For my debut blog on the CBC page, I thought it most fitting that I blog about raising healthy kids. It is what I am most passionate about in my role here at CBC, helping parents speak into the lives of their kids and equip them to be God honoring men and women.
So in reference to the title -- no, there isn't actually a secret formula, parenting is hard...like for real hard. Kids are AMAZING, really, watching them grow is the most amusing thing life has to offer. Nothing brings total exhilaration like watching your child accomplish something new in life. But, I would like to combat a growing trend in families today -- the kid-centered home. I do not think God ever intended for us to have kid-centered homes, much less kid-centered marriages (that is for a different soap box on a different day). God intended for us to do life together with our children, to pass down faith and Christ-like love to them (Deut. 6:4-9), but not for the world to revolve around them. Henri Nouwen says that we should remember that our children are temporary guests in our home. Wow, how that changes things.
Before the 1930's and child labor laws, kids were born into a home for more than just love and passing down the family name. Children were born to help the family, to run the home, work the land, to pass down the family business. I'm not saying that was right or wrong, but somewhere we let the pendulum swing too far in the other direction. Parents began working for their kids, and I mean working. Parents run their kids from one thing to the next; they calm their whining, and cater to their every whim. We have created monsters, and more than anything we are prolonging (or completely hindering) healthy adulthood.
Our kids being active members of the family who help the function is something valuable that we have lost. Amazing kids who become healthy adults are kids who contribute to the family and the home. This is where we teach our kids value, this is how we truly live out the Shema (the Shema is Deut 6:4-9, it is the Jewish confession of faith), as we pass down faith and value while we work and do life together. Healthy kids that become healthy adults grow up in God and family-centered homes, not kid-centered ones. They learn that families sacrifice for each other, they understand that family isn't all about them, it's about the whole family, and God is at the center.
You can do this!