We are constantly second guessing ourselves as parents, aren’t we? When it comes to protecting our children, we’d do anything to shield them from pain or discomfort.
But what’s too much? When is it time to pull back and let them learn from natural consequences and when is it time to step in and protect them?
Together, let’s tackle some important things to consider when making these decisions.
1) Know Your Child
It’s so important to know your individual child. One child (based on maturity or lack there of) might need a little bit more protecting and guiding. Each child is so different – and fearfully and wonderfully made! Rejoice in your children’s differences, their strengths and their weaknesses.
2) Pray Proactively
We’ve all prayed those desperate prayers in the heat of the moment. The fire of the current trial can be almost unbearable! It’s great to pray in the moment (please do) but you and I must be people that proactively pray over our children. Prayer takes the fear out of parenting because we place them in the hands of an Almighty Heavenly Father, who loves them even more than we do. We must be a people of constant prayer. Prayer should be just as valuable as our next breath.
3) Entrust Your Child Fully To The Lord
Have you entrusted your precious little one(s) to the Lord? Maybe you thought you had, but you still find yourself holding onto them (figuratively speaking) with white knuckles and a tight grip of control. Pray this simple prayer today:
Lord, once again I lay my child ____________ at your feet. They are not my own, but are simply on loan to me. You’ve trusted me to care for them, and I pray that I do my very best, and watch you bless!
4) Forget The Helicopter & Lose The Free Range Mentality
Oh me oh my! Enough with all of the debate about helicopters and free range parenting! You be the best parent you know how to be! If that means letting your children climb to the heights of heaven at the playground while you breathe easy, sip your mocha frappe, and talk to your friends, so be it. If it means you play with them, and even hover over them, so be it! Have grace when you view other mothers. Maybe they have worked all day and this is their only time to play and run with their kids? Grace. Always and overabundant grace for all types of parenting styles.
5) Look For Teachable Moments
We need to be constantly watching for teachable moments with our children. Moments are just that, moments. They come and they go and then they are gone! Seek to make a lasting different in your kiddos lives! For good! Some moments may look like letting them learn the hard way, and then gently walking them through the weight of the consequences they face. Other moments may look like taking them be the hand, step by step, with lots of extra affection. In all moments, show love and show grace. Pour it all over them like fudge on a sundae.
6) Love, Protection & Interference
We pray, “Lord, please protect my child today.” But what does protection look like? What is the end goal of our prayers? Should, we instead pray, “Lord, may my child learn more of you today. May they become more like the image of your Son, Jesus.” You see, if we are constantly praying these very simple minded, go-through-the-motions-prayers, we aren’t seeing the big picture of the gospel. We can certainly pray God’s protection over our children, but most importantly we should pray that their lives would glorify God, and that they would become more like Christ each day. So while parenting, we need to remember always to love, to understand the context of protection, and to also know when to run interference, and get involved in our child’s current situation.
8) Know Your Surroundings
Mommy intuition. It’s most definitely a thing! You know what I mean. Listen to it. Always be aware of your surroundings. Pray for wisdom. Then live your life. If we are constantly fearful over what will might happen, it will suffocate our living and rob us of our joy.
9) Trade In Your Fears For Peace
When we become parents, there is something inside of us that changes. It must be that Mama Bear gene! All the what ifs and made up scenarios we create in our own minds. Trade your fears for peace. Jesus is the Prince of Peace. Ask Him to calm your fears about your children and cause His peace to rush into your soul.
*If you have a pre-teen daughter, this is a great book to get for them! My daughter is only 9, but I will be reading age-appropriate parts with her. (10 ultimate truths girls should know)
For more great resources and freebies, please check out Tommy Nelson!