Raise the Child You Have, Not the Child You Want

And a boy who stutters and struggles with speech may develop an unbelievable work ethic that makes him try harder than everyone, never give up on himself, and ultimately reach a position of influence where he can help a wide range of kids who face his former struggles.

The point is, there is no “one right way” a child should be. God created each child to carry out a special mission. Only time will tell what their mission is.

And if you think about it, good parenting is largely about preparing our kids for their mission. It’s about forgetting our fantasies, becoming a student of our children, and seeing God as the authority of their life, choosing to work with His plan rather than against it.

It takes every personality under the sun to make the world go ‘round. We need kids who are gentle, passionate, quiet, spunky, fearless, driven, outspoken, observant, funny, practical, reserved, and bold.

We need social butterflies, bookworms, worker bees, wallflowers, steel magnolias, and firecrackers.

We need survivors, old souls, free spirits, athletes, tough cookies, geniuses, and late bloomers.

And despite any differences we notice among kids, there’s one term that applies across the board: world changer. Every child is meant to be a world changer. And every child deserves the right to change the world by being who they are, not who others want them to be.

It’s a pivotal moment when we parents learn to respect and celebrate our kids’ personalities without wishing for them to change. Whether this moment comes immediately or after an epiphany like my friend had, it’s good to remember how we all have the tendency to try and convert and control certain qualities in our kids that aren’t meant to be converted or controlled.

Giving our children the permission to be themselves makes them happier and us happier, too. It leaves room for God to work in our children’s lives and pleasantly surprise us as we see His plan unfold and understand how His design for them is the perfect match for the plan He has for their life.


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Also, my newest book, Liked: Whose Approval Are You Living For? and is now available on Amazon, Barnes and NobleChristianbook.com, and everywhere books are sold. It’s getting a fantastic response as a unique and timely resource for girls of the digital age!

My bestselling first book, 10 Ultimate Truths Girls Should Know, has been used widely across the U.S. for small group/church youth group studies. It’s also available everywhere books are sold, including Amazon. 

This article originally appeared at KariKampakis.com.

Kari Kampakis
Kari Kampakis
Kari Kubiszyn Kampakis is a mom of four girls, as well as an author, speaker, and blogger from Birmingham, Alabama. Her new book for moms, LOVE HER WELL: 10 WAYS TO FIND JOY AND CONNECTION WITH YOUR TEENAGE DAUGHTER, launches August 18 and can be pre-ordered through online retailers. Her two books for teen and tween girls, Liked: Whose Approval Are You Living For? and 10 Ultimate Truths Girls Should Know, have used widely across the country for youth group studies. Join Kari on FacebookTwitter, and The Girl Mom Podcast, or by visiting www.karikampakis.com.

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