balanced

Revisited: I am Done Making My Kids Childhood Magical

Friday, April 11, 2014

Have you read this?



I get it. The author was trying to say she is done with doing all the things to make her kids childhood a magical fairy tale. Tired of the pressure. Tired of telling kids life is romance and roses then placing them in a world that is often polar opposite. Tired.

As I was reading that article, my heart just whispered to me, "no, no Rachel do not buy this. Do not give up."  Old fashioned parenting as mentioned in the article had it's perks and disdain. How many of our grandparents were completely unconnected emotionally to their children? I think that is part of the reason this shift in going overboard has occurred.  Our parents wanted us to have what they may not have had- connection, a voice, more than a couple toys.  Our parents passed that to us and it has just grown more so with this new generation of parents. As mentioned in the article, there is a heavy, burdensome pressure we modern parents are holding to give our kids all the things. To do all the pintrest crafts, to attend every field trip, to helicopter parent, to pour, pour, pour our souls out to them until we can pour no more. When we do that, we do two things: we don't let them experience authentic life, and we don't experience it either because we are too drained.

My favorite word is balance.

I am not saying this article is wrong. It's just not the whole story of what parenting should be.  We are called to encourage the magical, mystery of life in our kids. Spur them towards it. Lead them. Sometimes that means we help create it so they can be in the middle of that swirly tornado of glitter and confetti of "a moment." Sometimes that means we put them outside and tell them to have at it and create it themselves. 

When we stop trying to show them the world, stop succumbing to the pressure of parenthood; our kids lose. A little bit of pressure, a little bit of stress pushes us onward mightily. Pushes us. Growth. Notice I said little. We parents also need to give ourselves a stinkin' break. End the comparison trap. End the need to do and say and be everything to them. 

Balance.

Balance is pressure between two things.  
Balance between stressed schedules and unrelenting laziness.
Balance between having every toy and having none.
Balance between a magical childhood and a boring one.
Balance between helicopter parenting and a lonely child.
Balance between teaching and enabling.


Balance.

This world is broken, when we put rose colored glasses on our kids occasionally they can dream big. When we take off those glasses sometimes and stand by them in reality, they have seen what glory and goodness God has made in our world. We teach them to notice simple pleasures. We can help raise world changers people. World changers. Let's walk with our kids down a journey that is grassy and magical sometimes and muddy and dark others. Hand in hand as they grow and adjust and are molded into the adults God has planned for them to be. 
Just be present. Show them joy, encourage self-reliance and hope. Have a good time with your kids, it's God's gift. Lead them some days, hang back a little others. If you have the energy for a craft, fun vacation or planned event- go for it. If not, let the times you do make up for it. Just be sure there is pressure in both directions.

Don't give up. Don't over do it. Be the balance.

The Message Bible, Ecc 3:
There’s an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth:
2-8 A right time for birth and another for death,
A right time to plant and another to reap,
A right time to kill and another to heal,
A right time to destroy and another to construct,
A right time to cry and another to laugh,
A right time to lament and another to cheer,
A right time to make love and another to abstain,
A right time to embrace and another to part,
A right time to search and another to count your losses,
A right time to hold on and another to let go,
A right time to rip out and another to mend,
A right time to shut up and another to speak up,
A right time to love and another to hate,
A right time to wage war and another to make peace.
But in the end, does it really make a difference what anyone does? I’ve had a good look at what God has given us to do—busywork, mostly. True, God made everything beautiful in itself and in its time—but he’s left us in the dark, so we can never know what God is up to, whether he’s coming or going. I’ve decided that there’s nothing better to do than go ahead and have a good time and get the most we can out of life. That’s it—eat, drink, and make the most of your job. It’s God’s gift.

Honestly with love,
Rach



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