Parenting With Open Hands

This is Socks and her four kittens. We fostered them in 2010.
Yesterday, The Hubster and I had the opportunity to care for a newborn infant during worship service at our church. Her family joined our congregation just a few years ago, so they didn't know our daughters. Baby Katie's mommy was a little hesitant to hand over her little one until I explained that we raised two baby girls and they were healthy grownups now.

It's true, The Hubster and I raised two moral, hard-working, independent women. They are both good people, and we are very proud of them. I was very young, just 21 years old, when I first became a mom. We had a lot of victories and some valleys, too. Being a mom is an incredibly hard job, if you do it right. I made a lot of mistakes in parenting. 

Here are three big things I did wrong:

   I did way too much yelling.

      I modeled poor self-esteem to them.

   I held on too tight as they started to mature.

Here are three things I did right:

I apologized when I made a mistake.

I encouraged them.

I asked for help when I needed it.

The objective in parenting is not to hold on to our children forever; it is to raise them to be able to make it out there in the world on their own. If we make all the decisions for them, they will never learn to stand on their own two feet.

One of the hardest things I've ever had to do is to allow my daughters to make mistakes, sometimes big ones, and then suffer the consequences. First instinct tells a parent to swoop in and make it all better. Fight that thought! One day, when our children take their first tentative steps of independence, we'll be there to cheer them on.

Parenting is a marathon, not a sprint. I have to look at the long-term effect of what I'm doing to and for my kid. Now that I have the perspective of adult children, I can see that raising them with open hands is the best way to go. That way, my hands are ready to welcome them when they come home for a visit.

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Female in Motion Health Update: I enjoy the return to low-impact aerobics! Although I can't do more than 15 minutes at a time now, I am hoping my energy levels will start to climb soon. I still have a lot of fatigue I am fighting.

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Notable Quote:

Proverbs 23:15-16 (NKJV) My son, if your heart is wise, My heart will rejoice--indeed, I myself; Yes, my inmost being will rejoice when your lips speak right things.
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