Last year, the Harris Poll surveyed parents in the United States about the emotion most closely describing their feelings toward children. Far and away, the word used most often was concern. While there are some good things about this, there are also some dangers.
When we are concerned, we tend to ignore the things we can control (things that are our responsibility), and instead focus on things that are out of our control. We may rush to the defense of our child who is called an inappropriate name by another child. We may even throw in the word “bullying” for emphasis. But we can’t control that other child. Who is going to rush to the defense of our child who is allowed three hours of mindless screen time per day? That’s something we actually can control. Where is the “concern” for that?
Our priorities may be distorted when we become concerned. My daughter has a close friend who is a pediatrician. This young pediatrician was telling me about how many of her patients will not allow their child to be immunized. They don't want anything unnatural in their child's body. Yet many of the same parents are willing to put heavy metals under their skin in the form of tattoos. There is a priority that is definitely out of whack.
So what concerns you? Do you have control over it? If so, what action can you take? If you don’t have control over it, then praying is the best action to take. Jesus tells us, “Seek first the kingdom of God and all these other things will be added to it” Matthew 6:33.
As we move into the new year, resolve to turn things over in prayer to the Lord. Act on what you can control, and pray about what you can’t control.
Blessings on your parenting,