Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The All-Mysterious, All-Important Knowing

As a parent, I think one of the biggest jobs we have is to know our kids.
Isn't that central to a peaceful home & happy family?  
Being who you really are, understood & loved in all that,
is what makes family so special.

But, like a lot of parenting & relationships, there is no formula for knowing.
It's a bit mysterious, right?
Knowing requires continual learning & growing.  
It will always be changing & will never be fully grasped by us.

Can I tell you one of those "lines" that I hear often
about having a lot of kids that I never know how to answer?
"What's one more, when you have that many, right?!"
I get it.  I may have even said it in reverse more than once.
("I can hardly handle my two?  How do you do it?"
It is not so terribly different parenting four.)
It is true that the day to day operations of being a parent are quite similar
no matter the number of kids.
You have to be awake to take care of them, you need to feed them, 
you can't just head out for alone time, without making a bunch of arrangements 
to make sure the kid(s) are cared for.  And on & on, right?
But (and it is a big but) there is so much more than all that.  
And the saying, "what's one more?" really bothers me because
that one more is a whole different person.
That one more child is completely unique.  
For a parent, that is huge.  Another little person to learn to know.

To know your child well means you know how they need to be loved.
You know how to teach them effectively.
You know how to discipline them with understanding.
You know how to treat them with respect.
You know how to be patient & offer grace.
You know how to make them feel at home with you.

I know I am no expert at knowing.  I know that.
I know I want to be intentional in learning to know each of my kids.
Let's do a blog series on this, shall we?
I have some things rattling in my brain &
I have some hopes for some guest posts, too.


Stef said...

ah! I hear this a lot. "Well, you have 3, what's one more?" and in the day-to-day, I believe this comment is true. I'm already out numbered, so I'm not too nervous about what life with 4 will be like.
But yes, this is very true. Its not just another body in our home - its another life, another personality, another heart.
But I also hear this as a reason why we should STOP at four. "How can you give that many kids that much attention and show them the proper amount of love?"

That's when I get to share with them a bit of what God's grace and strength is in my life :)

Stephanie said...

I like the way you think, Erin.

Knowing each of our kids individually is so important...and requires intentionality. I look forward to reading your ideas and practical advice.