Some days being a parent is just plain hard. Every child is different. Every parent is different. Each of us has different strengths and weaknesses. What motivates one child doesn't necessarily motivate another. And apparently, there is not a parenting handbook. I keep waiting for mine to arrive, but after 15 years, it doesn't appear to be coming. No one else I know received one either.
Of course, there are a few things I have figured out -
As a parent you want to give your kids all of their heart's desires, yet do what is best for them.
As a parent you want to protect your kids from any hint of harm, yet give them some freedom to explore the world.
As a parent you want to pass on your faith to your kids, yet give them the opportunity to find their own.
As a parent you want to teach your kids manners and kindness, love and loyalty, compassion and unselfishness,and also passion for what is right and just.
As a parent you want to say no to all the influences of the world for your kids, yet give them room to grow into their own person.
As a parent you want to do everything right for your kids and not cause them too much harm along the way.
It seems parenting is just a huge balancing act - balancing what we want for our kids with what is best for them. It is also a huge lesson in trust - trust that the God of the universe is big enough to look out for us as we look out for them.