The Serenity Prayer and Parenting

This morning as I watched Anna walking into school, I realized that she is walking into an unknown world that I cannot control. One theme that runs throughout every personality test that I have taken is that I love to be in control. But I cannot control Anna’s experience at school. I am giving up control and handing over the responsibility to her elementary school from 7:30 a.m. to 2:05 p.m. each weekday.

It is hard for me to do. Hillary and I were talking last night about some of the statements and jokes Anna has told us that kids in her class say. Some of them are definitely inappropriate. I want to go in and look a certain boy in the eye and put the fear of God (and me) in his mind. But I can’t. It wouldn’t be appropriate. I have to trust that we have raised Anna well enough that she knows what to do in those situations.  We can coach her at home still and help her think through what she should do, but we can’t be next to her all day long at school.

Once again I am reminded of the Serenity Prayer and its application for parents. I need to recognize what is outside of my control and rest in the knowledge that God is there. I also need to understand what is in my control and have the courage to act on those.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

Courage to change the things I can,

And wisdom to know the difference.

Reinhold Niebuhr


About joelnewton

I am a husband to Hillary, a father to Anna and Norah

Posted on February 23, 2011, in Family Strategies and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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