Okay, first of all, the term “resolutions” is probably overused this time of year. So, I decided to put a little twist on a well-worn word. The fact is, when we make our resolutions for a new year, we’re hoping to come up with some new solutions for our life — approaches that work better than what we’ve been doing in the past. And, let’s just admit it… we’re “re” doing this. We’ve done it before and we’ll do it again. But, have faith. Sometimes, re-solutions work!
Second, I want this re-solution list to be for any and all parents. I aim to make loving, wholesome suggestions for any parent who may happen to see this. So, to put it bluntly, I’m gonna be secular-friendly. I’m gonna use everyday vernacular, but the fact is that each re-solution has a scriptural basis… which you can find referenced at the end of this blog. Here goes…
1. Exhibit forgiveness. If I’m going to let my kids see my frustration over somebody’s treatment of me, then I commit to letting them see me follow through with forgiveness. EXAMPLE: I get in the car and vent to my daughter about how so-and-so spoke to me at the parent meeting; I follow this up with admitting that I may have spoken to someone in a hurtful way recently… and, just as I hope to receive their forgiveness, I must forgive too. Hopefully, my daughter will learn the forgiveness habit, by my example.
2. Choose laughter. EXAMPLE: When I feel myself getting riled up by growing piles of dishes, dirty socks and dirty sinks… announce, out loud, that I will now be making humorous comments about my messy house. Your kids are sure to join in (because they’d rather laugh than clean).
3. Don’t just threaten consequences. If I issue the proclamation of a coming consequence for a particular behavior, I MUST follow through on it, even if it means I have to sacrifice my own comfort or schedule. If I fail to follow through, my kids won’t take me seriously. And, they won’t learn that their actions have consequences in the real world. EXAMPLE: When my child keeps texting on his or her phone instead of helping me get groceries out of the car, as requested, I must proceed with a consequence. If I tell him or her I will take their phone if they don’t get up and help in the next 10 seconds, I must take the phone on second 11.
4. Rest with my kids. I discussed the value of teaching your kids to rest in a previous blog, (Should Naptime Last a Lifetime?). This may sound trivial, but teaching your kids to rest can remove all of you from “the religion of busyness.” Give your kids a break from busyness and noise to “be still” and remember what matters. EXAMPLE: When tempers are flaring because schedules are too demanding, ask your kids to come lie down on the carpet with you, close their eyes, breathe, and listen for peace. This carpet rest can be as brief as 5 minutes.
5. Help those who can’t help you back. Give to those who have nothing to give you. EXAMPLE: Every Christmas, I ask my kids to think of one school friend, who is outside of their friend circle, who may not be well-liked or well-behaved or well-dressed. I ask them to use their own money to buy them a little Christmas gift and give that gift to them… either anonymously or in person.
Final note on parenting re-solutions for 2016: Love.
Commit to choosing to love instead of preserving one’s pride.
Commit to choosing to love instead of staying angry.
Commit to choosing to love instead of having your own way today.
Happy Re-Solutions of 2016!
1. Colossians 3:13, Matt. 18:36
2. Philippians 4:4
3. James 5:12
4. Psalm 46:10, Exodus 31:15
5. Luke 14: 13-14
By Jenny Dean Schmidt
Wife of Mike and mother of two teenagers, Otis and Georgia
1 Corinthians 13 Team Member
Executive Director, ChannelMom Media & Outreach and Host of ChannelMom Radio on 94.7 KRKS FM in Denver and also at channelmom.com.