Are you a parent who wishes there was a fail-proof formula for raising children that would guarantee the results you were aiming? How I wish there was a formula to follow that would assure your children would never abuse alcohol, never have a drug problem, never self injure, suffer from a mental illness, become suicidal, be arrested, have an eating disorder or be confused about their sexual orientation. Where is the book to read? What seminar will make us this promise? If someone could write it or produce it they could become rich. Parents would line up to buy the book or sign up for the seminar.
Stop looking. No such thing exists.
There’s no secret recipe to follow that will guarantee a certain outcome. X, Y, Z ingredients mixed and beaten together in the right proportions, in the right way do not a formula make for the perfect son or daughter. In cooking yes, in parenting, not so much. God didn’t even get this and he is the perfect parent. Read the third chapter of Genesis. God’s first two children didn’t even turn out right! If there was a formula wouldn’t he have followed it?
It’s not all your fault. If you think it is, you are wrong.
There are many good principles to follow in child rearing, but it doesn’t guarantee a trouble-free adult in the end.
These are five things I learned about parenting from cooking?
1. There’s no magic, fool-proof recipe for raising the perfect child. Even though you do you best, sometimes you don’t get the results you expected.
2. You must be willing to alter your recipe when dealing with problem behaviors to take into account each of your children’s personalities. Adapt the recipe where it’s needed.
3. If your meal is a flop –you end up with a troubled child who is determined to make destructive choices — it’s not all your fault. Your son or daughter has a free will, just like Adam and Eve. Their choices are not a reflection on your parenting, but on them. They are the one with a problem.
4. When you encounter situations you can’t handle on your own turn to others for help. Go to cooking school if needed. It’s nothing to be embarrassed about. Maybe you even need the help of a professional. After all, the best chefs go to culinary arts school and learn from the best, don’t they? We don’t get the benefit of training before we become parents. We did the best we could and sometimes we need a little help.
5. Stop criticizing yourself. So you weren’t the greatest cook on the block — we can’t all be Paula Dean. Accept your faults, ask forgiveness where appropriate for your mistakes and move forward. Let it go and give it to God. Ask him for help and get busy learning how to do better, then trust God for your next steps. Trust him to work in your child’s life where you cannot.
You still may not be the best “cook” in the world, but you can have peace knowing you did your best. You can rest in God and find comfort in Him.
Scripture to chew on:
Our help is in the name of the Lord our God, the Maker of heaven and earth. (Psalm 124:8)
When I pray you answer me, you encourage me by giving me the strength I need. (Psalm 138:3)