Parents’ Corner: Farewell

Posted by Liz Perraud at





Editor’s note: This column is the last from our dear friend Shirley Carlson, who has shared wisdom and ideas about Christian parenting faithfully with our readers for several years. Thank you, Shirley, for offering your faith and service to us. We wish you well as you move into God’s future callings for you

Shirley Carlson
La Crescenta Presbyterian Church



Relationships are what life is all about, and you want your relationship with your child to be a good one and for it to last through your entire lives.  I have enjoyed the relationship I have had with you, but now it is coming to an end. It is time for me to move on and discover what God is calling me to do next.  I have enjoyed spending time with you and hope you have benefited from the ideas that have been expressed here.  I have some parting thoughts on the lessons I have learned over 48 years of parenting and 17 years of grandparenting to five grandchildren.

  •  Pray first when disagreements arise.
  • Parents need to be good listeners, too.
  • When disagreements occur, try to see the problem through your child’s eyes. That doesn’t mean their behavior doesn’t need some correction, but it helps you understand the problem.
  • Always be consistent and never give a consequence that you know you will never be able to carry out. For instance, “No electronics for a year!”
  • Try to give your children choices, but be sure to limit them to two or three that you can live with, especially if your child is five or younger. And make sure s/he understands the choices. That reminds me of a cute story. When one of our sons was about three and we were headed out to eat, I asked him if he wanted to go to Bonanza, Manners (which was a Big Boy restaurant), or McDonald’s.  He started to cry and said, “I don’t want to go to bananas or mayonnaise.”
  • If you and your spouse disagree on parenting issues, be sure to discuss it out of earshot from your child.
  • Try to get into a parenting group where you get a chance to sort through common parenting issues and solutions.                                      
  • Always parent with love, which does not mean letting your child have whatever they want. It means being sensitive to their needs without letting them be the one who dictates the outcome.
  • Teach what it means to be respectful and expect it.
  • Never yell. I wished I had learned that earlier.  A quiet voice is always more effective.
  • And, last but not least, encourage the relationship between your children and their grandparents. Chances are some day you will be a grandparent, and it is really fun.

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