A RELIEF TO KNOW: PARENTING DOES NOT CREATE THE CHILD

(For those following these posts, sorry for the long gap but things have been changing for me. Will give an update and get back on track again sometime this weekend. In the meantime …)

The following is an excerpt from  Kevin DeYoung’s new book Crazy Busy, A (Mercifully) Short Book About a (Really) Big Problem 

Parenting has become more complicated than it needs to be. It used to be, as far as I can tell, that Christian parents basically tried to feed their kids, clothe them, teach them about Jesus, and keep them away from explosives. Now our kids have to sleep on their backs (no, wait, their tummies; no, never mind, their backs), while listening to Baby Mozart and surrounded by scenes of Starry, Starry Night. They have to be in piano lessons before they are five and can’t leave the car seat until they’re about five foot six.

It’s all so involved. There are so many rules and expectations. Parenting may be the last bastion of legalism. Not just in the church, but in our culture. We live in a permissive society that won’t count any sin against you as an adult, but will count the calories in your kids’ hot lunch. I keep hearing that kids aren’t supposed to eat sugar anymore. What a world! What a world! My parents were solid as a rock, but we still had a cupboard populated with cereal royalty like Captain Crunch and Count Chocula. In our house the pebbles were fruity and the charms were lucky. The breakfast bowl was a place for marshmallows, not dried camping fruit. Our milk was 2%. And sometimes, if we needed to take the edge off a rough morning, we’d tempt fate and chug a little Vitamin D.Image

As nanny parents living in a nanny state, we think of our children as amazingly fragile and entirely moldable. Both assumptions are mistaken. It’s harder to ruin our kids than we think and harder to stamp them for success than we’d like. Christian parents in particular often operate with an implicit determinism. We fear that a few wrong moves will ruin our children forever, and at the same time assume that the right combination of protection and instruction will invariably produce godly children. Leslie Leyland Fields is right: “One of the most resilient and cherished myths of parenting is that parenting creates the child.”

 

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About drivingthegospel

I am a follower of Jesus Christ; a husband to Deb; a father to Brit and her husband Bill and to Travis and his wife Megan, a grandfather to Simon, Thadd, Nathanael, Eli, Isaac, Ezra, Asa, and Xavier. I am currently serving as the Coordinator of Spiritual Development at Lincoln Christian School in Lincoln, Nebraska as well as the head wrestling coach and an assistant football coach.

Posted on September 21, 2013, in Parenting and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Need to update your profile information on your blog!!!

    This article made me laugh and what a relief I don’t create the child!! Thanks for starting this up again as many times could use the perspective and encouragement in parenting!

    love you, Brita

  2. drivingthegospel

    Thanks for the reminder. Profile updated with the recent change. Short note to follow.

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