One of my favorite authors is Anne Ortlund. In addition to her book, Disciplines of the Beautiful Woman, she has written an excellent book titled Children Are Wet Cement. In it she outlines gentle guidelines for parenting. She encourages parents to help children experience life to the fullest, using all their senses to learn as they grow into beautiful adults.
“So what do we do to encourage them to grow inwardly, to become resourceful and creative, to think, to meditate, to lay the foundation for growing up well? Don’t push, but affirm them! Give them the sense that all is well, that their rate of progress is acceptable to you, that you like them just the way they are…..Guide them but be delighted in them. Let them know that life is to be reached for and drunk of deeply…..Enthusiastic, that’s how you want them to grow up! The word comes from “en Theo,” or “in God.” Support them with words of faith, hope, and love, and in that framework “in God,” they’ll be ready to tackle everything. Fears and cautions are built in at an early age but so is courage! Tomorrow’s world will be different if your child has been released to experiment, to risk, to lead others, to pursue righteousness, to be an effector for good in society, to go courageously after God.”
Children Are Wet Cement, Anne Ortlund