For All the "Abnormal" Mothers Out There
By Jamie Dale
I have come to terms with a highly disturbing fact Ė I am an extremely overprotective parent. I donít know when it happened. It must have been somewhere between the time I was 8 years old, throwing a tantrum while telling my parents that I was going to let my children do whatever they wanted to, and the time when I was throwing a tantrum at age 26, demanding that my husband put my son in private school because the public school teacher that he had to deal with was anything but an example of what a Godly adult should be like!
(Not that I was any better an example, throwing tantrums at age 26.)
Now, with three children, I hear it all the time. From my parents, my husband, my grandparents, my friendsÖ Iím overprotective.
I will not let my 9-year-old son walk around the mall by himself with his friends or with my 13-year-old, boy-crazy, much-younger sister.
I will not let my 4-year-old son stay at the park alone with my 9-year-old son.
I will not let my 3-year-old daughter play in the backyard unless Iím out there with her.
So, maybe itís weird that my heart broke the first time I dropped my daughter off at the pre-K room at church on Sunday. It might be even weirder that I sat near the back of the church that day so my husband could sneak out during the service and check through the classroom door to make sure she was okay.
Itís probably even worse that I believe in old-fashioned discipline if children are in danger of hurting themselves or hurting others. But if being overprotective and being weird means that my children will always know that I love them, will learn right from wrong and will be just a tad bit safer in this scary world, I have no problem with that. After all, while the advice of Oprah, Dr. Phil and those new Super Nannies may have their good points, those people are not God and I prefer to get my parenting advice from the One who created my children. I guess at times I view the Bible as a user manual for my life, including the raising of my children. It used to bother me Ė being told I was overprotective. Now I just smile and nod my head.
Jesus was very clear about the path that Christians would walk. It is the path less traveled. It is important for us, as Christians, to remember that just because society is saying that a certain parenting style is the "right" way, doesnít mean it is. Just because someone says raising your voice at your child will scar him or her for life, doesnít make it true. In fact, I think letting your child walk all over you will do much more damage in the long run.
So before looking to the new best seller for parenting advice, I think Iíll look to the Book that has sold more copies than any other throughout history. Iíll look to the Bible.
Jamie Dale has been the author of literally hundreds of articles, including titles such as "The Difference Between Like and Love" and "To Know The Father's Love". As a mother of three little ones, she understands the struggles of Christ-centered parenting in today's world and tries to help others by incorporating humorous insights and thought-provoking questions into her writing. She has often stated that God is the only perfect parent, but we can all try to follow His lead. It's Jamieís goal to help parents remember this.
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