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Squishy parents?

November 16th, 2009

Kevin Swanson says:

Children perpetually test the structure and foundation of the home. Some are clandestine in their test methods. Some do it with wild thrusts with sharp sticks. Some do it every 15 seconds, some every hour or two. But they all test the boundaries for signs of squishiness in one way or another. A house without consistency is squishy.

He goes on to contrast consistency and squishiness and points an unwavering finger at common “squishy” practices. As I did, you might identify with more than one of these tendencies. Threats, bargains, inconsistent punishments, and laziness should have no place in our homes.

We all slip into bad habits now and then, and we then need to repent and start over. That, too, becomes a lesson for our children to learn from. Homeschooling puts an extra dynamic in the parent-child relationship. We spend all day with our kids. That provides times to succeed and fail. We will do plenty of both.

Consistency definitely must play a key role in quality, loving, godly parenting.

Near the end of the article Swanson makes this accurate assessment, “There is no perfect parent. But there are repenting parents. This is the life of the Christian parent, and it is the best example we can hope to give to our children.” I will fail, and don’t want to hide my failures from my children necessarily. I will apologize to them for not parenting as I should have and as we together revel in God’s grace and mercy toward us, we start yet another new chapter in parenting. We all need a fresh start now and then.

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