Wednesday, 12 December 2007 14:08
As I was leaving the house this past Saturday morning, I said to my three year old son, "Mommy's going to church," and I got no reaction from him. I added, "She is going to parent school to learn how to be a better mommy," and his eyes lit up and he turned to me and said, "Oh, yeahhhhh!"
I was one of the lucky people to attend the parenting seminar offered by our church this past weekend. Parents from the Groton and Southern Connecticut churches were also there to learn how to "Parent by the Book" taught by Mike and Mary Shapiro, Clinical Psychologists, parents of three and disciples for many years.
The very first thing that struck me about the Shapiro's was how I thought I would love to know them and have them in my life. They were warm, honest and vulnerable with their faults as parents and their perspectives on their own children's idiosyncrasies. They were funny too - using humor to show us that all parents have similar struggles.
One topic that came up immediately, though, and is extremely serious, is that everything we do as Christians to parent our children is to help them want to make a commitment to Jesus Christ someday, whether or not they make this decision during our lifetimes. The Shapiro's also feel it is our job to help our children be good citizens. I feel that my husband and I have the good citizen thing on pretty well, but to be honest with you, I was not thinking about my children becoming baptized Christians....I thought, "They are only three and one!." But this is something I need to change my mind on!
They described Spiritual Parenting and Worldly Parenting. Make note: this is not how we would use these words in our church typically. They said the Worldly Parenting is just teaching your kid to have manners, to be polite, to be responsible and get along in the world; a good ting of course. Spiritual Parenting is the other matter entirely. They described that this is applying the scriptures to real life situations for your kids and showing them how to trust in God and to let them see you pray and read your Bible.
The other thing that stuck out to me was that I need to be applying the scripture to their issues and lives. I have been shy with this thinking that they wouldn't understand or it was too early. But, I was wrong. We're going to go for it, even if we feel awkward at first.
I just want to say a big "thank you" to the church leaders for bringing these speakers to our congregation and for seeing that this is a need our families have.