Battles parents choose impact their homelife

by | Parenting with Courage

BrothersI read a quote recently that said something like this: the wise choose their battles carefully, the foolish will want to fight every little thing and everybody.  If you take on all of the struggles in your home, you won’t have the strength to fight the ones that really matter.   Those that you choose to tackle in your home will impact the peace and joy levels of the whole family.  So, choose wisely.

Every mom or dad wrestles with parenthood in their own way. Because parenting is not easy. Every stage requires a different set of skills; we learn and grow just as our children do. We adapt to the different ages and stages that they go through. Case in point:  my 17-year-old son needs me to help coach him as he makes his future decisions, he doesn’t need me to nurture him right now.

The ‘haircut’ battle

In my book, Parenting With Courage, I expand on this in the chapter called “My personal parenting toolkit.”   Here, I used a story about my daughter cutting her hair when she was four years old.  A few days before, I had been to the hair salon and had cut my hair.  Around dinner time, I noticed that my daughter was decidedly quiet.  Now, when a young child is quiet, parents know that they are usually up to something.  I walked upstairs and there stood Emily, with a very guilty look on her face.  Holding a pair of scissors, she looked down at the basket on the floor and then up at me with cropped hair.  Upon this discovery,  I had to escape to the bathroom to suppress a giggle and then emerge with a serious tone.

My husband and I had decided previously, that hair cutting was not a life or death issue in our home.  We resolved to fight the battles around issues of integrity, purity, honesty, and character.  I told Emily in a firm tone that she was welcome to cut her hair anytime she liked, but that she needed to go to a hair stylist to do it properly.  To this day, we joke about her cutting her hair into a bob with a very short fringe.

Your goal is to protect your relationship with your child through the different ages and stages. In doing so, you steward their lives well so that when they are adults, your relationship with them is a solid and healthy one.

Four ways to pick the battles that matter:

  1. Set time aside with your partner to discuss your family values. When you know what your values are, you can make better decisions as a family.
  2. Decide together what can you let go of or look over.  Each family is different so don’t put pressure on your family to parent the same way as someone else.
  3. Be consistent.
  4. Maintain a sense of humor as you consider this issue. Laugh a little and let the small things go.

Choose your battles in your home wisely. After all, life isn’t measured by how many times you fought with your child or said, ‘no.’  The family is God’s A-Plan and life is about family and relationships.

As you raise your kids, love them by picking your battles with care. Choose to fight only the most important ones and learn to let the rest go.  This is the way of love.

What battles have you faced in your home?  I’d love to hear some of your stories.  Please share in the comments below or make contact with me personally.


Featured photo by Mikail Duran on Unsplash

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