AGOODYEMy daughter is entering high school this fall. Oh my goodness, what did I just type? I feel like she was just born a few months ago and I holding her in one arm.

Single parents, have you ever said “I have plenty of time”?

 

I’m not so sure we do. Time flies by so fast and before you know it, it’s dusk.

I’m not sure about you, but I don’t often realize how fast the “second half” of our kids’ time with us passes. The first nine years goes by so slow. It seems to take forever as we watch them learn to walk, start talking, get out of diapers, go to school, ride a bike, etc..

It just seems natural the next 9 years will be drawn out too. Wrong!

Those second nine, they progress three times faster. When we hit their ninth birthday, we’re 75% done, people. Everything accelerates.

So what factors contribute to this?:

_____We get busier as parents and our careers often cause us to spend less time at home

_____Other people start influencing our kids. Things like friends, TV and music, teachers…all accelerate their exposure and learning.

_____Younger siblings demand our time, so the older kids get less of us.

_____For single parents, as the kids get older they often decide to spend more time with one parent and so the other parent loses time and influence.

____Part-time jobs for our teens pull them farther from us.

____(Fill in another 20 reasons).

Ephesians 5:16 encourages us to make good use of our time on Earth. The opportunity to be influential in our child’s life doesn’t last as long as we think.

Sunset is quickly approaching. I want to seize the day and invest in our kids aggressively before the sun sets and they are no longer under our roof. Non-custodial parents have even less time.

What are some ways you influence your kids? Share some ideas with us so we can redeem the time we’ve already lost.

Do you want a free book?

1111 9.48.56 AM

I’m doing research on my next project, PreLaunching: Preparing Your Child for Adulting in Today’s World (working title).

 

I’m looking for stories from parents of any aged child, on how you are trying (or have tried) to prepare your child for a successful transition into society as an adult. Funny or serious stories. What worked? What failed?

If I use your story, I’ll send you a copy of the finished book. Here is the quick survey link. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/J6PLJ5J
Thanks so much.

TEZ

Brothers and sister using digital tablets while relaxing on sofaSometimes, I’m just lazy.

Especially when it comes to the spiritual training of my kids. I often disqualify myself.

I try to set aside 30 minutes per week to do a Bible study with my kids. Often they aren’t in the mood or they become bored. I should realize their attitude is just the flesh, the old nature reacting to godly things (basic human responses we all have sometimes).

Instead, I take it personally. I suddenly hear Satan the accuser telling me, “They don’t want to hear about it from you because you’re a fraud, Tez!” I try to ignore that voice and press through, but often it’s a battle.

Some dads I know think spiritual training is the church’s job. They believe some other “Professional”  Christian is supposed to do it.

Have you ever caught yourself thinking any of these thoughts?

  •  “I need to remind my wife to train my teen how to walk with God.”
  • “I know my daughter needs to learn the Bible. That’s why we send her to the Christian school.”
  • “The youth leader will show my son the way.”
  • “My kid needs to understand the value of discipline and hard work. His soccer coach will do it.”

These individuals can be a nice addition to godly parenting, but they’re a lousy replacement.

Parents, helping our kids love Jesus, learn Scripture, and be servants is our job. Deuteronomy 6:7 makes it pretty clear, no one else has the job we do. We cannot delegate spiritual training to anyone.1111

I take my family to church each Sunday, we pray together for things, we make God part of our daily life….but does anyone else struggle to be consistent? Is it just me?

Some of us are prone to guilt, so we overcompensate. What are some ways we can show ourselves more grace?

 

So what’s it gonna be? What new leaf are you planning to turn over?

Mine is a manuscript. I want to finish my 4th book (working title…”Pre-Launching: How to Prepare Your Teen for Successful Adulting”)

My agent is anxious to see the first few chapters and that has me both excited and nervous. Afraid of failure or rejection.

What if this book isn’t good enough? What if my agent can’t find an interested publishing house when he tries to pitch the idea? B

It’s enough to make me give up. After all, I’m not a great parent. I fail all the time. What do I possibly have to offer? Add in another dozen or so self-defeating comments and I’m ready to call it a day.

Ever feel like that? Especially when it comes to New Year’s resolutions?

Our resolutions for parenting are the worst. I’m gonna be more understanding. I’m gonna yell less. I’m gonna be more involved at their school. Cook healthier dinners. Start a family Bible study. The list goes on.

We set so many high standards for ourselves, it’s pretty easy to fail.

It’s funny. I have no problem accepting grace from God when I need it (which is pretty often). But I can’t seem to give it to myself. Why is that?

I think it comes from a belief that people are bigger than they are. That somehow, what they think of me is so important that I forget to care what God thinks of me. In essence, people are big and God is small.

Yikes! Sorry, God.

In reality, if we are his children, He thinks you and I are pretty awesome. He views us through rose-colored glasses.

Does this mean we should stop trying to improve ourselves? Of course not, especially when it comes to walking closer to God.

But accepting who we are and how God made us is important. God created you to be the perfect parent for your child(ren). He paired you up with your kids because you’d be perfect together as a family. Sure we’re gonna fail as parents from time to time. Sure we could use a few New Year’s resolutions when it comes to parenting.

But I’m learning not to base my proposed improvements on what I think society wants me to be. Rather, I want to be all that God created me to be and desires of me. Flaws and all. AThere’s a lot of new pressure for a new year. But Philippians 3:12 reminds me, “I don’t mean to say I’m perfect. I haven’t learned all I should even yet. But I keep working toward that day when I will finally be all that Christ saved me for and wants me to be. ” (Living Bible)

How about you? What areas do you struggle with when it comes to other’s opinions of you as a parent? How do you navigate through that? Share with us in the comments.