Marriage – Children and Parenting

     Many adult children think that can do a better job raising their kids than their parents did. This view is reinforced in the early years when children are compliant. Even in the “terrible two’s”, they’re more compliant than when they get older.
What really produces friction between parents is when their discipline styles are different. This may go back to how you and your spouse were disciplined growing up (family-of-origin). The best thing you and your spouse can be is consistent and agreed in your discipline. A child naturally looks for where their boundaries are, and pushes against them.A child who knows where the boundaries are, that they will not change and that Mom and Dad are together in establishing and enforcing them usually turn out to be well adjusted children.
Realize that no matter how well you parent, your child has their own free will to accept or reject what you teach them. All parents make mistakes but in the end, well intentioned parents are not responsible if one of their kids doesn’t turn out like they had hoped.

     You and your spouse should ask each other the following questions:
– If and when you’d like to have children and how many.
– What would you do with an unexpected pregnancy?
– What would you do if one of you were unable to have children?
– Would the Mother be a full time mother or still have/want to work?
– How would you and your spouse handle discipline? See the section below.
– What would you want to do the same and differently than your parents did?
– How would you incorporate Christianity into your chid’s upbringing?

     As your children get older, it’s a good idea to have regularly scheduled family meetings. Encourage discussion with questions like;
– What’s the best thing that’s happened to you this week?
– What’s the worst thing that’s happened to you this week?
– If there are any problems, gently deal with them.
– What could your children have done better this week?
– Parents should honestly and appropriately share also. This teaches your children that they will always be learning to better themselves. It also bonds the family together.
– Have everyone share what the strength of your family is.
– One great idea is for one of the parents to write down some funny or memorable moments in a notebook or on the computer. If you don’t, you will probably forget them in years to come. What a treasure this is later in life.

     The following are scriptures relating to raising children;
Psalm 127:3 …Proverbs 22: 6 (remember, a proverb is a general principle, not an ironclad rule)…Proverbs 13:24…Deuteronomy 6:6-7…Colossians 3:21…Leviticus 19:32…Exodus 20:12…Ephesians 6:1,2