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If there was one thing I could ever impress upon you–one thing to get you to do to be the best parent you can be–it would be to utilize prayer. Prayer is the best parenting tool you can use.
Prayer is useful no matter the age of your child. I have always used prayer to ask for guidance as I am raising my children. I pray for wisdom and insight when I have a new baby. I need to get to know this baby and know how to best help this baby be content. I pray for strength to face the days and nights with a newborn.
With toddlers, I pray for patience (okay, all ages require that prayer). I pray to know when to send children to school. I pray to keep my children safe at school. I pray to know the right thing to say and how to best discipline my children. I pray for them spiritually, emotionally, socially, and physically. I pray they will have good experiences in their extra curriculars.
We pray as a family before we go to bed at night.
We teach our children to pray on their own.
Each morning before my children head off to school, we gather for a prayer to help us through the day.
The Lord knows your children better than anyone. He also wants you to succeed as a parent even more than you want you to succeed. He wants the best for your children. If you ask for help, you will get it.
I also want you to know that I pray as I consider what to write for this blog. I take it seriously. As I answer your questions you send me, I approach them prayerfully. As I say that, I wouldn’t ever want you to take what I say over what you believe to be what is best for your child. Always trust yourself. Your “gut” and instincts are often proddings from the Lord guiding you. I know the power of prayer is real because I have experienced it.
I want to share a simple story to illustrate.
One day about 2-3 years ago, my children were playing in my earshot as I did some sewing. I heard one child say something rather inappropriate. I called for that child to come to me. Inside, my blood was boiling. I was very upset the child had said what had been said (and today, I can’t even remember what it was, but I do know it was something I wouldn’t want my children saying). As the child walked to me, I prayed for wisdom and to be calm. When the child got to me, I knew all of the right things to say. I was calm and loving as I corrected the child. What could have been a moment of anger turned into a teaching moment for both of us.
No matter how seemingly trivial your parenting dilemmas might seem to you in the grand scheme of the universe, the Lord cares about you and your child and He will guide you as you strive to be the best parent you can be. Keep the tool of prayer handy and well-used. It will serve you well as you parent your children.