Thoughts on Parenting

Very few writers have shaped me and helped bring me to a liberating space as Henri Nouwen has. Here are some thoughts on parenting, that I have found profound.

“Children are their parents’ guests. They come into the space that has been created for them, stay for a while – fifteen, twenty, or twenty-five years – and leave again to create their own space. Although parents speak about “our son” and “our daughter,” their children are not their property. In many ways children are strangers. Parents have to come to know them, discover their strengths and their weaknesses, and guide them to maturity, allowing them to make their own decisions.”


5 thoughts on “Thoughts on Parenting

  1. Mary says:

    This is so true! And then they grow up and are really more fun than when little. They move out and it’s even better! 🙂

  2. Jacqui says:

    I love this! I’ve thought similar things over the past couple years watching a couple from my church parent their small children. It’s like they recognize, as you said, that the children are not their possessions, but that they are gifted with the opportunity to care for them for a while, and to do so in a way that when the kids are grown, they choose to make their parents a continued part of their community. They understand that invitation into the community of their children is not guaranteed. It’s a beautiful thing to watch.

  3. Great quote! I’m reading a GREAT book by Chip Ingrim “Effective Parenting in a Deffective World” and it speaks a lot to that!

  4. I feel like there are so many but ONE that has been huge for me, right from the beginning of the book, is this: “We are easily guided by the land mines we want them [kids] to avoid rather than the character we want them to develop (pg 2). It’s one of those books that you could underline ever single sentence…

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