Parenting a Strong Willed Child?

I’ve been asking older, wiser Christian parents for encouragement on raising a strong willed child. Not strong willed as in, “I have to ask them three times before they go to bed,” but strong willed as in, “I need to put on riot gear before I tell them it’s bed time”. I need help. The parents (with functioning, adult, strong willed children) are amazingly positive. Most of them say essentially, “Congratulations! That’s wonderful if it doesn’t kill you!” So if you have a strong willed child, read the encouragements of older saints below and be refreshed: Continue reading

What My Mother Did (5/5)

The fifth major thing I want to imitate in my mother’s parenting is her praying. She knew that all the wonderful things she did could not save us, so she was frequently before the throne of grace asking for God’s blessing on her use of means for our salvation.

I think she prayed for us more than she disciplined us (something we frequently needed). One afternoon, we were all out on the porch, bickering and fighting about something petty. Suddenly, Mum was there, looking not very happy with all of us, and we fell silent. Continue reading

Mothers & Daughters

About ten years ago, Carloyn Mahaney and her three adult daughters gave a set of talks on the mother-daughter relationship. The three sessions (one for mothers, the other for daughters, one Q&A) are well worth listening to if you are a mother, daughter, or husband and father. The only caveat I have is that Carolyn Mahaney states repeatedly that the goal of mothering is the children’s salvation. This would mean that a godly mother who has unbelieving children has not reached her goal. Continue reading

What My Mother Did (4/5)

The fourth major thing that I want to imitate in my mother’s example is selflessness. Dying to self is something which she exemplified with small children, then with a house full of teenagers, now with grandchildren, and always with a busy husband.

Growing up, this seemed so normal that I did not even think about it. But living away from home and having my own family has made me realize how much my mother prioritized the needs of others around her, putting her own last. Continue reading

What My Mother Did (3/5)

The third main thing I’m thankful for in my mother’s example is her attitude to stuff – money, clothes, things. Her two-fold approach to material stuff had powerful spiritual consequences.

My mother took care of the things God had given her, and taught us to do the same. She used money frugally. She cleaned the house. She washed our clothes (especially working on all the grass and mud stains). She dusted picture frames, polished stuff, and generally took very good care of everything. She taught us that since God had given us this stuff, we needed to not only take care of it and make it last, but also use it in ways that blessed others. Continue reading

What My Mother Did (1/5)

“We all become our mothers,” an elderly pastor’s wife told me recently, “So decide what you want to imitate so that you are doing it consciously, and leaving out any bad!” I can and will spend a lifetime imitating my mother’s amazing example. But mulling over it, five aspects of her mothering stood out as major ones which have been immensely helpful to my spiritual development, and which I still draw from today. They are practices I certainly want to imitate and have my children benefit from. Continue reading