Parents must decide what they stand for and what values they wish to impart to their children. It is from this anchor they can base all their decisions in raising children. Those who do not, will no-doubt flounder.

My high school choir teacher once said, “The only thing constant is change.” This is a variation of a quote from a Greek philosopher who pondered change over 2,000 years ago. Even then it was subject to discussion. Change exists and accepting it has always been a difficult thing for me. When I am given a task, I research it. I attempt it. I adjust and trudge on, hoping I will eventually get it right. I keep at it. Sometimes I succeed, but on occasion (okay, on many occasions) I fail. And I fail hard. But when I finally get it right and things are going well, change comes like a wolf and steals my bounty — my success, my confidence, even.

Adjusting to change in parenting

As sure as the seasons change, the times will as well. Seasons teach us that change is inevitable. It comes whether welcomed or loathed. Situations evolve. They morph into something that works for the time, place and purpose in which they exist. The same is true with parenting our little ones. Parenting is no joke. It is a task like no other. Parenting is a continual acceptance of change and evolving ideas to support the principles we hold dear. For some of us, this includes Biblical principles. Christian parents should not have a tried-and-true list of rules, but rather, a set of principles on which to base our parental guidance. For most, the framework is simple: Raise children who love God and love people. However, the implementation of this principle at various ages and stages is quite trying. What it means for a toddler to love others and a teenager to do the same is quite different. The rules we employ will change depending on the individual. When you throw in the child’s personality, things get even more complex.

Parenting causes us to look inward and examine ourselves and our beliefs. It forces us to grow up and be the authority. With no parenting philosophy, parents would be what my drill sergeant would refer to as, “lost in the sauce.” Aimlessly floating with no real ideals to guide them. Parents must decide what they stand for and what values they wish to impart to their children. It is from this anchor they can base all their decisions in raising children. Those who do not, will no-doubt flounder.

Change is certain

Once we, as parents, know what framework we will use to raise our offspring, we can confidently make choices that reflect this philosophy. The hardest part comes when things change, and our strategy is no longer relevant. It is certain that our children will change. Our world will change. Things will always change. The way we deal with that change defines our achievement in parenting.

Albert Einstein is quoted as saying, “The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.” This observation is echoed by many other wise people. Adjusting to change is something that is not considered as much as it probably should be. Most focus on success. Getting it right. But it is the one who can adapt to change who will be successful. Ever hear a young person say, “Stop treating me like a child?” This happens when a parent sticks to the same “rules” they have always had. Or worse, they use the rules their parent had. We must realize that times will change. To stay relevant in our parenting strategy, we must change along with them. This does not mean abandoning our principles. It is simply adapting the guidance we give our children as needed. We must be vigilant and informed. Sometimes children will notice our efforts. But typically, they will not. That is why we do it with a selfless motive and unconditional love, just as parents should. Our children did not ask to be brought into this world. We chose that for them. The least we can manage is to do right by them in our parenting. We are their primary guide to this one life. Get out there and put yourself in a place to notice change. Then adapt. Be well and go love on your children.

RAISING ARROWS