When children are young, they look to their parents as super heroes – men and women of steel – those who can make their boo-boos better and dry their tears when they’re hurting. When they get older, the mask and cape quickly disappear and it soon becomes apparent that parents aren’t much different than anyone else. They have problems – they can’t do everything – they make mistakes.
When children become teens, those original super heroes transform into absolutely ignorant. It isn’t until they begin life on their own that parents get the honor they deserve.
Parenting is one of the most difficult occupations out there. Most of us learn everything on the fly. No one tells you that your life is going to change completely. No one tells you your kids will get broken bones, hurt feelings and need protection from dangerous situations. I didn’t expect numerous trips to the ER. I wasn’t prepared for snakes, bugs, baby ducks, frogs and dead fish in the toy box.
Parenting is tough. You feel guilty going to bed with a sink full of dishes. You have so much to do, but your child wants a bedtime story. You’d really love a new pair of shoes, but school starts soon and the kids need school supplies. You put your plans on hold so you can visit your child’s school and share hot lunch with them or be their ‘show and tell’ item for the day. You cry when you’re not there to say goodnight and tuck them in for the night.
Martina McBride wrote a lovely song about this very subject. One verse kind of sums up what the whole parenting thing is all about.
“In my daughter’s eyes,
Everyone is equal,
Darkness turns to light,
And the world is at peace,
This miracle God gave to me,
Gives me strength when I am weak,
I find reason to believe,
In my daughter’s eyes.”
Our children look to us as role models. What kind of example are we setting? We’re their first connection to the outside world. Our opinions, our frustrations, our verbal attacks, how we regard our fellow man, how we extend ourselves to try and fix things, affect our children and the way they turn out. We have them in our care for the most malleable years of their lives.
Negativity is damaging and can turn ordinary folks into bullies, naysayers, doomsdayers and angry individuals. Is that the kind of kids we want to be running the world in the future? When kids come out of college with their degrees and a huge financial burden and no job, the example we originally set for them in our parenting days will either leave them feeling hopeless or ready to face the world.
Positivity is much harder to achieve. It requires hard work, patience and persistence. It also works best when motivated with God’s direction and assistance. We can’t do this alone. We can’t do anything without Him. He is the positive influence that can push us out of darkness into light.