They’re Not Promised


Parenting is the hardest job in the world.  Period.

One of the most difficult aspects of parenting is walking the fine line between being your children’s confidant, and their disciplinarian.  There’s just as fine a line between going crazy because they keep running up and down the stairs and making a racket, and  smiling as they present you with the picture they drew of you when you weren’t looking, your heart warming as your face blushes because you were JUST about to get on them for that broken family heirloom….

You beam with pride as your child takes off for the first time on his/her new bike, free and independent.  Then you try to make sense of your crazy, mixed emotions are as you realize that your children don’t like the games/sports/things you did as a kid, and would much rather do (input anything that you loathed at the same age).

Children are every real parent’s greatest joy.  And every REAL parent’s greatest frustration.  I say every real parent’s frustration because real parents care enough to go through that emotion behind their children’s actions.  Even if, as parents, they don’t want to ever admit how truly frustrated they are.  Children are frustrating because, as their parent, it matters to you when you try to explain something fundamental to their survival and well-being, but they completely ignore your advice/command and do their own thing so that they may experience life for themselves.  How many of you know that kid that ignored your warning and burned her hand on the stove because she touched the fire anyway?

And then there’s the teenage years.  It’s difficult, to say the least, to give advice to someone who looks like you, lives in your house, and eats your food, while overtly rebelling against everything you hold sacred and dear.  How many parents have asked themselves: “Was I that bad as a kid?”  How many parents have made that phone call to mom and dad because they just have to get confirmation: “Did I really do all that when I was little?”  How many parents sat embarrassed and annoyed when Grandma and Grandpa gave out the snickering “I told you so’s!”?

And here’s the kicker: no matter how old your children grow…no matter how many children they have…and no matter how many children their children have…they will always be your little boys and girls.  They will always be your children.   Finally wise enough to seek your advice in the end (go figure!), with careers, homes, cars and retirement plans, but still the little kids you remember riding off on their bikes so many decades ago….

So parents, when you’re feeling frustrated, when your child is standing in front of you and telling that flat-out fib: “No Daddy, of course I didn’t go to the mall, because remember how you told me I couldn’t go this week…?” – just remember one thing.  Your children were not promised to you.  You could have had any other children.  And you could have been any other child’s parent.

Remember, you and your children are together for a reason.  Learning, loving and teaching each other.  They are your greatest blessing.  And if you need a little private comfort, remember too: if you did your job as a real parent, they were just as frustrated with you.

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1 Response to "They’re Not Promised"

  • Chasma Cofield says:

    I really enjoy reading this article. It was informative and affirming to my outlook in life. Look forward to reading more nice articles.

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