What Kind of Adult Are You Raising?

By Sabrina Schlesinger

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Houston, we have a problem!!! In today’s world we are faced with an epidemic of people who are entitled, offended with every little thing, and have no idea how to handle conflict. In order for us to change the way our nation is headed, we are going to have to first make changes at home. And moms…it begins with us!

We’ve all heard it said, “It takes discipline to discipline.” But when you are physically and emotionally exhausted from working, cleaning, cooking, and every other thing we have to juggle, sometimes the urge to ignore the tantrum is so inviting.

I was at a conference a number of years ago and went to a fabulous session on parenting. This one statement jumped out at me, “Discipline with 20 years in mind rather than the next 20 minutes.”  This phrase changed my perspective so dramatically that I have never looked at parenting the same way.

It caused me to ask this question, ”What kind of adult do I want to produce?”

Here are the facts. Our kids are born little sinners. They are brought into this world with a bent towards selfishness. They are boundary testers, tantrum throwers, and surprisingly really good manipulators! They normally don’t like to share or be told “No!” Their sin nature is in full throttle the moment they come out of our bodies.

Here is another fact. One of our biggest roles as parents is to train our kids.

Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.” (NASB)

That is actually a super scary scripture! HOWEVER we train our kids, good or bad, they will not depart from it! The ramifications here are huge.

If we are not careful, we can let these teaching moments pass by:

  • When they flop on the floor in the middle of the store because they didn’t get the toy they wanted, we have an opportunity to teach them how to respond to disappointment
  • When our kids grab the toy out of another child’s hand, we have the privilege to train them how to be patient.
  • When our kids have a meltdown because they got the blue bowl instead of the red bowl, we have the responsibility to coach them on how to handle change.

Can I be honest? There is a school of thought that communicates we should ignore the tantrum, distract the child with another toy, and give them the red bowl. But we have to ask ourselves some questions…

  • Is that helping my child or just making it easier on me?
  • Am I only trying to get through the next 20 minutes?
  • Am I parenting from God’s Word?

What we don’t correct, we endorse! When we ignore the issues, we are actually giving our stamp of approval on their behavior and choices. Our kids need us to fight for them and their future. They need us to do the hard work now so they can succeed when they are older.

Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained, but happy is he who keeps the law.” (NASB)

When I look at my children, I have a godly fear. I don’t just see MY kids, I see little souls that belong to God who have been entrusted to me. I will answer to God for how I stewarded them. Because of this, I have made a list of what kind of adults I want to raise so I will not cast of restraints when my mind and my body are telling me to take the easy way.

 I want to raise an adult who:

  • Loves the Lord and obeys His Word
  • Knows how to humble themselves and ask for forgiveness
  • Respects other people’s boundaries
  • Has godly convictions and standards
  • Can communicate effectively in conflict and crisis
  • Processes anger, disappointment, and frustrations in a healthy way
  • Appreciates and practices persistence and endurance
  • Values hard work
  • Sees the beauty in diversity
  • Knows that God is their source
  • Is generous with their time and assets
  • Who is respectful to authority
  • Can make a godly appeal
  • Prefers and serves others

In order to get THOSE results, I must be deliberate and strategic. I will have to use every opportunity as a teaching moment, starting at the youngest of ages.

What about you? What kind of adult do you want to raise? If you haven’t made your vision list, it’s not too late to start.

It is our job to prepare our kids for the path that is before them. When difficulties, the unexpected, and hardships come, they will be ready for it because of you. And if we are lucky, they will thank us for it someday.


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Sabrina is a mother to three biological girls and one adopted boy. She is also a pastor’s wife, freelance graphic designer, and mom coach! She resides in beautiful San Diego where the sun shines every day. She prefers chai lattes over coffee, mac-n-cheese over vegetables, and staying in over going out. Check her out on Instagram and Facebook!


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Sabrina Schlesinger

I am officially middle-aged! I have gone up the hill and am now SLOWLY going down the other side.

I am married to my best friend! No really! Our first 10 months of dating were spent entirely in group settings, either working along side each other in ministry or at our families homes. We never had alone time. We never held hands. We never kissed. So we had a great amount of time to talk and really get to know each other. We read books, received counsel from our pastors, discussed our strengths and weaknesses in front of our parents, and built a foundation of friendship that I am forever grateful for. And let me tell you...when we did have our first kiss 10 months in....there were fireworks baby!!!! We are approaching our 17th anniversary and co-pastor Grace Church in Oceanside, CA. We are living out or dream and calling side by side.

I am a mom of 4. We have three girls and a boy.

When we gave birth to my first girl, Sophie (now 16), we thought we were amazing parents. She slept through the night, hardly every fussed, was beautiful and easy. First child syndrome...I know.

When I gave birth to Mattie (now 14) nearly two years later everything changed. She was colicky from the start, she had red raspberries on her face that turned BRIGHT RED when she screamed...so that was all the time, and as she grew, it didn't get any better. I seriously thought at one point she was demon possessed because her outrageous fits where over the top. I could often be found in a fetal position crying when Matthew, my husband came home. Little did I know then that Mattie and her over-the-top fits would be the catalyst for so many future ministry moments with other moms in desperate need of help and advice on raising toddlers...who too were crazy!

We thought we were done. After Mattie I was like, "No way, I can't risk having another kid like that! The only way I will get pregnant again is if God speaks to me directly, and I don't think He is planning that." Welp....I was wrong. I heard God speak to me one night as I was at a conference that we were to have a third child and He spoke some very special promises to me about this child. So out popped Lillian (aka Lily - now 11).

Lily wass one of those babies that everyone gravitated too. She had and still does have a spirit about her that is so welcoming, loving, and kind. People just love her and she loves people. I am so glad I obeyed the Lord on this one. After Lily we felt done. This time Matthew said, "If we are supposed to have any more children, God is going to have to speak to me directly." Fast forward 9 years!

In August of 2016 we were on a much needed family vacation, the five of us. It was at this time that God whispered in the ear of my husband that we were to adopt a child from our county. Matthew told me what God said and of course, I said, "Let's do it!" I will write another post about our adoption story later, but November 1st, 2017, at age 4 1/2, Shawn (now 6) came into our home and became our son.

I am a freelance graphic designer by trade and a pastor by calling, but I felt like there was something more I should be doing. Recently I asked myself a question..."What brings me life?" It was easy for me to answer. I LOVE helping young moms navigate through motherhood. I love giving advice to help moms get through tough and trying seasons of life. There is a generation of moms out there who have broken relationships with their own mothers and feel like they have no one to turn to. That breaks my heart. No mom should have to go through life alone with nobody to lean on. And this is where Mom Mentor was birthed.

So that is me in a nutshell. I am pretty simple, not high maintenance, a lover of mac-and-cheese and chai lattes, and slightly obsessed with all things dystopian. I am glad to have met you and I look forward to our journey together!

Love & Blessings,

Sabrina