Thursday, August 27, 2009

Parenting Ponderings Part Two

To continue my ponderings...

Recently I was reminded of the generation that came before mine, that one they call "The Greatest Generation". Not that they were perfect but they had character traits you don't find as much today... those traits of patience, perseverance, willingness to work hard to achieve a goal, doing without today to pay cash later, and understanding the importance of friendships and family.

They may have been the most amazing generation since that one which became disgruntled with The Mother Country and rebelled. (Which is, by the way, why Americans became coffee drinkers... that whole British tea thing... or at least that is the legend... but I digress.)

We should not be astonished that the generation became "The Greatest" if character is built by going through the fire of adversity. These people lived through the Great Depression, a World War (and the older among them went through two WORLD WARS), not to mention many were born when their families still went to church on Sunday morning with a horse and buggy and lived to see man walk on the moon and beyond... like my mother. Talk about culture shock.

I love to study about World War II, so does Christopher... which is why we spent two years reading about it for our history classes and never reached the Pacific Theater! I love old WWII movies, especially when they star strong men like The Duke. I enjoy reading British books about families that lived through WWII. Homemaking and cookbooks written during that era never cease to amaze me with the creativity in making something out of nothing.

Now, I'm not wanting to paint a romantic picture of a Walton's style family but we could use some Ma and Pa Walton's wisdom once in awhile these days. All I'm saying is this... I hear a lot from people who are concerned about their children because they are going through such struggles in their life.

Instead of seeing the struggles as a problem... view them as opportunities to work together as a family. Young people will learn a lot as they see their parents becoming people of faith, creativity, and perseverance.

Christopher and I were recently pondering who among his homeschooled friends were already showing signs of turning away from all they had learned at home... and those who were starting marriage or further education carrying on their parent's beliefs. He was surprised that those who were making the best transition into adulthood were from large rural families.

I'm not, knowing many of these families. They had to work together, learn to communicate (and there was a lot of sibling rivalry!), raise food and cook together, many were involved in 4-H and church activities as a family. There were no perfect people or perfect families but Life prepared them for their adult years.

I've seen a few kids "go prodigal" but return to the nest after realizing the big beautiful world is not quite as pretty or as special as HOME. To be honest, the moms and dads in these families learned as much as the children... especially about grace and forgiveness (and some of it was forgiving themselves).

As for me and my house... well, I pray a lot! :)

Picture: Building Memories;


freetobeme - Anita said...

I am friends with two families of nine children each, both home schooling families. One out of 18 children went astray for a short while! He's already back and doing fine. There's something about working, playing, praying, etc together. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.

Anonymous said...

great thoughts as always! Especially speaking to my heart - "forgiving ourselves" - I still tend to beat myself up over the "should haves".

Anonymous said...

We have friends who raised their 10children most of the years in the same town we did, and homeschooled, same church, etc. Their first 5 are raised and 5 more to go. I always felt they did things as correctly as parents could do, in most ways. Yet, 2 of theirs have gone wild. They are still in their 20's so one hopes they will return. The hardest part of having a child "go wild" is that they are sowing things that they will later pay is how things work out. It is painful to watch the reaping come...I watched that with my brother who also went astray for many years. But we are not going to get out of this life without grief, that is one sure thing!! The main thing my husband and I pray is that they will at least make it into the Kingdom in time. And as prophecy unfolds more and more, one wonders just how much time is left. But we also try to remember than our FATHER loves them more than we can. And is at work to draw them to HIMSELF, even if we are not able to see it or know of it.

I do wish we had been able to raise our children in the house we built, out in the country on part of the acreage owned by my parents. But it was not to be... I think another very important component of families who escape having this grief of wayward children, is that they have either very close extended family or have been able to find other families to closely associate with. During the time we had friends nearby of similar lifestyles, our youngest was so ill that socializing was VERY rare. I have learned that one of the most difficult things to deal with in life is continual, unabating illness. I am SOOOOO grateful that the books of Job and Psalms are included in Bibles...what comfort they have been!! We all get different trials in life, and it is to be hoped we pass those tests well.

Thanks for the ponderings...more to ponder in what you have shared!
Blessings, Elizabeth

Jan Hatchett said...

Amen. We pray a lot too.

Anonymous said...

So glad you continued with this.

As a single mom for nearly 17 years, my son saw how a strong faith in God, hard work, and waiting...though not always patiently will see one through. Sadly I saw many single moms/dads and couples give their children too much. I worked hard to put my son in a Christian school, and then homeschooled him during high school. We were homeless for a time and our faith in God(even those times when it was smaller then a mustard seed)got us through.
I see him now working hard to make money selling car parts, as he has been laid off twice this last year from a job he thought would be his career. He is going to a Jr. College full-time and going to church on his own. I am far from being a great parent, my list of mistakes is long, but if a parent can be as consistent as possible, allow your children to see you fail and get back up, it will so help them during their times of trials, and trials they do come.
I dream of a Walton world, where I can protect my son from so much, even at 21. I don't want him out in this world, but I believe children need to understand that life can be hard at times.
What I see today is that so many young adults were given so much and told to expect much. And sadly in today's economy they are left standing dazed and confused, with some just settling and not wanting to grow up.

Heather L. said...

Brenda -- yes, I'm worried that the movie will be very disappointing. I've made myself finish the book before seeing it so as not to spoil things. Just finished the book tonight!!! (Gone with the Wind)

Have you seen the Sept/Oct Victoria? It's the BRITISH issue!!!! thought of Stephanie right away.