Advising Younger Parents

I have traveled a fair amount the last few weeks and I’ve been thankful for the opportunities to speak at various conferences and events. When I’m on the road, I’m more of a people observer than normal. I learn a lot about me by watching others.

For example, one night recently I sat at an outdoor concert observing the family in this picture. I hope they don’t mind being the subject of this post. If they are in a witness protection program, I apologize. What I have to say about them, however, is all good stuff. What a happy family! The parents played, wrestled, loved, and cuddled with their two little boys. I especially enjoyed the part of the oldest boy tackling the dad. Sometimes he didn’t know what was coming! I loved watching the surprise attack!

As they went to leave, I felt led to say something to them. I told them I had enjoyed watching them, that I could tell they were good parents, to keep up the good work, and to never take these moments for granted, as tiring as the days can be.

They seemed to appreciate my comments, or perhaps they are just kind to old people who stalk them, but I know from experience that one day they’ll most likely have the same emotions I have when I see a young family enjoying life together.

They’ll think:

  • It passed so quickly…
  • Where did the time go?
  • I would love to experience those moments one more time…
  • We should tell younger couples to enjoy it while they can….
  • You don’t get those moments back….

Or stuff like that…

Share with me, what stage are you at in the parenting days?

What advice would you give to parents with younger children?

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Ron Edmondson

Author Ron Edmondson

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Join the discussion 17 Comments

  • Stephanie says:

    My husband and I have three little girls – ages 6, 3, and 7 months. It's an exhausting, but magical season. We're striving to make the most of every minute.

    I bet that family at the concert really appreciated your kind words. Kudos to you for saying out loud what you were thinking in your head. 🙂

  • @EricDingler says:

    We have a two year old and two month old. We often note and record the "first's"…first steps, first words, first tooth, first hair cut, etc. We are also trying to be mindful of the "last's" The last time I had to pick my daughter up out of her crib before she moved into a "big girl" bed and could do it by herself is the most recent "last". Trying to remember to ask, "Is this last time I could get to do this?" Helps keep perspective in the midst of them growing up so fast.

  • Melissa says:

    The photograph says it all! With each passing day, I learn to take it all in….everyday is a learning process even at the wise old age of 52, wife of a very kind and loving husband, very proud parent of 2 beautiful children, a #1 son-in-law, and son's girlfriend that is part of our family for 4 plus years now!

    I stress it more and more every single day….take it all in! Thank you for sharing. It's the cornball stuff like this that make life precious.

  • Shari says:

    Advice to all parents of all ages… PRAY. Without ceasing. Pray for wisdom in the choices and decisions you make, pray for them in every aspect of their daily lives, and pray most of all, that they meet Jesus, and put their faith in Him. Pray WITH your kids about everything and they will learn to do the same.

    My 'little boy' is now married and a father of my 3 precious grands and now instead of 1 to pray for, I have 5. Prayer is the key!

  • @Bryankr says:

    I am single also, and I have learned a couple of things (just a couple). First, Youth is wasted on the wrong ones! They never seem to realize that the kids they have are trying really hard to be just exactly like them; the way they act or re-act, how they treat other people when they are stressed……life is short, these kids are not going to be kids nearly long enough, take some time and show them the best parts of you! The reason why your spouse married you in the first place, that's what we really want our kids to be, isn't it?
    I know I don't have kids, but I do work with Teens in my Church, I get them after others have already raised them, and want me to "make them better people". These are just thoughts from an observer.

  • Though I am single, I can share what I have learnt from observing others.

    — Not taking kids for granted
    — Giving them undivided attention
    — Playing with them without inhibitions
    — Answering patiently their sheepish questions

  • jonathan says:

    As a parent of four kids all younger than 9 years old…I'd love to hear this from an old couple stalking me.

  • Steve Akers says:

    I'm at the early teen stage and I'm definitely amazed at how quickly time passes. And while I would love to have a day with each of my daughters at various stages in their lives, I have to say I really love where they are now. I think the key as a parent is focusing on building a real relationship with your kids. I have always tried to invest more in quality time with them than I do in other things like career, house, material possessions, etc. Here's an example, someone once asked if we were enjoying our newly finished basement. I told them that it wasn't finished yet partly due to a recent vacation and another vacation on the horizon. They said, "You should skip the vacations so you can build up the value of your house." At which point my youngest daughter immediately said, "We are building memories!" I'll never forget that… and I will always cherish the memories God has blessed me and my family with.

    • ronedmondson says:

      That's a great stage. You are absolutely right. The relationship I have with my boys is one of the things that protecting them through high school. I'm convinced of that.

  • Phil Kaufmann says:

    I’m so tired I don’t even know what stage we’re at anymore. 🙂 Our oldest is 15 (a freshman), the middle child is nearly 12 (6th grade), and the youngest is 4 – all boys.

    They are all good boys, and trying to become Godly men; we’re proud of them.

    What advice do I have for younger parents? Find ways to have your kids be with you as you do what you do. My kids have gone early with me to church for rehearsal (I’m in the band); been a ballboy when I officiate a high school football game; sat in the waiting room when we got new tires for the car, etc.

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