By Melody Ackerman
There are so many different styles of parenting. Talking to people and listening to the way they grew up has given me some perspective into which ones may impact a child’s life into adulthood.
I recently heard a story about a woman who was eighteen years old and was getting ready to be married the following weekend. She still lived at home and was still expected to live by their rules which meant a curfew ended at midnight.
She and her soon-to-be husband decided to go to a party with some friends of theirs to ring in the New Year. The friends picked them up and drove them to the party. It wasn’t very far into the night when they realized things were going in a direction they didn’t want to be a part of. The friends that had driven them didn’t want to leave. Finally, the husband to be was able to borrow the keys to the friend's car so they could leave. They did not make it home until after midnight and she was met by her mother at the front door, told to go to bed and to expect to have a talk with her father in the morning. As you can imagine, she didn’t sleep all night.
In the morning, her father was at the kitchen table and asked her to join him. He began with the question. “What happened.”
She told him how these new friends of hers had invited them to this party. They thought it would be fun but it quickly escalated to a point that made her uncomfortable.
The next question he asked was, “What did you learn?”
“A lot of things Dad.”
“What will you do differently next time?”
“Always take my own car.”
He reached over, laid his hand on hers. He spoke very calmly in this last sentence. “I’m glad you learned something from this. Now, let’s move forward, remembering what you learned and applying it where needed.
Let’s rewind to the time of quarantine during the pandemic and apply these three questions.
Did you have more family time? Did you find a new hobby? Did you slow down? Did you have time for more of what you enjoy? What was your spiritual life like? What did your relationships look like? What happened during that time?
What did you learn?
What did you learn about yourself during that time? Was there something you didn’t realize? What did you learn about your kids? Your family as a whole? What did you see in others or in yourself during this time away from your regular commitments?
What will you do differently?
Looking back at that time, what did you enjoy most? What did you like least? What did you dread losing when you went back to a “normal” life? What did you find yourself saying to finish this sentence? When quarantine is over, the first thing I’m going to do is . . .
What if these questions were asked by our Heavenly Father? What would your reply be?
Looking back over 2020, what did you learn during that time? Are you living any differently? What is one thing you can change this week to move you in the right direction? Ask your Heavenly Father for help and wisdom in doing this (James 1:5). I’m sure you discovered something during that time, I think we all did. Now, let’s move forward remembering what we learned and applying it where needed.