All right now, most of you are either parents or soon going to be parents and I have a question for you. Do you have a mission statement for your parenting? Before your head explodes let me say I do not... have never even thought about it at least not in those terms, but I'm taking a parenting Sunday school class and this is one of our over all assignments; to come up with a parenting mission statement. It sounds so incredibly intimidating doesn't it? I mean I spend most of my day running from one fire to another, making peanut butter sandwiches and changing diapers, I'm not sure I have the energy or time to come up with something like a mission statement. And what if I do? I then have something written down that I'm suppose to accomplish on top of the peanut butter sandwiches and what if I can't manage it all?
But then maybe I'm thinking about it wrong, maybe it doesn't have to be something huge or grand. I mean I obviously want to raise healthy children who can function and contribute in society. I want them to walk away from my home with a strong faith that is their own not mine. And I want Brian and my house to be a place they always look forward to coming back to. Maybe it would be good to write down exactly what Brian and I want to accomplish as parents maybe it will give us direction as we go along, maybe peanut butter sandwiches aren't enough. It's scary though, I mean children aren't puzzles (as long as you put all the right pieces together it turns out) eventually they make their own decisions and think their own things, there is so much that is not in our control it almost seems like putting down what I hope to accomplish is just setting us up for failure. Yet I know this is cowardly because I see parents living like this all the time, in the big and small things and it drives me nuts. They don't encourage their kids not to have sex before marriage because "they're just going to do it anyway" (which isn't always true I know for a fact) they let their small children go to bed when ever they want even if it's eleven p.m. because they don't want to fight, they let their kids eat sugar all day because they just don't want to have rules or be the bad guy or listen to whining, they give up on grades etc...If you have expectations for your children they may not live up to them they may disappoint you and they most certainly will make mistakes BUT if you don't have any expectations at all then they will live up to that and you will have only yourself to blame.
All that being said I want to reach out to you all and ask; what is it that you hope to come from your short time as a parent? What did you hope for your children while they were growing up and what were and are your dreams for your family? If your children are grown what are some pitfalls the rest of us can avoid? Thank you for being part of this awesome, huge, and scary adventure known as being a mom and dad.