"Common Ground": my little corner of the blogosphere where I talk (a lot-wink) about the things that matter most to me: My relationship with my Lord & Savior, Jesus Christ, homeschooling, adoption, homemaking, parenting, "spousing." (yeah, yeah....I know that's not a word.....I made it up-it’s my blog-I can do things like that! Ha!)

Since my life isn’t all that different from yours, hopefully we can find some COMMON GROUND & learn from each other. Please share your thoughts!

Through the Lords’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not.

They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness!
Lam. 3: 22 & 23

Click on pics to see us up close & personal! :)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Parenting.....a question for us to bat around a bit.

A couple of weekends ago, I took a few moments at church to visit with a friend who is a huge inspiration to me.

This mom has 13 children (all adopted) & has homeschooled them all. (& I’m sure she wouldn’t say she’s a wonder-mom-she’s just a woman on a mission-to rescue as many children as she & her husband can.)

When we first started looking into adoption, this couple was one of the first we sat down with. (of course!)

Anyway, I have needed some advice from someone with more parenting skills than I, & possibly some left-over attachment issues with one of our adopted kiddos.

But, I never expected one thing she said to revolutionize my whole parenting outlook. When I asked her about it later, she couldn’t remember saying these exact words to me, but what I took away from it is this:

“Are we PRO-active parents or RE-active parents?


What do you think?

What does this simple question mean to you?

Would it change your approach to parenting? If so, how?

I sure am looking at it differently! I’ll tell you how after you share some of your thoughts!

(This post was created in 10 minutes for Steady Mom’s 30 Minutes or Less Blogger Challenge)


Anna said...

I really agree we should be Pro-active in our parenting not re-active.
Saying that, it can be easier said than done and takes hard work and thinking of ways to avoid or prevent the problems.

Now I need to think about that question and think of practical ways I can be proactive with my kids where I'm not already.

Thanks for sharing,

Anonymous said...

I think we were both. We had some goals and worked at instilling them in the children but at the same time, we didn't know everything and plan for such things to go crazy! :)

I do agree that being proactive would curb more issues. I don't think we purposely looked ahead enough for specifics to work on tho.

There is so much more knowledge out there now than even 25 yrs ago when we started. :)

Laurel said...

On one level, there is a very simple "formula" for how pro-active vs. re-active parenting are defined for me:
Re-active = Discipline (ie consequences after the mistake is made/disobedience is displayed)
Pro-active = Training (deliberate & intentional teaching that comes before/separate from a negative behavior)

There are lots of other ways, though, that I can see this question applying. Some examples...
~ Praying about the long-term goals that we have for our children and seeking education/experiences/etc that will aid those goals
~ Praying about the character qualities we want to see develop in our children and making a focused and conscience effort to submit to the Lord's work in developing those character qualities in US.
~ Actively seeking the counsel of parents who are wiser/more experienced that ourselves.

I WANT to be a pro-active parent. When I am more deliberate and intentional in my mothering, I like life so much better (and I think my children do also).

fredswifesue said...

It started as I went into parenthood not wanting to have the home like I grew up in. We were very much pro-active (as you say it) parents. I probably would call it 'responsive-parenting at some times rather than pro-active.
Being pro-active is another way of saying what Fred tells young parents: "You gotta think ahead. When they're infants plan what you're going to do when they're two. When they're two, what's going to be around them when they're preschoolers? When and how are you praying for them to be saved? How are you going to train them in things of the Lord after they get saved? When they're elementary, get ready for adolescence. When they're that be thinking through high school and on into college, career, marriage."
We may have some great things to talk about in June! Wish our husbands were coming. :>)
Love you,Sue

Kim & Dave said...

Guys-here is what one of my Facebook friends said when I posted this over there. I thought it bore repeating here:

"As a parent with now adult kids, and granchildren, it is my observation from the long view that it is a very true statement. Often when we live life reactively we are allowing others to set the agenda (can we say "enemy of our souls"?).
Showing our lack of knowledge or lack of planning we tend to become passive or aggressive parents or passive/... See Moreaggressive.
Biblical training and nurturing requires parents to be loving and active. Good example is Father God, who did not provide the solution for disobedience and sin by reacting in anger and disappointment, no, it was planned that a Savior
would come, in His time, and in His way. He was never at a loss as what to do next. While we don't have the foreknowledge of God we do have a Father who gives us the
knowledge and understanding that we need to set the agenda when we take the time to ask Him and then listen for His answer. I promise you and so does He! : )"

Annie @ Sister Wisdom said...

Great question. I agree with the general consensus here, that pro-active parenting is BETTER but also requires planning, thought, prayer. Actually i do find my "worst parenting moments/days" are when I just lose sight of what our goals are for our children. I lose the vision that helps me to be proactive. I have to step back and remind myself - what am I trying to do here? What responsibilities has God given me as a parent? How do I carry those out? What do I want my kids to look like in X number of years, and how do i train them NOW so that's how they turn out?
Of course you can't "control" everything, but I don't think that's the point of pro-active parenting. I think it's less about control and more about vision, and also, as Laurel said, about TRAINING (before something is an issue) versus just punishment because an issue has been overlooked and gotten out of hand.

Kelly said...

Great food for thought...the post and the comments. I'm in "lack of sleep" brain fog, so I'm not fast enough to grasp the swirling thoughts and make them coherent. Thanks for posting this though, I will be chewing on it.

Unknown said...

I think it comes down to just that...parenting with a purpose. What is our purpose in the decisions we are making? Or in the discipline we administer? Being pro-active is having a purpose. Being reactive is emotional.

Kelly Miller said...

There are long, hard days that are reactive. Those days are about making it through. I try to balance them with intentional, purposed, proactive parenting ... and then hope it's all okay.

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