When my kids were little, I poured over books about raising kids. I read bits and pieces of all kinds of parenting and baby care books trying to find the perfect way to raise kids. Grades were important to me growing up, and I wanted to make an "A" on this most important project. After a while, I realized that the person who is truly an expert on raising a baby is that baby's own parent. Omar and I were the ones who were spending every moment of every day trying to figure out what our kids needed. While I totally value and appreciate everything that the "experts" say, I now know that we have to figure out what works best for our family. So, I still am researching, but no longer looking for the perfect solution.
As we embark upon a new world that includes, a pre-schooler, 2 normal kids, a tween, and a full fledged teen, I have found Dr. Ray Guarendi's book, Good Discipline, Great Teens to be helpful. He talks about not just being ok with your kid not being on drugs. On his radio program, he also talked about it not being ok for "all but one" of your kids to turn out ok. He says don't you want your kid to be a "one-in-a-hundred kid" a "beautiful human being"? Yes, I do.
It is tough though. It is never ending. We always say being a parent, you have to GET UP! To teach, love, correct, guide, discipline, you can't do it from the other side of the room. You have to get up, go to your child and help them. I think it will be the same during these next few years. I know the problems are different and certainly the math is harder! But I look forward to this next phase. Just as I marveled at them learning to walk or talk or read, I am excited to watch God unfold His plan for their lives.
I love what Dr. Ray says about a teenager, "The real nature of the teen beast, though, is full of life, enthusiasm, energy and laughter." (page 1)