I have three children and I always look for books that provide parenting tips or stories of how others handled a situation with their kids. This book looked very interesting because, just like the title, I've had to love my kids, no matter what. Each child of mine has their unique way of making choices. I know that my husband and I are an influence on their decisions at this point, but we've had our fair share of decisions we don't agree on. I was intrigued by how she shared her struggles and than her daughter would discuss her thoughts.
This was one of my favorite quotes...
Our hearts should be open toward our children so we can do whatever we are called upon to do for their benefit--whatever says to them, "I love you no matter what."
The book comes from Brenda's own struggles with her daughter Katie. She talks about her daughter wanting to move out and other families shared about their kids' drug and alcohol problems.
One section in the book was about Wrong Motives For Parents. When you make yourself the primary issue, you are reacting from wrong motives instead of considering what is best for your child. Your wrong motives might include some of the following:
*Pride--you want to keep your reputation and your child's reputation intact.
*Your expectations--you want your dreams for your child fulfilled, especially since you know best.
*Your needs--you want everything to stay the same so your needs will continue to be met through your relationship with your child.
*Selfishness--you want to parent the way you always have. You don't want to find new ways to effectively reach your child.
*Comfort--you don't want your child to venture where you yourself are uncomfortable.
Have you found yourself having any of these wrong motives? The nice thing about reviewing these is that I can reflect on how I am parenting. If I find myself coming from a state of selfishness, then I can work on that and figure out a better way to make my request known.
Brenda shares that our stress is amplified when we try to look at our new situation through the old glasses. Our new situation--one in which our child is making decisions we don't agree with--requires a new paradigm. Our "normal life" is no longer what it once was. We have a different life--not the one we expected, but one that God knew was coming. If we are to be effective in it, enjoy it, and move ahead with our children, we must adjust our thinking. But that is the essence of life, isn't it? We never know what's coming next.
Many of the parents tips were very helpful. It's very important in my family to establish our ground rules and to stay involved with our kids. One of my favorite suggestions was to fill your kids with love.
Brenda's daughter Katie shared how once she was at a restaurant with her college friends and there was a family celebrating a birthday party. Several of Katie's friends said that they had never had a birthday party and missed that experience. Katie's parents always had birthday parties and deposited love in her heart.
Know that the love you deposited in your child's heart is still there, and they know it.
For families that struggle with their children's drug and alcohol problems, the book suggested finding a support group. Teen challenge was recommended and it helped the families find counselors and a place for their child to learn ways to make better choices.
Brenda Garrison is an enthusiastic and authentic speaker and author. She ministers to women in all stages of life but especially to moms--encouraging them by keeping it real and based on God's Word.
Visit her website at www.brendagarrison.com
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