Parenting ABCs - Duck, Duck, Goose? by Jennifer Waddle

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Parenting ABCs - Duck, Duck, Goose?
Series: All My Ducks in a Row
Jennifer Waddle

Oh, how our cute, downy-feathered ducklings pull at our heartstrings... And how they make us want to pluck our feathers out!

Getting all our ducks in a row isn't easy when it comes to our kids. They waddle too slow, too fast, wander off and stubbornly dig in their little webbed feet, and refuse to move.

Sometimes we are convinced our little duckling must actually be a goose, because we have no idea where he gets some of his behavior!

Parenting is far more complicated than just feeding and bathing, although that can feel all-consuming at times.

I remember meeting a mother of quadruplets once. She had 3 boys and 1 girl. They were cute as a button, and about five years old at the time. I asked her how she did it, and she admitted that keeping them clean and fed was quite an accomplishment, especially when they were babies.

So how do we get our 'ducklettes' in a row? How can we go beyond just treading water in this area of our lives?

As I write this, I have a mental list of things I want to improve on in my parenting. I want to listen more, invest more, and train them more in the Lord. (and I really, really, really want them to pick up after themselves)

It seems I want so much more for my kids than I am already giving them. But what if 'less is more'? What if we Mama Ducks are over-complicating things?

(We don't do that, do we?)

As of today, February 9, 2015, I have two grown sons, a teenage daughter and a preteen son. Need I say more?

Actually, I feel very humble and blessed to have survived one set of the teenage years with good relationships in tact. In fact, both of them are married to wonderful girls, and I have two very adorable, sweet and precious grand babies. My cup runneth over!

But I cannot lie and say it was always easy, or that there will not be tough times ahead. It's part of the battle. The human will has rebelled since the very beginning, and will continue until the Lord comes.

There have been times when my ducklings were definitely not in a row, and I didn't have a clue how to round them up into any semblance of order.

But through the years, I have found myself time and again going back to the basics. Returning to what I know is true. Simplifying things. Not going along with the latest fad or phase, but truly getting back to the ABC's of parenting.

These aren't a guarantee that it will be smooth sailing, or that all your problems will go away, but they are foundational to every situation in which we find ourselves when trying to get our ducks in a row. (Even the teenage, rebellious ones.)

My prayer is that you will keep these 3 ABCs in your mind and heart when parenting your children. If you have some basics to fall back on, chances are you won't be too overwhel ...

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