THIS ARTICLE (from Secular Homeschooling) is AWESOME. It got me all fired up on facebook and I did that "write a whole long thing before the link and then 3 comments afterwards" thing.
When I could just post about it here. and put up THAT link But I feel awkward, this blog still feels so private to me. Though I don't mean for it to be, I want to be open about my parenting, shout from the roof top...
What would I shout? Definitely not, "do it like me!" Because that's the whole problem. So many are doing it like some one else, and so few are thinking for themselves: even when it may make them different. (gasp).
"But the world is a difficult place, and parenting is a difficult job. Some people would rather have someone tell them exactly what to do than have to think things through for themselves — especially since making one's own decisions means taking full responsibility when, inevitably, mistakes are made and everything doesn't go perfectly.
What these people don't learn until it's far too late is that letting someone else make the decisions for you is a decision, too. And if you follow someone else's directions for what they promise will be the perfect life, you're still responsible for every one of the actions on that to-do list you decided to let someone else write up for you."
"This is about thinking for oneself versus handing one's thinking apparatus over to someone else and begging them to tell you what to do."
Parenting is HARD work. There are no easy or quick fixes. It's time for parents (especially parents who profess to follow Christ) to start thinking for themselves. Be wary of any teacher who says their way is "guaranteed" to make a baby sleep, bring up well disciplined and happy healthy kids...bla bla bla. If you're looking for Christian teaching on the family the emphasis should be on the fact that God is a PERSONAL God. The book should be encouraging you to crack open your Bible and pray through these issues for yourself.
Not fear mongering and guilting you into submission and agreement on the point they are trying to make. Example: "it's your fault your baby/child isn't doing XYZ...you obviously weren't following the program closely enough."
Or it's your fault your child IS doing XYZ. You obviously weren't being consistent enough with what we said."
Or a parent does follow and every thing to a T and it blows up in their face (you know little things like, beating the child to death. Or to the point where they are taken from you by CPS. Or you baby is diagnosed with failure to thrive and is hospitalized. Because silly thing, but your breasts make and store milk differently than the next Mom. And your baby actually DID need to eat more often than every 3 (or two! Or one!) hours. Or your milk supply disappeared (for the same reason), shucks! The response? "Well you obviously misunderstood what we were saying."
TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR OWN FAMILY.
Anyway back from the rabbit trail (did I get on one? hmm...), the point I'm really trying to make: Our God doesn't make cookie cutters. He has a specific plan for every parent, baby, and family. So much of what we are conditioned to think of as "moral issues" are actually a culteral bias. Or just plain ignorance.
Examples: where and how baby sleep. In the USA babies are expected to sleep alone pretty much from day 1. In other countries the majority of babies sleep with their parents (or mother) from birth well into the toddler years. Another culteral bias: "children should be seen and not heard." That toddler tantruming in the grocery store? Yes, annoying. But the child is not sinning for crying (okay screaming) because Mom dragged them out at lunch time and they are HUNGRY and ready for a nap...You get the picture. Don't judge, they are little and immature and doing all they know to do in the circumstance. That said, Mom take your baby (I mean 3 year old) home as fast as you can, we've all been there but no one likes hearing it. Okay THAT was a rabbit trail.
So in closing, I do "over think" what I do as a parent, I admit it. But I'd rather be guilty of that, than get to the end of my parenting years and be filled with regret that I didn't pray and seek God's face more when it came to my children- and how I treat and raise them. Babies and children are human too, they have feelings just as real as any adult. And they should be given just as much consideration. They are also heedless, foolish and children: they take a LOT of time and training (ie TEACHING: modelling appropriate behavior, and lots of consistency with boundaries: over and over and over again).
I thought least 4 times this morning that being a parent is so big and difficult. At one point this morning I wanted to quit. The girls were just overwhelming. I feel like I fail all the time. But I'm always going to keep trying, keep extending grace to myself and to my children, and keep praying that I'll continue to grow. That God will continue to drop information in my lap to pray over so I can make informed decisions for my family.
That article said so many thing that I wish I could go into...But that one subject was on my mind today. Please take a read and encourage those who are considering adopting the Pearls teaching to look elsewhere! Their teaching not only damages families and children. It gives Christians and homeschoolers a bad name.
To recommend: Dr. Tim Kimmel has an awesome book on parenting that gives a really new (well not really new) look at Christian Parenting in the American/Western culture.. It's called, Grace Based Parenting (it truly isn't a book on permissiveness 'grace covers all so let your kids do their thing" but on the Father Heart of God). Take a read of that, it has so much crystallized in my heart how I don't want to parent: out of fear...But knowledge and love.