On Parenting Our Children through Unpopular Requirements


I don’t mind requiring my children to do things they neither like nor value; I don’t think the judgment of small children is so acute that they should get to decide these things. It’s the difference between parenting and having little friends that pay no rent and eat all the food.

Going to church (usually they love it but every once in a while, eh?)
Making friends
Playing nice
Practice practice practice
Being good losers
Being good winners
Smiling for pictures
Don’t pout
Don’t scream
Don’t touch that
Don’t eat that
Don’t put that in your ear
Don’t put that in your sisters ear
Pick up your room
Eat your vegetables
Take your medicine
Say you’re sorry
Say it like you mean it
If you can’t say something nice about someone then don’t say anything at all
Memorize your catechism
Say your prayers
Say it like you mean it 
Read a book
Learn your multiplication tables
Climb the mountain
Run a lap
Ten push ups, mister (goes with don’t put that in your sister’s ear)
Say something nice to your Nana

I mean it’s all just good stuff, there’s no downside, but sometimes it’s not all very natural or maybe kids are just a little too natural sometimes.

But doesn’t God do the same thing to us? Constantly caring, nurturing, guiding, considering, loving, correcting and leading? He takes parenting seriously the same way we do; it matters to Him what kind of people we turn out to be. Just like with us it reflects upon Him personally and He wouldn’t take a slight to our honor or well-being lightly.

So at the very least let’s not be the “strong-willed child” because those kinds of things make the parenting job all the more difficult, and it’s hard enough.

If you think parenting is hard for us but easy for God just read Exodus.




One thought on “On Parenting Our Children through Unpopular Requirements

  1. So well said . I applaud every word you wrote .
    We who agree with you are swimming upstream Big time in these times we are in . This nonsense of let them be free from rules so as not to squelch their inner creativity is insanity !!! Who , after all , created these little ones …who grow up to be big ones ..like us ???
    God help us & may all readers heed your wisdom & Scripture on this .
    Mary Eisenhauer


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