In our final episode/blogpost of this 3-part series, Heidi and I wrap up the best parenting advice we’ve learned along our journeys as moms.
While we said we didn’t have any favorites, it’s clear that as we came to the end of our list, we really did have some that we hold dearer than others!
▼ Jump to Listen to Episode #7: Advice We’ve Learned Along the Way, Part 3 ▼
Advice #17: Say it. Mean it. Stick to it.
This one goes along with #1, “Never say never.” Throwing around idle words causes your kids to stop trusting you. If you say you’re going to do something, do it. This means you need to be clear on the front end about the expectations. If you’re in the heat of the moment and can’t be confident in following this principle, then take a Time Out (Advice #14) and then come back to deal with the issue.
Here are negative and positive examples of this tip:
Sally, pick up your dolls. …I’m serious; pick up your dolls. …If you don’t pick up your dolls, I’m going to give all of them away. …Fine. I’ll just do it.
Sally, you are welcome to keep all of the dolls that you pick up before the timer goes off. I will come clean up the rest, but I will put all that I pick up in time out for a week. Clean up everything not picked up by the child and put it in time out for a week.
Advice #18: Start with the end in mind.
When our kids are little, it’s hard to see beyond the immediate. It’s difficult to imagine our precious little infant as a 5-year-old, 9-year-old, or teenager. But before you know it, your baby will be ready to leave the nest. As you make decisions, be thinking about how you want the child to behave in the future. If you don’t want your tween to talk to you in a sassy tone, build a respectful tone in your preschooler now.
Advice #19: “If momma ain’t happy, no one is happy.”
While this saying is meant to provoke a laugh, there’s truth in it too! Moms, we have been given a tremendous responsibility to set the tone in our homes. When attitudes head south, it’s always a wise practice to seek the Lord in prayer, asking Him to reveal any ways you’re stoking the fires.
As we said in Advice #12, Evaluate Your Behavior, look for areas in your life (time with the Lord, sleep, diet, exercise, etc.) that could be changed to help your overall attitude. Are you taking time to laugh (#16)? Happiness isn’t the end goal of parenting, but there’s no reason to drudge through every day either.
Advice #20: Give yourself grace.
I’ve never seen a group who is collectively SO hard on themselves! Moms seem to think they have to have it all together all the time. But we don’t! We know God extends His grace to us, so let’s evaluate our expectations (#7) and be real with who we are. As much as we offer grace to others, we can do the same for ourselves. Giving ourselves grace is a beautiful way to model God’s grace to our children too.
Advice #21: Budget
While everyone handles finances differently, God calls every Christian to be a good steward of the material blessings He’s given them. Establishing a budget allows us to be intentional with our finances, freeing us up to be cheerful givers. As in every area of our lives, our children are watching how we manage money (or don’t). This is a great opportunity to teach them about stewarding money.
Advice #22: Christians Parent Differently.
As believers, we share a common love for God, His Word, and His Church. But we shouldn’t assume that just because our friend is a fellow believer, she will parent the same way we do. And that’s ok! There are many ways to get to the same end goal of raising children to love God and love others.
Advice #23: Spend Time in the Word Daily and Pray Without Ceasing.
Ok, here come the words of advice Heidi and I treasure most!
Hebrews 4:12 tells us, “For the word of God is alive and active.” We also know from Isaiah 55:11 that God’s word never goes out and comes back empty, but that it always accomplishes what God desires and achieves His purposes. Spending time with God, reading the Scriptures, and talking with Him in prayer is life-giving. It aligns our hearts with His good purposes for us and helps us live out His will for us instead of living for our own selfish pursuits. Check out this post if you need help or ideas for getting started with your own quiet time.
Advice #24: Gather Godly Women to Be in the Trenches with You.
Have you ever felt completely alone in this parenting journey? Heidi and I would say we absolutely have felt that way at times! That’s why it’s so important to seek out other godly women who can cheer you on, commiserate, and hold you accountable. Friendship takes time to nurture. So, don’t be discouraged if you don’t find your BFF right off the bat. Keep reaching out, being vulnerable, and praying that God will place godly women in your life.
Advice #25: Find an Older, Godly Mentor.
In Titus 2, we read that the older women in the church were directed to guide and teach the younger women. Here is a clear example of the benefit of having an older, godly mentor to walk with us through life. When we seek the counsel of an older woman, we reap the benefits not just of her spiritual maturity but also her life experience. Pray for God to show you who this might be in your life. Some churches provide programs designed to match you with someone a few years ahead of you. Heidi and I can both attest to the many blessings that come from these relationships.
And that’s a wrap! 25 points of advice to help you be the wife, friend, and mother that you desire to be. Don’t get overwhelmed, but prayerfully consider choosing one to focus on.
We hope that the podcast series and corresponding blogposts have encouraged you! We are praying that you would be inspired to incorporate an idea or two and that you would fall more in love with Jesus as you spend time with the Lord daily.
Listen to Episode #7: Advice We’ve Learned Along the Way, Part 3…