What My Kids Have Taught Me
By: Kathy
June 2, 2013

I officially join the ranks of parents with “grown” children this weekend.  I have experienced what seems like every emotion known to man in my decades of parenting . . . joy, pride, humility, exhaustion, terror, exhilaration,  defeat, helplessness, insecurity, shock,  wonder, awe. . . just to name a few!  If I were to sum up what I learned by being a parent, it would be . . . how to love.

Loving is about remembering what it is like to be a kid.

Love is learning that good parenting does NOT come naturally – it is an awkward, learn-as-you-go process.

Love is about loving them even after they’ve pushed your last button for the last time.

Loving your kids is about learning that God gave kids two parents – for a reason!

Love is being able to put their needs before your own.

Love is about making sure that your needs get met so you have the energy to give them what they  need.

Love is about learning and growing yourself so that you model the maturing process.

Love is about learning to say you are sorry to your kids when you make a mistake.

Love is about picking them up when they are down, and humbling them when they are too cocky.

Love is helping them to learn that losing is part of life and winning isn’t fun if you never lose.

Love is making a home where your kids’ friends feel welcome.

Love is about appreciating and having deep gratitude for the gift of a child because not everyone gets that opportunity.

Love is learning the difference between control and guidance . . . and having the courage to let them choose whether or not to take your guidance.

Love is about giving them space when they need it, but keeping one ear tuned in.

Love is allowing them to become who they are instead of who you want them to be.

Love is having the courage to let them hate you sometimes.

Love is not forcing them to talk but figuring out that they’ll talk when alone with you in the car (so you offer to drive them everywhere!)

Love is learning how to listen instead of talk.

Love is not giving up, no matter how hard it gets.

Love is learning how to disapprove without judging.

Love is chuckling but not gloating when they complain that their college roommates don’t clean up after themselves.

Love is letting it go when “nobody” did it.

Love is celebrating the accomplishments – with balloons and cakes and signs – because it is a big deal.

Love is not forever punishing the mistakes and missteps that have and will continue to happen.

Love is creating a safe place for them to learn lessons from life instead of learning everything from you.

Love is not intervening when  they suffer the natural consequences of their own actions.

Love is understanding that being a kid is hard and when they take it out on you, not to take it personally.

Love is pursuing time with your child, even when you think they’ll say no.

Love is learning what works on one kid does not necessarily work on the other.

Love is letting your kid make their own decisions– so they’ll have some experience with it when you aren’t around.

Love is being the person who is always happy to see or hear from them.

Love is remembering that they once laid helpless, naïve, and innocent in your arms and they had no option but to trust you to take care of them, love them, and teach them how to get along in this world.

Love is figuring out before they leave that being a parent is the single most wonderful job you will ever have in your entire life.

My kids have taught me to be more patient, more understanding, more tender, more forgiving, more flexible, more wise, more relaxed, and more humble.  I learned to love more deeply than I ever could have imagined and I am a better person for it.  I am so incredibly blessed!