10 Parenting Tips Our Kids Taught Us

Because our friends were out beating around the world and playing in the surf and gigging bars while my husband and I were changing diapers and teething and chicken poxing (not to mention testing wills), they now have little ones and our life is graced with amazing adult kids who are rocking the world. Boo-yah.

As a result, I find myself either relegated to silence or divvying out tiny spoonfuls and tweet-sized bits of mother wisdom. My husband, on the other hand, teaches twenty-eight 3rd graders in the public school system. You may take a guess from whence the lasting parenting wisdom comes.

But this is my blog so I’ll talk about me (insert chuckle). I don’t know how James processes this or if he ever has time to, but for me it’s as if I hold a painful secret; I too had bouncing curls and chubby fingers once. My children didn’t die; instead they grew up. And I got the biggest kick out of each stage. Still, I experience the loss of those little children. I only had two kids close together so chapters opened, then closed. It’s painful to think that those of my friends who I met later will never know me as a mommy of young children.

I am caught in a long pause about how I treat others who have parented. Does it occur to me to see them holistically? We did a good job of pulling singles in close to share in our parenting, but I was not one to ask for advice from those who’d gone before. Like other young parents who grace my path, I pretty much believed that I was pioneering the jungle–the new jungle–the far superior jungle.

I don’t have much wisdom, but for what it’s worth, these are the few bits I share after we chose to Raise Kids God’s OTHER Way:

  • Memorize them
  • Hold out for family dinner – our big fail
  • Let them sleep w/ you
  • Scratch their backs every night – it will be your saving grace when they don’t want to talk in high school
  • Sing them to sleep…as long as you can. I still do when my kids are camping half way around the globe in a sketch hostel.
  • Vacation together every year. The budget will always suck.
  • Always err on protecting your relationship with them.
  • Stop teaching your kids to lie! Tell them they are trustworthy and then allow them to be.
  • Just because they seem mature, doesn’t mean they are not still babies.
  • Play. Laugh. Wrestle when they are little…and when they are big, they will still want to.

Next time, some ideas on how to help kids learn hospitality. Ours are ROCK STARS at welcoming and embracing strangers. Do you have any to sage advice to add to the list? No Christian-ese or rhetoric, please.