One thing you get as soon as anyone knows you are going to be a parent is advice. Some advice is good and some of it is far far out there. Part of being a better parent is using your judgement, the Holy Spirit and/or parental instinct to meet the needs of your kids and to sort out all that advice.
This is part 3 of the Series: Being a Better Parent. Read Part 1,2,4,5.
When my first son Joshua was born at 35 weeks, I was one scared mommy. Even though I was a nurse and knew what to do when things went wrong I had no idea what being a parent was really like. By the end of the hospital stay I was getting used to thing. My son had no problem at that time breast feeding and he slept on a normal schedule. I even had a wet diaper chart to bring home with me.
When I got home things started changing. My milk came in, nursing was no longer as easy and he wasn't eating as much as he had been at the hospital. Something was wrong but the pee schedule kept telling me my kid was fine.
Day 4 rolls around and it's my date for the pediatrician visit. I tell the Pediatrician the problem I am having with him nursing and that he will not stop crying. My mom was there with me and kept encouraging me that something was indeed wrong. I pushed the doctor and he finally said if you are still concerned go to the ER.
That is exactly what I did. I pulled in to the ER and was taken back quickly. They checked his temperature and it was 95.9 way too low for a baby that was fully bundled. They were concerned that he had gotten RSV and went to do a spinal tap. My little boy stopped breathing and they began CPR to revive him. It was about 4 hours until he was completely stable. Because he didn't have RSV and wasn't sick they took him into the NICU to start running tests. They finally found out that he had Apena of Prematurity. This is one of the causes of SIDS in infants.
If I had listened to this doctor and went against my better judgment (or my cause the Holy Spirits promptings, I was really new at this) I would not have had the hospital support to help me revive my son. I may have even lost him. Raising a kid is tough and even professionals will make a mistake. Often times parents will get a hard time from a doctor only for the doctor to realize they should listened to the parent.
You know your child better than anyone else.
You know their tendencies to get in trouble and often you realize they are lying to you before you confirm the fact. Something just isn't right so you investigate. You clean out the teens room and since of privacy to search for signs of drugs. You check their breathe for alcohol when they come home by a hug when they return home. You check to see if they have any homework by emailing the teacher. You monitor their grades and attend parent conferences. Before your child goes into the neighbors house you research to make sure they are in a healthy environment. You set good examples of the behaviors you want them to follow. You do everything in your power to protect them and lots of times it is a judgment call on your part.
Never Go Against your Better Judgement. Often the Holy Spirit is prompting you to be more cautious or to persuade you to try harder for the safety of your child.
Often times you find yourself in a position that your child wants to do something and you don't think it's wise or safe. In those occasions I find it easier to explain to the child what I think is not safe or healthy about it. You are also teaching them to use judgement in situations and teaching them the concern you have for them. You are also telling them what needs to happen before they are allowed to do the task they requested.
Acts 20:20: You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you publicly and from house to house.
For example: My 6 year old girl wants to play outside by herself while her siblings have decided to stay inside. I give her boundaries. I tell her it's OK as long as she plays on the sidewalk inside of the court but stays out of the road because cars will be coming inside the court because it is the time of day people are getting home from work. With all four of them out there is pretty easy to see them if they play in the court but with one she is easy to miss. She also has been taught to never go out of the court or into anyone else house because I don't know if those situations are safe. So by giving her the reasons behind the boundaries I'm teaching her to make her own judgments later. To really on that "little voice" inside them that tells you when something is not right in this situation.
Sometimes you may find that you were overly cautious in your judgement but you can't change a bad consequence once it has happened.
Admit when you were wrong when you are wrong but never go against your better judgement.
James 5:19-20: My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.
1 Thessalonians 5:14: And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone.