Parenting is a Marathon not a Sprint

I have the mentality of working harder gets the job done faster. This is what I prefer to do. I want to finish the job and move on. Like putting all my effort into a short sprint rather than conserving my energy and working continuously for the long haul. Well, that’s not always the case with parenting.

Parenting is a long term commitment. Most of the time, you can’t just correct your child once and it be done. Kids need consistent, constant reminders of what is right and wrong. They need you to tell them over and over again to pick up their shoes, clean up after themselves, chew with their mouth closed, show respect, etc. When I was growing up, one thing I can remember my dad saying a lot is “and I don’t want to have to repeat myself!” Now that I am a parent I understand this all too well! I hate having to say the same things over and over and over again!

This also means parenting is exhausting! We tend to get worn out quicker because we have to rehash the same thing multiple times for multiple kids. We expect our kids to do things right the first time, sometimes without giving them the correct instructions or expectations. That is not only unrealistic but unfair to our kids. When we got our first job, someone had to show us what, where and when to do it.

We have to take the time and effort to keep showing them, lovingly and not so annoyed. I have caught myself really frustrated when I tell my boys to do something (I assume they know how to do) and turn around and it’s not done right or even at all. How do I respond? In anger, frustration, impatience or love, kindness, and teaching?

Colossians 3:21 (MSG)

“Parents, don’t come down too hard on your children or you’ll crush their spirits.”

We don’t want to crush kids spirits by setting them up for failure with our anticipation of their knowledge. So, what do we do about this? We do exactly what we want our kids to do. Have patience, take a deep breath, show them what and how things need to be done, explain it over again in case they weren’t listening, and repeat daily, weekly, monthly, etc. It’s not always your child’s fault for how they act. They are sinful by nature. We have to nurture them to the person God and we want them to be. Lead by example! Love unconditionally!

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