Why It Takes Two to Parent

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Sitting in church this morning, the fact once again came to mind that it takes two people to parent a child. The couple in front of us arrived late looking harried as they herded their three kids in the pew.

It was soon obvious that two of the kids were tired and a bit cranky. The older girl was well behaved. She had been a model citizen in my vacation Bible school class. Her younger brother and sister were certainly becoming a trial this morning to their mother who at first attempted to manage both.

As the tiniest girl whined and fidgeted, mom tried to pacify and appease her. She offered a variety of options designed to settle her down and keep her happy. The timing was perfect, as only kids know, for the brother to begin his restlessness. He clung to mom as he crowded against her and alternately bumped her and elbowed his older sister. Mom tried for quite awhile to get them under control. Then mom tried the age- old method. She sent the boy to the other side of his father.

Now she could attend to the youngest one, keep the oldest daughter from becoming annoyed and listen to the sermon. Dad had things under control as the boy was taken under his wing, shall we say. It was an easy solution and part of God's original plan. But, where would she have 'sent the child to' had she been alone? She would have continued to struggle by herself, the way she would if the juggling of emotions and schedules was hers alone to bear.

Unfortunately today, for a variety of reasons, including choice, single parents are abundant. Single parents need a parenting partner whether it is a friend, or relative. We tell all single parents to find a support person. We want to see everyone get the help they need in the most important job you hire on for- Parenting.

Credits: Jo Ann Wentzel

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