Parenting is not to be taken lightly. As parents, we all have moments where we want to walk away or feel like we need a do over, but that doesn't happen. What does happen is our reflection in our children.
Living harmoniously as a family is an ongoing, intentional journey. The beginning of that journey is marked by great anticipation and genuine excitement. A bride and groom have high hopes and great dreams as they start out life together. However, as in all journeys, unexpected challenges pop up, including the arrival of children, which requires the couple to cultivate valuable parenting skills—without a handbook! At each age, from preschool through elementary school, each child requires his or her parents to make adjustments along the way to keep the relationships harmonious. Just about the time parents get their arms around all of that, the teenage years arrive! This stretching and complicated time calls for even more adjustments and a greater willingness to change if the parents hope to sustain harmony in the home. Then, after all that adapting, a new set of challenges arrives—the children reach adulthood, with minds of their own. Can there still be mutual respect and meaningful relationships in the family? Can harmony continue between parents and their grown-up kids? Absolutely! The question is, how?
When we discipline our children our words often speak louder than our actions. Yes, the rod stings and can hurt. But the wounds our words leave behind last far longer than any physical discomfort our children experience.
Dating is nothing new for my daughter. Years ago Rachael began leaving our house once a month for dinner and a movie with the guy she loved: Her dad.