If the title hasn't clued you in yet, this is post is a guest post from my friend, Chip Mattis. I'm drowning in all the work of caring for my new baby & running our new non-profit Finally Family Homes, so I'm grateful to have such a gifted writer step in and write a guest post.
Chip is a husband and father of three, and a great writer. Chip just published his first children's picture book, "Under the Dancing Tree" inspired by the deeper understanding of God as Father that he experienced himself as a father. I'm sure you'll enjoy this post and his wonderful book!
When Parenting Becomes Real
by Guest Author Chip Mattis
I read a lot of books and had a lot of conversations about parenting, but the reality of being a dad was much different. Instead of a theoretical baby, in 2008 I was suddenly holding a tiny, real-life little girl.
My oldest is a textbook first-born. She carries the responsibility of the family on her shoulders (when she shouldn’t), and she’s so hard on herself. My son is tender-hearted but pensive. He needs instruction away from the moment, and he needs to fully understand why something is done or needed. My youngest is dramatic. She needs firm boundaries and clear consequences but mingled with tender reassurance of her value.
Many of these elements were things we learned from others, but none of them represents a parenting style we hold to. Each of our children needs a different approach, and it’s my responsibility to love each of them, not just all of them. Parents that create firm systems where all their kids are treated identically miss the mark and can end up breaking their relationship with the kids down.
Yesterday we met and discussed how to teach and share the Bible with children in age appropriate ways. A lot of wisdom was in that room so I thought I'd share some of the thoughts and resources I learned about there, plus a few more. Personally I am a fan of teaching Jesus first, hence all the Parenting In Christ books. Seeing and getting to know Christ in you will have profound effects on how they come to see and accept (or reject) the scriptures and lessons they learn, even into adulthood. Below I've included some additional resources for parents to help them educate preschool and elementary school children. You can guide your children through scripture - building them up in essential truths without also having to deal with subjects like gouging out eyes, adultery, murder, etc.
Hi and welcome!
I'm Christina Dronen, a writer, wife, and mom passionate about following Jesus in the way I parent. My posts focus on pursuing Christ and letting Christ live through me in my parenting.