BEING A PARENT!
What a job! Cook, cleaner, nurse, psychologist, taxi-driver, teacher, judge, financial juggler, mentor, timekeeper, – and that’s after you get home from work! (And I’m sure I’ve missed a lot off the list).
This job is 24 hours a day, no time off allowed, no pay, once started you’re in it for life. Yes, it’s a parent who does all this and more. As Christians, we also know that children learn how God cares for us by the way their parents care for them. What a responsibility!
How many years does it take to train for the job? Well, most of us have only the experience we learned from our own parents, and what we pick up from books, friends, or TV. We want to do the very best for our children, to help them to grow into happy, loving, responsible adults, but sometimes it’s easy to get lost in the day-to-day challenges.
‘Why do I have to say things ten times over before he’ll listen?’
‘Why do I have to do everything around here?’
‘How can I help her not to be so shy?’
‘How can I teach him to deal with the bully at school?’
God has given us the wonderful gift of children, but even Mary didn’t find being a parent easy – think about the time Jesus disappeared for three days before His parents found Him in the Temple.
Getting together with other parents to discuss, exchange ideas, have time to think and learn more about this so-important job can be really helpful. We run parenting groups here, following an 8 week course for 2 hours a week, and led by an experienced, qualified leader. The course does NOT tell you how to be a parent – you are an expert already – but it does give us time to think about different aspects of being a parent, and to share ideas with each other. You may disagree with any of the ideas suggested – this isn’t about passing an exam – but just hearing about different ways of doing things may help in those moments of doubt. Most parents find the group both enjoyable and helpful.