Family
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Your Kid Isn’t Perfect

I have been a mom for all of 5 years, 10 months, and 21 days. I graduated from college in less time than that, so you’d think I would have learned quite a bit by now. The truth is, in the time I’ve been a parent all I’ve really learned is that I still have no idea what I’m doing.

Before I had children, I remember talking with a good friend about her own children. She said something that has always stuck with me:

I don’t need my children to be the smartest or most popular kid in their class. I’m ok if they don’t make the honor roll or win awards. I just want them to love others and be kind.

That was such a profound statement and I decided that I wanted to believe that statement for my own children one day. Now that I actually do have children…it’s MUCH easier said than done.

In his Bible study “Raising Children Without Raising Your Blood Pressure,” pastor Rick Warren makes the statement:

Kids are not things to be molded; they are people to be unfolded. God did not bring your kids into the world to satisfy your ego. He brought them into the world to accomplish His purposes.

Jack

My oldest son began kindergarten this fall. While we thought we were pretty prepared for the transition to “big school,” there have been some adjustments for him and our family. He now has homework and gets a report card. There are parent/teacher conferences and assessments… lots of assessments.

And do you know what has been the most eye-opening for me as a mom? My kid ISN’T the smartest or most popular in his class. He HASN’T brought home an award or been labeled as a genius. But I’m supposed to be ok with that, remember? I’m not supposed to feel like a failure or that everyone at his school secretly refers to me as “that mom.”

I’ll be honest… my ego has not come out of this new experience unscathed. I sure would feel a lot better about myself if he was the perfect kid. But I would totally be missing the point.

And the point is that my job as a mom is to direct my child to Christ, not raise the perfect kid. Too often I forget that Jack was created in Christ and He already has a plan for him (Ephesians 2:10). I can also be confident that the plan God has for him is good (Jeremiah 29:11).

So that brings me to a place in which I have to learn to “put my money where mouth is.” I’ve got to boldly trust that if I choose to place Christ in the center of my parenting, He will take care of the rest. I already know that this isn’t easy, so my challenge is that we learn to encourage one another along the parenting journey.

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My husband Joe and I have two boys, Jack and Sam. We are also foster parents to two sweet little ones. We enjoy spending time together as a family. I have a degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of West Georgia. I serve as the Preschool Pastor at Southern Hills. I love working with preschool kids and the awesome volunteers that make our ministry possible.

3 Comments

  1. Jean Daniel says

    Having taught school for thirty years, most of which was in first grade, I saw a lot of parents who were shocked that their child was not the perfect child. I remember talking to one parent who came to me worried because her son had had his behavior card moved to yellow, meaning that it had not been perfect that day. I told her the sooner that card got moved and she realized that her child was not perfect, the sooner she would realize her son was normal and her blood pressure would not go up worrying about it. She came to me later when he was a teen and told me it was some of the best advice she had ever been given. Your boys are precious and normal. Be thankful they are not perfect. Too much pressure on parents and kids!

    • Melissa Bradley says

      Thanks for the encouragement, Ms. Jean! I know that if I were to go back into the classroom now, I would have a much different perspective.

  2. Good parents NEVER stop learning! Their children challenge them every day. That will carry over to grand-parenting and even great grand-parenting – I promise. Enjoy your sweet boys and cherish every moment.

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