I’ve interviewed parenting experts who say, “Let go, and allow your kids to make mistakes.”
“That’s easier said than done!” is how most parents would answer back. Author Crystal Paine discovered just how hard parenting can be in the drop-off lane at school. The principal stopped her husband, Jesse, and asked for a meeting.
Their daughter had been exhibiting serious behavior problems and had become suicidal. Other students labelled her a bully, and she was dismissed from school. Over the next few months, she was turned away by multiple counselors because of the complexities of her case.
As a parent, Crystal struggled with intense feelings of shame and failure. Then, one truth changed her parenting. Crystal learned that she could confront lies that prevented her from trusting God to work through her daughter’s brokenness.
Crystal had believed that she wasn’t a good mom. She compensated by parenting out of fear, to protect her reputation as a mother. Things changed when she learned to confront that lie with the fullness of the Gospel.God loved Crystal exactly as she was, and He was working through her – even her brokenness – into the lives of her children.
Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” In her book Love-Centered Parenting: The No Fail Guide to Launching Your Kids, Crystal Paine describes the four most important choices you can make as a parent:
- Choice #1: Lean In and Love – Avoid lashing out in anger or frustration over your child’s problem. Lean in with grace.
- Choice #2: Listen Well – Many times, a parent’s time with a child is consumed with mini-sermons or “pep talks.” Allow your child to ask questions or to express a spectrum of emotions. Pray with them. Listen quietly. Be available.
- Choice #3: Lead with Humility – Draw your kids out in conversation. Model humility by asking your child for forgiveness when you make mistakes.
- Choice #4: Let Go of Your Child – Guard against overprotecting your children. As much as possible, allow them to learn from their choices.
Crystal is with us on our Focus on the Family Broadcast “The Four Most Important Choices You Can Make as a Parent” to share her story about struggling with fear and insecurity as a parent and learning to trust God as a mom. Listen on your local radio station, online, on Apple Podcasts, via Google Podcasts, or take us with you on our free phone app.
While you’re here online, take our free parenting assessment. It will quickly give you an overview of how your family is doing in several key areas and will offer suggestions on how you can improve the relationships in your home.
Crystal’s book Love-Centered Parenting: The No Fail Guide to Launching Your Kids is available for a gift of any amount. Visit our website or give us a call at 1-800-A-FAMILY (232-6459). If you can’t afford it, we’ll find a way to get it to you.
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