Parenting is a Journey

Parenting can be an overwhelming task at times - here are two phrases that helps keep my perspective.

Focus on the Process not the Product

And

Parenting is a journey

When we see raising our children as a training processes rather than a one off teaching event we will have a much better long term understanding of being a parent. Focus on the Process not the Product. The obedience maybe the end product but the process of training and practicing is what raising children is all about.

I need to focus on my child’s growth, step by step, not just expect that he will get it – He won’t just suddenly get motivated or function without instruction. He won’t just be obedient with a month of training. The training goes on and on and on. Little bit by little bit he will walk towards these goals I have for him but it won’t happen instantly. My focus has to be on dealing with one issue at a time; one process, one step, one little growth spurt at a time.

When we focus on the end product that we want so much we don’t want to wait for the growth. It is like pulling up a carrot before it has matured. We plant the seeds, we water and then we wait. Growing vegetables is all about waiting – sometimes we can’t even see the growth but it is happening. This is the process of vegetable gardening; this is the process of parenting.

We tend to the garden and we wait for the fruit to appear. That end product – it will bring much rejoicing at harvest time – but there was a process that made that fruit happen.


Parenting is a Journey

If we take that analogy of Parenting as a journey and relate it to our children we have to see that the destination is the same for each child – moral maturity. The difference that comes for each child, even for each family, is that the road is different. Therefore the journey looks different for each of us. Some roads will be straight and narrow. Some roads will be full of roadblocks, twists and turns. Some roads will be straightforward others will be full of adventure. What road are you on with each of your children?

I know of this diversity, even in our own family. Daniel’s road has been hard slog. I have had to keep my eye on our destination – moral maturity – it’s the same goal for him as it is for Joshua. The road though has been very different and continues to be different. I know that the chores Josh and Jess were doing at 6-7, I just won’t get the same results from Daniel even at 8. I know the focus ability Josh, Jess and Nomi had at 8 Daniel just can’t achieve. These things are moral in nature and yet he is just not there. But he is on the road to these things. I had an encouraging moment over the weekend when I looked out the window and saw Daniel completing a task I had asked him to do – he was working with all his energy and a happy heart. Three months ago I would have wondered if this would ever happen. He is on a journey – that is what parenting is about.

In looking at different families, in hearing different stories we need to know that the road will be different for each of us. Each family, each child, each person has their weaknesses, their baggage, their strengths and inclinations, all of which will affect the road. Each family starts their journey at a different time and place – this will define your road.

It is a different road, same destination!

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