A little more than 10 years ago I became a father of a beautiful baby girl. Now I have 3 Beautiful girls. My love for them is incomprehensible and I do not believe I can even grasp just how much they have become part of me and my life. I could not imagine life without them. My girls bring me so much joy and happiness I never would have known without them. They are a true blessing. I thank God for them everyday.
One of my proudest moments as a father was baptizing my little Girl. She is not so little any more. She is 10 now and turns 11 this September. She made me so proud that day and in many ways continues to do so. She is a lovely child with a good heart. She can be so kind and sweet in so many ways. She is smart kid and a great friend to those whom she is friends with. She tries so hard to be the child we can be proud of and while certainly far from perfect and has her struggles she is still a great kid whom I have grown to love in so many ways. She is strong-willed, stubborn and determined. traits that will serve her well throughout life. I see so much of me in her. I thank her for that.
Here is my second oldest daughter. she is 4 now and about to start school in the fall. She fell asleep in the middle of her party completely pooped out from playing with her friends during her birthday. Sweet, tender loving and all around good kid. She bring such joy to me and I can’t help but be happy at the site of her. Her sweetness inspires me to be a better father. More loving and tender. She makes me smile and brings a fresh perspective on things. Like all kids she can be disobedient and grumpy at times but is quick to turn around and overcome temporary frustrations. God bless her for it. She brings balance to our children that can be sorely needed at times.
Our 3rd and final daughter turns 2 on may 16th. She was my birthday gift from my wife. Born on my birthday it was a day I will never forget. She is adorable and quite the monkey. I am pretty sure she will be a gymnast and join Cirque du Soleil when she grows up. She climbs and swings on everything. She is a shrimp and quite small for her age but you wouldn’t know it from watching her. She is a wild child and can’t be contained. Climbs over beds, play pens, child gates, shelves, furniture of all kinds. She does not want to stay contained. She almost always has a smile on her face. She has not hesitated to climb up on my lap when I am frustrated or angry and offer me hugs and kisses. I know I must get better at accepting such offerings from her. She makes it hard to stay mad.
My children have been a great blessing to me and my wife. They have also been very trying at times. Raising children is not easy and is likely the hardest thing you will ever have to do. There are challenges on both sides of the equation. Children struggled to understand what their parents expect of them. They may openly rebel when they feel the tasks given to them is 2 hard and difficult. Or if it is a task that they generally don’t like they may rebel as well.
One thing I have learned in my feeble attempt to raise my children is that we can feed off of each other. When one gets upset and rebels the other can get upset as well. Escalating frustrations can lead to escalating anger. From proverbs 15:1 “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger” I have learned this by experience. While I am not far from perfect It is a principal that I must work hard at remembering in my moments of weakness especially when you and your child can be equally strong-willed and stubborn. Sometimes it can be hard to just step back and take time to calm down.
I am not known within my family for being a man of patients and when the stresses of life build up, patients with disobedient children run thin. I have a bad habit of getting angry when I should remain calm.
In all this frustration and stress we need to remember that God has sent his children to us and has trusted us with their care and up bringing. We have a responsibility to them as much as to God to ensure that they are being raised right and properly. Trials associated with raising children can be some of the hardest and most difficult trials of our lives. I know that it has been for me in many ways.
It is imperative to have a home where children feel loved and safe. They need to feel that their parents love them for who they are. When our children struggle it is not easy to see them suffering and when we can see no solutions it can be even more frustrating for us as parents. It is so important to not take that frustration out on our children. That can be hard at times. I tell my children every day I love them. I hope that my actions will show that more often than not.
Children bring happiness and love to our home in so many ways. Just hearing my toddler saying to me with a smile on her face and arms our stretched “daddy” melts my heart every time. My 4-year-old waking up in the morning and saying “good morning daddy I love you” just makes the start of my day so much better. Having my 10-year-old talk to me about her life are moments I have come to cherish. They are all such beautiful and good kids. They all have their strengths and weaknesses as do we as parents. Ultimately the challenge is how do we let those strengths and weaknesses affect how we parent our children. Do we learn from them? Do we recognized how our weaknesses are impacting our children and seek to better control them?
Children are the heritage of the Lord. Christ called the children unto him and said “suffer the children to come unto me”. Despite our trials and struggles with managing children we need to remember that Christ loves them as much or more than we do as their parents. They are as much children of God as we are. This is something that we need to keep in mind when dealing with children who will challenge you at times.
For those that are struggling and feel like you have reached your limit I know that you are struggling. I won’t pretend to understand your unique circumstances but I will say that God loves you and keep doing the best job you know how. Never Give up on raising your children. Divine help is just a prayer away.