My fourth parenting tip is simple: Watch and learn. Your little person is one of God’s greatest gifts to you, so put less important things aside to become an expert on your child.
Observe experienced parents
I sat on a curb near a play structure at Emerald Park watching a grandma interact with her granddaughter. It fascinated me to see the child reach behind her to pat her grandmother’s arm, though her gaze was riveted on an approaching dog. It was apparent the girl wanted to be sure she was still safely anchored to the person she trusted.
I took note of their relationship and decided to make developing trust an important part of my parenting plan.
Keeping alert to catch insights from others is one of the ways I learn best. When I see a family with outcomes I appreciate, I watch them, collecting bits of wisdom for myself.
Learn from my childhood
I visited pleasant memories where I felt cherished and appreciated, and not-so-great memories of times I felt adults were unkind or confusing. This led me to search for alternatives, determined to improve on what I’d been given. Here is a psalm I use often in my prayers.
“Show me your ways, O Lord. Teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; on you do I wait all the day” (Psalm 25:4-5 NKJV).
Listen to wisdom
And if I’m floundering, listening to wise people helps.
“Without counsel plans go awry, but in the multitude of counselors there is safety” (Proverbs 15:22 NKJV).
Poll several sources and try the advice that seems to fit best. There’s no shame in making mistakes if you’re willing to correct them. That’s how we learn to follow Jesus.
by Kathy Sheldon Davis