relationship over doing all in my power to get my kids to
behave in ways that make me most comfortable. When I
acknowledge the reality that each of my children is a separate
individual soul and not an extension of me or my ego, the level
of my comfort around their behavior and choices becomes
irrelevant. I am able to see challenges and bumps along the
road as opportunities for both me and my child to learn and
grow. We are each free to be ourselves and take delight in our
differences as well as our shared characteristics and viewpoints.
My job is to coach and teach them as they develop and move
toward independence.
After years of practicing a parenting paradigm heavy
with punishment, I have come to believe that there is a better
approach in the training and teaching of a child. A simple, yet
far from easy, way to express this change in parenting
perspective is a shift from fear to love. In John’s first epistle,
he said it this way: “There is no fear in love. But perfect love
drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The
one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because
God first loved us.”14 I, for one, am grateful that God doesn’t
use a traditional parenting method with me. I need all the grace
I can get.
****
As I delved into changing myself as a mom, there was
one concept that kept popping up - attachment. Most anyone
who adopts a child must learn about this foundational need for
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