A month ago, we invited the more experienced/ seasoned parents in our church to answer some of the questions we have as parents of young children.
Below are the questions that we asked them and my take away from their answer:
a. How do you decide what extra curricular activities for your kids. And how much is too much?
Pray about it. Study your kids, give the activity a try and see if it matches their gifts and interest. Each kid is different. Choose and focus on the one that match their strength and interest. One of the good thing of keeping them busy is less time for games/ television.
One family has tradition: during summer months, instead of keeping the children busy with summer camps, they focus on volunteering, traveling, or going on mission trips.
b. Do you discipline your kids? If so, how and do you do it differently according to their ages/ personalities?
It's different for each family. Pray for wisdom to communicate grace and truth.
Give warning and explain the consequence and be consistent if the rule is indeed broken. For instance too much video games -> no video games for a while.
c. How to know if we are being micromanaging/ helicopter parents vs. letting the child learn/ choose/ grow on their own?
When the kids are younger, we have to do a lot of managing/ directing but as they get older such as in middle/ high school (depends on the kids' personality) we have to start letting go and let them handle things such as classes, schedule, and conflict on their own. It's part of growing process. Don't worry, pray and trust your children in God's hands.
d. Any perspective, lesson, you wish you knew when your kids were younger that you would like to share with us?
The years go by so fast especially once they reached teenagers. It's so true that the days are long but the years are fast.
Question to ponder: Can our children say it's a blessing to grow up in a Christian home?
God gave us good times and hard times to develop our character. Sometimes His timing is not ours.
Never give up on your child because God never give up on you.