Parents today are facing many hardships that make the already difficult task of parenting even harder. We can feel overwhelmed, alone, undervalued, unappreciated, and worried. Parenting is such an important job, and we want to do our best. But sometimes we don’t know how to do “our best.” And sometimes, that struggle can cause us to lose our focus, lose our heart for loving our kids well, or feel like we are failing and want to give up.
Seeing the pain in parenting today truly hurts my heart, not only because of how hard it is on my fellow parents, but because I feel it sometimes too. I see so many parents give up or lash out, feeling defeated and alone. I see parents at their wits’ end, fed up with their kids, and not enjoying their family. I don’t believe this is what parenting should be. Although we can never get rid of the struggles we face as parents, we can equip our hearts to continue to parent with joy, intention, and love—even when times are hard.
I wrote this guided reflection not only so that you know you aren’t alone, but also to help guide you to be the best parent you can be for your unique child and family.
I believe there are some parenting universals (like unconditional love, mutual trust, understanding, security, and empathy) that we should all understand, but make our own because our families are so unique. Our own self and the uniqueness of our children can make it difficult to follow formulas created by parenting experts. And while I believe their information can be incredibly helpful to read or try out, only you can know what is best for your family.
As a parent coach, I’m not here to tell you how to raise your kids, but instead to guide you to be the best parent you can be for them. So, let these daily reflections guide you over the next few weeks to renew your heart for parenting your children.
This idea of renewing your parenting is focused on learning what you need as a parent—what areas you need to improve in, along with recognizing what you are doing well. The overall goals of renewing your parenting are to foster a healthy and supportive relationship with your kids and create an environment where your family can flourish. This is the center of all your parenting. You are the expert on your child and how to best raise them to be who they were created to be. We can easily fall into the trap of behavior control without relationship, which causes continued power struggles and hard times. This can take the joy out of parenting and even make us not want to spend time with our kids. By remembering to love them unconditionally and focus on building a strong relational base, we can renew our hearts and bring the joy back to parenting. Sure, there will still be struggles; that’s just life. But we can utilize tools to handle those struggles better than we have in the past. And we can use these struggles to build our resilience. Struggles don’t have to be painful; they can be influential.
Each day you’ll read about one aspect of parenting that often troubles parents. Maybe one day won’t speak to you in your current season, but perhaps it’s something you’ve dealt with in the past or will one day. I encourage you to take it one day at a time and spend a few minutes truly reflecting on how this aspect speaks to where you are in your parenting journey. If you are making changes to your habits or trying to renew your heart for parenting, take one thing at a time. Focusing on too many things at once can be overwhelming. Also, be sure to recognize small successes when they happen. Maybe you were able to pause and respond calmly when previously you would have yelled. That’s a great step. Remember when your kids were learning to walk? Those first few baby steps were so wobbly and small. But they were amazing, and we were so excited. If only we recognized our own baby steps with such excitement and positivity.
Being an effective, loving parent takes time and effort. And sometimes in parenting we can feel alone. The overwhelm or the mundane of parenting can cause us to lose focus or lose our heart for parenting well, with love and enjoyment. I am here to offer you encouragement and guidance to renew your heart for parenting with love, intention, and purpose.