16 Lessons I’ve Learned as a Parent

Mar 26, 2016 | Parenting

My son turned sixteen and he’s getting his license. He’s got the truck. It’s called the Kentmobile.

A big milestone in a child’s life–sixteen.

As I reflect on my IMG_6477sixteen-year-old, here are sixteen lessons I’ve learned being a mom.

  1. You have to what is best for your individual child in each moment. This looks different depending on the child and the situation.  Parenting the same is not same for every child.
  2. Don’t ever think you know everything about parenting. Just about the time you think you do, your child will deliver the challenge of a lifetime.
  3. Your children absorb what you do more than what you tell them.  My adult children reinforce this.
  4. Your children will listen to what you tell them when your walk matches your talk. Living honestly before them is what brings truth to them.
  5. Church does not make a child a Christian. Neither does your faith. As you pour your faith and love of Christ into your child, they eventually will have to choose their faith on their own. Doing the right things won’t develop their faith–it has to be a choice from their heart.
  6. Childhood friends are important.  Friendships with like-minded friends in early childhood have been friendships that have stayed with my kids through the good and bad days of middle school and high school.  These friends shaped their confidence and trust when other friendships weren’t stable.
  7. If you think you’re not going to be that mom–think again. You can fill in the blank on whatever “that mom” is you think you’re not going to be. Then look in the mirror.
  8. Your kids need for you to be selfless–for real. Being a mom has a false-front of selflessness, because (honestly) a lot of what we do as moms in “selflessness” is done for our mom-glory. Our kids don’t want the a Pinterest lifestyle. They want us just to see and understand them.
  9. Your child’s behavior does not define you.  Good or bad, kids will be kids. Don’t take too much credit when they succeed because it’s reciprocal when they fail. Neither defines who you are as a person.
  10. Guard your children from too much information.  Children hear adult conversations and they don’t know how to process what they hear. They make assumptions or develop anxiety because they only know portions and don’t ask to clarify.
  11. Enjoy every stage of parenting and don’t rush your child on to the next stage prematurely.
  12. Siblings need to work out their conflict before you step in. I learned this later than I should have.
  13. There isn’t much difference between teenagers and toddlers.  They are messy eaters, have tantrums, and don’t like being told what to do.
  14. Saying “No” to your child takes courage and strength.
  15. Loving our child’s other parent is priceless gift you give to your child.
  16. Sixteen is a better age than fourteen and eighteen. They start to listen. A little.

I’m still learning about parenting with each child at every age. What are lessons you’ve learned from parenting?  What is the biggest life event that has impacted your family?


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