Parenting Real Life

Authentic Parenting

What may seem trivial to me is anything but trivial to my little ones.

I wrongly mistook encouraging independence with rushing through bedtime routines.

And in the rushing, an important connection was lost.

Over years, the relationship wavered.

For the hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world. ~William Ross Wallace

The Hand that Rocks the Cradle

If I remove my hand for even a mere second, the world will step in and grasp that cradle, and the rocking won’t be near as gentle as I would like.

Love is more than words.

Love is action. Love is attention and more than the nodding and mm-hmming of absent semi-listening. Love is effort. Love is work. Love hurts. Love isn’t always pleasant or cheerful. Love allows for failure and natural consequences.

The world and even the church encourage parents to be more hands-off than I think is healthy. Parents are encouraged to let their children fly solo too soon. We expect kids to not act like kids much too soon.

Kids need lots and lots of guidance and leadership in so many areas before taking off on their own.

Kids need to fly tandem before taking off on their own into the scary great beyond.

The world criticizes the helicopter parents a well as the authoritarian parents.

Isn’t there a healthy alternative to two extremes? An in between?

The gray parent?

That sounds so Tim Burton.

I want to be authentic as a parent.

Many Christian moms I know can quote that Bible complete and use it as a weapon with copywork and highlighted tabs for every social infraction.

But not so many have their children’s hearts.

Parenting doesn’t have to be a constant battle.

It shouldn’t be parents vs. kids. It’s not a competition or a power struggle. This is especially important to remember in blended families.

Family dynamics can be tricky, and moms set the atmosphere of our homes.

Instead of all the doing stuff to kids, parents should focus more on the doing stuff with kids.

My teen daughter still wants me to sing the lullabies and listen to the prayers – basically the same bedtime routine since she was a toddler.

Many kids aren’t capable of metacognition nor the communication skills to tell parents what they need or want – or to be discerning in spite of all the media and even the sometimes misleading lessons from church and society.

When kids push back or pull away, that’s a wakeup call.

As a mom, I’m supposed to act like a healthy adult – even if I wasn’t brought up in a healthy loving household environment.

It’s my job to pray and do whatever it takes to get help to be healthy. So I can parent my kids and raise healthy adults.

Don’t take your hand off that cradle.

About the author


Jennifer is a displaced Southern belle, thanks to the Air Force, but she wouldn't have it any other way. Amidst desperate attempts to balance her various roles as a wife, home educator, and writer…she seeks daily dumptruck loads of God’s grace. Her four little lambs, all of whom possess vastly different personalities, much to her chagrin, make her proud with their razor wit and scathing use of sarcasm. She and the children are quite obsessed with Doctor Who. Along with her husband, Aaron, she passionately educates about natural health. Jennifer shares her heart at her personal blog and her family’s homeschooling journey at Royal Little Lambs.


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