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As parents, we don’t like to see our kids fail—even if failure might provide just the reality check they need. I’m no scientist, but I think we’re biologically programmed to try to protect our children from the hurt and pain that failure brings, even if it means pushing them to persevere in something that lies outside their strengths and long-term interests. We make the tone-deaf kid practice piano. We book time at the batting cages for a child who’s better suited to the library than the ball field. We insist on the advanced-placement class, thinking it will aid on college applications, even though the pressure makes the child (and therefore the whole family) miserable all year.

Factor in the reality that we somehow think a child’s failure is a reflection on us—What will people think of me if my child fails?—and we actually exacerbate the problem. We pressure our children to achieve success at all costs, sometimes to the detriment of something more valuable. That isn’t to say we shouldn’t encourage our kids to do their best and to follow through on their commitments. I’m not advocating dropouts. I’m advocating dropping things that don’t matter and really winnowing down to the things that move God, the things that should move us too. I’m challenging us to weather the
What Will They Think of Me storm in favor of trusting—truly trusting—the Father with our kids.

Excerpted from Upside-Down Prayers for Parents by Lisa Bergren

Daily Reflection: How can you help remind yourself to focus on trusting the Father instead of worring about others might think?

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