After talking with a young mom about parenting styles earlier today, I began thinking about my philosophy of parenting and how it has changed over the years.
Long ago, when I was a new Mom, I relied heavily on the experts. I read just about every book . Of course, getting my B.S. degree in Child Development and Family Relationships made me certain that I would do everything right as a parent! I was shocked when I began to see flaws in my parenting, and so I sought other moms and read more books. Learning from the best did not make my child a perfect child nor was I a perfect parent! I judged myself by what the books said a parent should do and I judged my child by how they measured up to other children.
The sad truth in all of this is that it took me years to finally go to the One who formed us both! God, Himself, is the only perfect parent. He alone knows the unique fingerprint of His image we will be for the world. He is the only one who should be consulted for the wisdom on how to parent our children.
Looking back over the years I saw successes only when I trusted that God loved my children more than I did. He placed them in my care because He knew that I was the right person to give them something they would need to serve Him. Today, I should have told that young mom that God, not me, or other moms can judge what is right for her child or anyone elses. If she remains close to Him she will fulfill her role as a mother just as God has planned.
The sequel to this is that we should also watch out about our judgement of others' parenting. It just may be that God wants His children to be raised under different parenting styles.