To write this post, I paged and paged through a book, looking for the quote. It resonated strongly with me. I couldn’t find the quote, but I shall try to reconstruct its thoughts.
I wish I had this thought when I was in the beginnings of the struggle to learn how to deal with, and discipline my children (This would be about 18 years ago.)
Don’t try to find a “magic” formula for dealing with your children. Your mothering instincts tell you what to do. Pray for wisdom, do respond and address issues and problems, but don’t look to the “experts”. God has made you a mother.
How this relates? I never felt comfortable with rigid discipline, such as spanking, ten-step plans for consequences, etc. When I tried that type of thing, it never worked. All it produced was me distancing myself emotionally so that I could be firm, strict, and a disciplinarian.
If I would have talked more, prayed more, exhorted them and spoke to them when their hearts were soft, been more patient, trusted the Lord more…
This is my hindsight. Even with my failings, my children are all right, by God’s grace alone. No outright rebellion in their lives, all on a positive track to their own future families. But, this I wish: that I would have been more soft, more kind, more mild, with more eternal vision.
Please comment with your own hindsight wisdom.
P.S. The original thought, the quote I couldn’t find was from Nancy Campbell. She is an older woman who writes often about motherhood. Very inspiring.