My husband uses an illustration in teaching on childrearing that can help parents keep a perspective on what it is they are doing day in and day out. And here it is. When you love your child by giving them attention and love in many and varied forms, it is like putting money in their bank accounts. Whether it is singing to and with them, playing those silly games, making eye contact when they talk to you, caring for them, feeding them, and bestowing good things on them, all these things are deposits. As they get older, it may mean listening, shopping, helping, driving, being at their games, helping drill them for tests, or hosting the parties at your house. By Read More
Or, A Few Common Stumbling Blocks of the Mother-in-Law
Here are a few thoughts for the mother-in-laws among us.
Don’t make an idol out of your family get-togethers. Laying a big load of expectations on the kids will kill the fun of being together, whether it is a summer vacation on the beach or your Christmas celebrations. If you let it be known that “We’ve always done Christmas THIS way, and we will do it again this year OR ELSE” you are making sure they will hate every minute of it, or they will totally bow out to make a statement that you cannot be tyrannical.Â By insisting on time in this way, you may as well chase them away with a stick. They will run away as fast as they can.
Remember that they are trying to establish a new household. Give way to their decisions and honor them for it. At the same time, make it clear that you would love to have them for Christmas, and that you will accommodate their schedule and other commitments to keep it easy for them.
Set them free to establish their own traditions and to make their own decisions about vacations and celebrations. Ask them what will work for them. Don’t set things up and announce to them where and when they will be for what. Don’t be a fusser by complaining that they never stay long Read More
It seems to me that the mother-in-law has gotten pretty bad press. We are already behind the eight ball before we even begin, so we had better get a few ducks in a row so we can overcome all the stereotypes of the horrid mother-in-law. I still remember the chorus to some song in the sixties called, â€œMother-in-Law,â€ and my impression is it was not a song of praise.
The best place to start is always first principles. We are familiar with the passages in Scripture that teach us about marriage and family, husbands and wives, so from them we can derive a few guidelines for the mother-in-law. Pretty basic stuff here.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Your son or daughter has married someone from another family, with other family loyalties. This means an entirely different family culture is merging with yours. Your son has chosen a woman who has been raised by someone else. Think about all the things you have instilled in your own children. Someone else has done this with your daughter-in-law and your son-in-law. There is a whole life-time of experiences, training, family relationships and stories, ways of celebrating birthdays and Christmas, vacations, and favorite foods. A man will leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife, making a new covenant household.Â Your daughter has been given in marriage to a man with another name, and she has taken that name. She is now a Miller or a Grauke or a Merkle or a Church or a Jankovic or a Wilson. She has different loyalties now; her household is a new creation. It is not identical to yours, even though she grew up in your home. There is a transformation taking place. Glory to God! What a Read More
I’m always a little reluctant to tackle subjects like “demand feeding” versus “schedule feeding” and other topics in this general area because women tend to have such strong feelings about these things, and I have no desire to get into a raging debate with any of the Christian sisters about such things.Â But brace yourselves, I’m going to stick my neck out a wee little bit.
First of all, whoever named the alternative to schedule feeding “demand” feeding was quite clever but not necessarily being fair. Some moms do everything on a schedule, and so to put the newborn on a schedule is simply that mother’s natural way of doing things. But whenever I imagine the alternative described by the word demand, I think of a spoiled child who is still nursing at age three when he should be learning his ABC’s and sitting at the table with a cup. My style of mothering newborns was very similar to my style of doing other things. If we were to the point where my doctor recommended feedings every four hours, I would take a peek at the clock, see that it had only been fifteen minutes, and figure that it just wasn’t dinnertime yet. But if I was just twenty Read More
“Want of early discipline, passing over trifles; yielding when we ought to command — how little do we think to what they may grow.” Charles Bridges, Commentary on Proverbs