Posts Tagged ‘parenting advice’

Story by Stephanie Kim. Photo by Susan Brown.

When my daughter was in 8th grade, each student created a parenting handbook as a language arts project. Each parent contributed by writing a letter to her or his child, giving advice to the future parent. This is what I wrote to my daughter.

Dear Maria,
I have been given this amazing opportunity to share with you my dreams for you as a parent someday. I certainly hope that you will patiently wait for that special boy God is preparing to be your husband. With your marriage promise to each other and with both of you wholeheartedly committed to God, I pray that He will bless you with the tremendous joy of children.

Children help us parents learn so many things and shape us into better individuals. They teach unconditional love and demonstrate a faith that adults seem to have lost. They change our perspective. They are the source of our greatest joys and deepest sorrows. You will learn enduring patience, overflowing generosity, and sacrificial love. You will develop a much greater understanding of the Heavenly Father’s love for you after you have your own children. And you will learn to forgive again and again.

If you are blessed with children, I hope you will remember that these children you love with all your heart are loved even more by Someone else.In fact, your children actually belong to God, Who has entrusted to you these you call your own only for a time to care for and nurture. It’s an awesome responsibility and a tremendous honor…and way too tough to handle on your own! You will quickly learn that you must lean on God for help because you will face countless difficult challenges as they grow older. I hope that you will seek God’s wisdom and will in every decision and challenge you face.

Many mothers worry about making mistakes. Whatever bumps in the road come along, your love for them will overcome all your shortcomings. Pray for your children daily—maybe even constantly. There are many dangers and evil things in this world that can consume you with worry for your children. Instead place your trust in God and know that He has His children in the palm of His hand.

School will teach them what they need for college and career. You teach them what is most important to live—to love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love others. Show them how to be grateful for the big things and little things, when there is plenty and when there is little, in good times and bad. Gratitude is the key to happiness.

It’s easy, especially in the early years of parenting, to become overwhelmed with life and circumstances and careers and things to do. I hope that you will not rush those years and hurry to and from everything: They will pass quickly without your help. You’ve heard it before—life is not an emergency. Don’t worry about the dirty dishes, the laundry to be done, the toys spread everywhere. Do them when there is time, but not at the cost of dancing with your kids, riding bikes together, messing up the driveway with chalk, and splashing in the rain.

And when things don’t turn out exactly the way you planned—for you or for your children—trust that God has it under control.

I love you more than you know, and God loves you even more than that. I know you will be a marvelously magnificent mom!


A Mother's Letter

Stephanie often participates in worship services as flutist.

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