult for parents to deal with this question every year, and find a way to explain that a puppy is just not a feasible idea for their family.

A post called, “He Wants a Puppy” talks about just this problem that parents are presented with. Sometimes it is the wrong time to get a pet, and a puppy is a lot of responsibility. Explaining it that way to young children might be tough, but having a puppy when their just isn’t somebody to take care of it is the wrong decision.

Don’t Become Filled With Parenting Regret

Parenting is not easy! It is really easy to get caught up in daily problems like getting your child to school or what to make for dinner. The reality is that in the blink of an eye, your child will be leaving for college or joining the work force. Enjoy every small moment that you can. Many parents get caught up in the mundane reality of every day life, and forget to cherish the small moments spent with their child. This seemingly insignificant moments will be things you grow to miss!

A post on A ThankFULL Heart about parenting regret made me think of the idea of this post. The author listed some parenting regrets that you probably wouldn’t expect. Things like not pushing her child on the swing enough and not making cookies together enough made the list. The idea behind this is you are going to miss the smallest things when your child is not longer young enough to be around all the time. Take advantage of them now!

Imperfection is a Part of Life for Parents and Children

“Nobody’s perfect” is a phrase we have all heard before to try and get us to calm down. When we make mistakes it can be really frustrating, and it is easy to get down on yourself. Never forget that imperfection is part of the beauty of life. As parents we are going to make mistakes. As long as you accept your mistakes as a learning experience and move on everything will be okay. If you lose your cool and yell at your child; just make sure that you apologize to them for your actions. You should teach them as they grow that nobody is perfect, and that includes you. You will make mistakes as a parent, and they will also make mistakes as your child. It is all a part of the loving, family relationship that you will develop.

A post titled, “It’s a Good Thing You’re Not Perfect!” gave me the idea to share my thoughts on imperfection in parenting with you. The post talks about how it is a good thing that people are not perfect, and I agree wholeheartedly.