At my baby shower I received a notebook, put together by the ladies from church, that was filled with jokes and cartoons about parenting, quotations, poems, and advice about motherhood. On the last few pages was printed "A Parent's Prayer". I don't know who to contribute it to. It has been passed from mother to mother over the years and the author's name has vanished. I wrote it in my my prayer journal and read it occasionally because the words have become mine.
Oh Lord, make me a better parent. Teach me to understand my children, to listen patiently to what they have to say and to answer their questions kindly. Keep me from interrupting them and talking back to them. Make me as courteous to them as I would have them be to me. Give me the courage to confess my sins against my children and to ask of them forgiveness when I know that I have done them wrong.
May I not vainly hurt the feelings of my children. Forbid that I should laugh at their mistakes or resort to shame or ridicule as punishment. Forbid that I should ever punish them for my selfish satisfaction. May I grant them all their wishes that are reasonable and have the courage to withhold a privilege which I know will not be good for them. Guide me hour by hour that I may demonstrate by all I say and do that honesty produces happiness.
Blind me to the little errors of my children and help me see the good things they do. Give me a ready word for honest praise. Help me to grow with my children, to treat them as those of their own age, but let me not exact of them the judgements and convictions of adults. Allow me not to rob them of the opportunity to wait upon themselves, to think, to chose, to make decisions.
Make me fair and just, companionable and considerate to my children so that they will have genuine esteem for me. Fit me to be loved and imitated by my children as I imitate Christ. This is my prayer in our Savior's name. Amen.
When I saw that Ann's topic at Holy Experience this month is prayerful parenting I knew I wanted to share this. It seems overwhelming at first. I remember thinking "Yikes! Do I really expect to be that perfect parent with this prayer?" but really the prayer acknowledges the help we all need whether parent or child. It's easy to think as the authority figure that I am in the right and my child needs correcting. It's easy to pray "God help my child... fix my child...direct my child....
Of course the truth is that I have no idea how to do this parenting thing and find I need correction all the time. Thankfully I have a heavenly Father who is a perfect parent.