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The first thing I noticed when I had my son, Micaiah, was how many different parenting methods are out there. From attachment parenting to crying-it-out, to organic foods only to baby-led-weaning, it’s really easy to become confused. As someone who falls between the two parenting extremes, for awhile..it was hard to find my place in the world of Mama’s.
I’m expecting my second son any day now. The past two years Mothering have been hectic and a whirlwind. I’ve been a Mama to an unborn child whose presence was taxing on my body, a Mama to a preemie and finally a Mama to an intelligent, rambunctious little man. While I take pride in making the best decisions possible for my son, my stance on cloth vs. disposable isn’t what’s made a difference in his life. That isn’t going to shape his personality or teach him about the world. It might affect his tiny rear, but in the end, it really doesn’t matter.
Parents, especially us first-time parents, take all of those parenting methods we hear about and obsess over them, thinking that those methods are what will make or break our baby. These things, in the grand scheme of things, don’t matter nearly as much as the things that we tend to neglect. So, if I could choose one parenting tip to tell a new Mama or Daddy, it would be this: Do as Jesus does.
When your baby is hollering through the night, do as Jesus does.
When you are running low on sleep and patience, do as Jesus does.
When you are disciplining a toddler eager to test his boundaries, do as Jesus does.
When your teenager is acting rebellious, do as Jesus does.
And when you fail as a parent, don’t forget to treat yourself as Jesus would treat you.
And in doing that, you’ll automatically be making the right decisions. In doing that, you’ll be choosing peace, patience and love. You’ll win hearts and create something that all the organic food in the world can’t, a relationship. You’ll raise a child who loves with all his heart and is fearless, willing to give grace to himself and those around him.
Before we get caught up in the specifics of baby food, diapers and discipline, let’s consider how Jesus treats us and give the same things to our little ones.
And that, is the only parenting tip you really need.