Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Childhood (09/03/09)
- TITLE: Parenting Power
By Lois Farrow
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The realisation sweeps over me and I am frightened. I look at my child and know it is in my power to destroy his life if I so choose. Evidence is in the papers every day; stories of children being abused, neglected, smashed down and traumatised fill our news bulletins. Who is responsible? Quite often it is the parents, people just like me, people trying to do their best but not knowing how, people who have been damaged by their own parents and don’t know any other way. The childhood of the children is being stolen.
What equips me to be a parent? I have no qualifications, no degree in parenthood, I know nothing. All I have is this child who looks up to me, who trusts me, who is dependent on me, who loves me. The power in my hands is frightening.
It makes me stop and think. If I am feeding into his life criticism, discouragement, violence, and put-downs I can destroy him. He is a trusting soul. What I do and say he will copy. Where I go he will follow.
I decide to build into his life encouragement, creativity, praise, gentleness and honesty, to be a positive role model and to build him up rather than pull him down.
Childhood is a time of trust, of believing in your parents. Childhood is a time of innocence, not yet knowing the evil in the world. Childhood is a time of unconditional love. How do I respond to this gift? Do I show unconditional love when he is unlovable? Do I forgive when he does wrong? I look to my Heavenly Father who is my example of parenthood. He sets my boundaries, He loves me and He forgives me when I do wrong.
Now my children are grown and have their own children. Again I am in awe of the power I have to influence my grandchildren. Do I use my power with gentleness? Am I a good example to them? Childhood is a time of fun and learning and discovery. Once again it is my privilege to have fun and learn and discover new things with them. Once again I can encourage them and cheer them on through childhood to maturity.
God asks me to be like a child: to trust Him and to follow Him wherever He leads me; to love Him with unconditional love, even when I don’t understand what He is doing in my life; to obey His commands. How am I doing in my ‘childhood’ as God’s child? Do I get on with my brothers and sisters, God’s other children, or do I fight and squabble and try to get my own way? Do I spend time with my Father and follow His example?
As I watch my children and grandchildren, I learn about being a child of God and am in awe of God’s wisdom and power. I know that He will always use His power with gentleness and for my good, and for that I am grateful.
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