If you’re a parent, you’re familiar with the scene: three green beans, now cold, on a small plate in front of your four-year-old, whose bottom lip protrudes almost far enough to catch her alligator tears. And you wonder, Is this worth the fight? (You are absolutely confident that you will not miss this part of your parenting years.)
There are other scenes you can’t wait to forget, too. Painful sessions at the kitchen table battling tears and math equations, debates with teenagers over dating, homework, driving—just about everything. Each snapshot reminds you that parenting wasn’t all talcum powder and butterfly kisses. But would you do it differently?
If you’re just starting out, you wonder, What are the essentials? What would someone experienced say about their parenting regrets?
Many of my mommy memories blur together, but I, like other parents with the early years far behind, can glance backward and realize what I should have done differently. The backward glance is so much clearer than the forward view.
I have a list of things I think I would change if I started parenting all over again. It’s a short list, and I’m not confident I would adhere to it. Too much loving and learning came from the agonizing wonder of actually parenting, even through my mistakes. Instead, I’ll share 12 things I don’t regret doing, things that sucked time and energy and were worth every moment.
These are the parenting tips I would do even more of, if I had the chance (that’s called grandparenting). In my book, these are the essential tips to Christian parenting without regret:
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