Joy and Example in Parenting
Sadly, some parents see child-rearing as dull and boring. Others maintain that their children are “their best friends.” Still others say that they can’t see any joy in parenting.
Parenting is hard work. No one will challenge that statement. From my experience of over 30 years of parenting, there were some days I wanted to crawl back into bed and sleep for the rest of the day. But we can’t do that because our children are our responsibility and they need us.
Another basic in Robert P. Newberry’s book, Green Beans and Legacies is: A primary task for a parent is taking the mystery out of how to build a successful life.
Parents can help take the mystery out of how to build a successful life. The author of Green Beans and Legacies, Robert P. Newberry, discusses the difference between fun, pleasure and joy. On the surface, he says, “it is easy for a child to think of these as being the same.” However, fun and pleasure are usually derived from single experiences and can be momentary and fleeting. By contrast, “joy is the outcome of long-term commitments to worthwhile goals.”
Delayed gratification, perseverance and faith all lead to joy.
If you have ever fasted for an entire day, then you know how good food tastes when you stop fasting. There is so much joy in giving up, but there is also much joy in eating when you finally break your fast.
When my boys were small, I would bake cookies. While they were cooling on the table, they all wanted one NOW, especially the littlest of my children. However, I would tell them they would need to wait for two minutes to make sure they didn’t burn their mouths. Even the smallest ones were able to learn about patience. When the two minutes was over, they were able to eat and enjoy the cookies without burning themselves.
Another example was when our #4 son (then a pre-teen) wanted to buy an iPod. He didn’t have the money and wanted us to lend it to him so that he could have the iPod immediately. However, we wanted him to work for the item first and then buy it himself. So he stacked 1200 pieces of wood over a month (hard work for a 12-year-old). At the end of the two weeks, he had made enough to buy the iPod.
Our example in this regard is important. How we live and the kind of life we lead speaks louder volumes than what we say. If I tell my children not to eat a cookie hot out of the oven, but I do so, I am completely negating what I said by my example.
All of us want our children to be happy and have fun. More importantly, we want our children to grow up and lead successful lives. Successful adults don’t happen automatically. We must be there for them and take the mystery out of how to build a successful life.
Also check out the author’s website: robertpnewberry.com