Short term or long term parenting?
For many of us parents of children from hard places, we get overwhelmed with our child’s needs and can only think in the here and now, like changing behavior and avoiding more problems. Who can blame us? Being in the trenches creates understandable desire for easy and immediate outcomes, doable in the now, for weary bodies and souls. “I just want this to stop right now.“
When we have a breather from today’s chaos, then we’ll think about long term goals for our children’s futures, right? I totally get that. The problem is, we might not get that breather unless we intentionally take a pause in the middle of the chaos, and reassess what our goals are and what they can be to offer the greatest healing for our child. Can we even look long term in the middle of today’s struggles and not be afraid of the future? I think this is a problem common to humanity.
Perhaps a starting place is acknowledging that God’s Kingdom life is one with no anxiety about ‘tomorrow’, rather, it involves being focused on the settled work of Jesus. He overcame. We can overcome. We can help our child overcome. End of story.
As we seek God’s perspective, we find that worry and anxiety fall away. We begin to focus more on the things that are important to Him and less on the things we think are important but are not. Our long term plans for our children will be most effective when we do not let fear determine our steps. But walking in this is not easy is it? Looking long term with fear and worry is not the answer because it leads to parenting choices in the short turn that can actually work against the security and connection we are trying to create in our homes for our children.
Short term parenting can lead to reactive parenting, which negatively affects our children for the future. Click the link here to read more about long term vs short term parenting, from a blogger back in 2012, which I think gives a good view on this subject. No guilt trip is intended, but rather a hope to get you thinking about long term, even in the midst of short term needs.
God is a God of connection and relationship and He created this need in us. When we have this view in mind, even when correcting our child’s behaviors, we are close to the heart of the Father, Who corrects us in love while desiring closeness.