Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Lessons Learned Now That Will Impact My Future

As the father of a new baby, it seems like they are doing new things almost every day. For sure, each week she is a new person with new activities. One thing that Zoe has been doing a lot of lately is talking. Now of course she isn't saying any real words yet, but her cooing and grunting and babbling have us plenty excited regardless. This new phenomenon is so fun and exhilarating for me as a parent that I sometimes get caught up in the moment and interrupt her talking in the course of my celebration and excitement. I feel the need to jump in and respond to any noises she makes with my own oohs and aahs, instead of allowing her to continue using her voice. Sometimes me making noises in response causes her to be silenced. I'm finding that when I give Zoe the space to talk, without immediately responding with my own noises, she often continues talking for much longer than she would have otherwise.

I'm learning to let her find her voice.

This point of self-discovery has caused me to think about how this similar posture will be very important as she grows older, and especially as she moves into her teenage years. I will need to give her the space to explore, discover, and use her own voice. I will need to allow her the time and opportunity to realize who she is, what she is passionate, and how to interact in the world...without dad getting in the way. Too often parents can stifle their children by never allowing them the freedom for exploration and discovery. While I want to help shepherd my daughter into maturity and healthy living, I will need to temper my desire to be too hands-on in this process. At times I will need to simply back off, give her space, and trust that we have raised her in a way that she will be able to make wise choices. I'm positive this will be a challenge, but hey, no one said this parenting thing was going to be easy, right! I'm just hopeful that our family will be one of grace: where we help Zoe to understand the immensity of God's grace, where Zoe gives her parents much grace as they stumble through the task of parenting, and where we, as parents, give ourselves grace when we falter.