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Here are a few things I have learned about parenting over the years:

Parenting isn’t easy. If you are having an easy go at it, then something is probably wrong. Parenting is exhausting. Just ask the mother of a newborn – or of a 2-year-old, a 10-year-old or even a 16-year-old, for that matter!

Parenting is frustrating. We still live in a make-believe world in which some of us actually expect that there is a place this side of heaven where no conflict resides. If there is such a place, it isn’t in the family.

Parenting is delayed gratification. Parents plant seeds in their children that will not sprout until adulthood. Parenting is partnering with God to bring His children into the world and to help them become all they are meant to be.

Parenting is the highest calling on earth. There is no doubt that one of the primary reasons God placed you on this planet was to pass on a positive, healthy legacy to your family.

The crazy thing about parenting is that there is no single method or plan that works perfectly; there is no guarantee that if what you are doing is working with kid number one, it will work with kids number two, three, four or however many kids you are brave enough to have. You can debate the various philosophies of parenting and family life. Believe me, there are hundreds—no, thousands—of parenting plans out there. Many of them actually contradict each other! However, all healthy parenting plans will tell you, in one way or another, that happy, healthy families experience the power of being there for each other. Most parents reading this blog are doing a much better job than they think; and although the only evident results are long-term, their investment of time, attention and presence in the lives of their children will make a positive difference.

Jim Burns
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