“Plans are established by counsel; by wise guidance wage war.”
~ Proverbs 20:18
It’s easy to gather parenting ideas and tips online these days. (Honestly, I wonder how in the world I would be surviving right now without Google!) But today’s devotional reminded me how important it is to make sure that all the advice we’re gathering and implementing aligns with God’s Word. We must test every idea against what we know about God and how He designed us to operate in the world with our children.
While I’m not fond of comparing parenting with waging war, I can see the benefit of having a solid, guided-by-wise-counsel plan in place for how we want to raise our children. Erik and I tend to parent unconventionally or “like hippies,” as my mom likes to say. We align our style most easily with a Christian, Attachment Parenting (AP) type model. Strategies of working with C that respect her developmental levels and personhood while gently teaching her appropriate ways to behave and interact with the world work best for us. There are plenty of blogs and other resources available for the Attachment Parenting/Gentle Discipline crowd, and while there are even a few that promote Christian values, they certainly are not ALL biblically-based, which makes it important for us to take everything we read with a grain of salt.
Even if the parenting advice we’re given by some “experts” lines up with what we believe as Christians, there could still be aspects of the writer’s work that aren’t healthy for us to be reading and allowing to live in our minds. One popular “mommy” site, in particular, has had several articles I agree with in theory, but I have learned to avoid it because it tends to have crude language and complaints about their children or other people that are less than respectful. Sometimes it’s really good content, but the biting commentary almost always comes with it, and I don’t want that kind of negative attitude seeping into my interactions with my family. My mind tends to focus on the negative anyway; I don’t need to be reading anything that would poison my thinking even more.
So, here’s to carefully vetting those we allow to influence our parenting choices. May we be surrounded by loving, supportive people and ideas that will help us raise a generation who loves and serves well!
Who are some of your favorite parenting “experts”? What criteria do you have for those you allow to influence your thinking?