Parenting is a Process

20120626-095446.jpg

Parenting is not about perfection, but about understanding the process of maturation. Not only for the child but for the parent.

Process is…

1. a systematic series of actions directed to some end.

2. a continuous action, operation, or series of changes taking place in a definite manner:

I think it’s interesting how the first child relationship works. You have the experience of your parents to go by, or even the books you read, and lord on that first one we read every book out there. Some of which were good and others which were garbage.

Even though you have those
Experiences and the books when that first child is born its as off all that goes out the window and your begging your parents to please stay and don’t leave this baby in your feeble care as to endanger it because you have no clue as to what to do.

Any parent who have not had that fear I truly worry about. It’s at
That moment the process of parenting begins. You quickly find out how imperfect you are and realize that you’ve begun a process that’s as much about you systematically changing as it is about your baby growing.

Life is seasonal, it’s incremental and if you desire to become a great parent you’ll be patient with the process.

Baby stage-you’re getting use to the fact the you are solely responsible for the life of this little one. You can’t get
them to sleep right, they are messy, and they can do nothing for themselves.

They have the ability to reveal your weaknesses. How easily frustrated you are. How impatient and how fast you can turn on your spouse.

This season can be funny but in a very real sense terrifying.

Toddler stage-this is a fun season, they learn so many things, how to crawl, walk, talk, and completely play the angles. Yes they learn to manipulate. You find out again how imperfect you are realizing you can be yanked around by your emotions by a little 20 lb twerp.

Believe it or not I think it’s at this stage I most parents forget the process all together and make some of our biggest parenting mistakes.

Pre-school stage-this stage is fantastic and fun as well as a full on Frenzy. Many times it’s at this stage parents will have another child and deal with school preparation and releasing their child into the real world. The process for the child is becoming a bit independent from mom and dad and the process for parents is the ability to let that happen without becoming a control freak.

Elementary stage-this is the stage where you realize the baby’s gone and they are a little boy or girl. This season goes fast and crashes right into the next with a bang. The process for the child is massive cognitive development, seemingly at the speed of light, and for parents it is the process of learning how to help navigate friendships, hurt feelings, school stresses and pre-adolescent challenges. While going through a process of change theirselves trying to know how to be a parent, coach, counselor, and doctor all at once.

Adolescent stage-this stage is what I call elongated rapid change. This season is a long time of change but seems things are changing quickly day to day. For the child it’s fun, confusing, emotional, terrifying, and plain old weird. What’s interesting about this stage is that the process for the child and parent is exactly the same. Fun, confusing, emotional, terrifying, and plain old weird.

Young adult phase-seems this stage would be easier than the rest , simply because you’ve had this time to figure it all out. Truth be told it has been one of the hardest stages for me. Letting go is hard to do. Incredibly hard.

As I said before all of this doesn’t take perfection as a parent it takes understanding times and seasons. Understanding the process. The process the kids are going through growing up and the process the parent is going through helping to manage that process, while managing their own process of change.

My advice is to treat parenting not as much as a teaching experience from you but a learning experience for you. Then use what you learn to walk your children through the process of life.

So stop the madness of trying to be the perfect parent. It’s not going to happen anyway, but be patient with the process and treat each stage with the importance it deserves.

Process points:

Baby stage provide love, security and care. In your actions and tone. When you feel like a failure suck it up they are depending on you

Toddler stage-don’t make the mistake of “letting anything go.” This is such a huge development time. Now is the time to start drawing parameters, while empowering potential.

Pre-school stage-be ready to walk through the first stage of release. Be very encouraging and use positive reinforcement to guide positive behavior while not being afraid to confront wrong behaviors. Instilling the ability in them to learn how to be interdependent.

Elementary stage-listen, listen, listen

Adolescence stage– don’t believe the negative lies, be patient, be honest, communicate, communicate, communicate.

Young adult-take on role of guidance counselor. Relationship changes a lot and you have to let it.

This process of parenting is very deceitful. At times it seems like life is moving at a snails pace then before you know it the stages are over and you’re being forced to let go. So be a part of the process.

Bad parenting can be defined as observing, good parenting can be defined as participating. Get involved in the process and forget about perfection.

Leadership lessons learned training for a marathon 2


Leaders are most effective when they develop patience in the process. Many Leaders are “results oriented” people. We want results, and we want them yesterday. Growth never happens fast enough. Change never comes quick enough. We want what we want and we want it when we want it. The problem is things don’t happen that way. There is always a process to get from point A to point b.

We can’t deny the process, we can’t avoid the process, and we can’t eliminate the process. The key is to be patient in the process. Running a 100 yard dash is quick, you have an almost immediate result, but life is not like a sprint, it’s like a marathon, and believe me training for a marathon is a process.

I had a revelation about this the other day while reading the Bible. Something I had never thought of before, even though I’ve read the passage over and over again. Do you remember the passage when Jesus was at the climactic moment in his life, where he would have the internal wrestling match with His desire and God’s will? He took Peter, James, and John to the garden of Gethsemane with him, and he told him something, then he went to the garden to pray, just a few yards from them.

What He said to them is very important, we have had people do major series on what he said to them, we have preached meaningful messages about what He said to them, but we have missed what He actually said to them. We have asked the question, can you not pray for an hour? He did not ask them to pray, He ask them to wait. Wait and watch. He told the disciples to watch and wait. So what does this tell us? It tells us that it is important to wait and watch in the process.

In the process we need to learn patience, to wait on God with a faith filled positive attitude. We also need to learn to be attentive in the process. Pay attention what is going on in the process; if we do this we will save ourselves a lot of heartache, eliminating some surprises because we’re paying attention. We need to learn how to not let stress or pressure causes a weariness to drive us into sleep. One translation says they slept for sorrow. Did you ever get that feeling, if you could just go to sleep you would wake up and everything would be different. Only to awake and find that things are the same or worse. Stress makes us want to hide, to deny, and to give up in the process.

As I have been training, I have realized that on long runs several things can happen, you can get bored, you can get tired, and you can go into auto pilot mode. If we realize that the process is the most important part of this journey, even more so than the outcome. If we realize that if we pay attention, we can set ourselves up for success. If we realize that if we are attentive in the process, we can have some of the best ideas. You can come up with some of your most creative thoughts. We can’t sleep through the process, we can’t hurry the process, we can’t eliminate the process or deny the process, but we can have faith, patience, attention, and prosperity in the process. If we fulfill the process we will obtain the promise. I can’t run the 26.2 miles unless I go through the process of getting to that point. Don’t love the promise and hate the process. Love the process, and obtain the promise.