By: Mutryce Kennings-Williams

Navigating “Island” Parenting is a submission of insights, quotes, tips and parenting advice that I have gathered over the years as a source of inspiration and as tools to deal with the daily challenges of parenting. This week’s issue: “Prayer.” The hope is that this submission would cause you to reflect on your parenting skills and also make the journey of parenting a bit easier or brighter.

Parenting is a unique adventure.
For the past two years I have shared with you insights, quotes, tips and parenting advice that have been a tremendous source of inspiration and that have sustained me throughout my parenting journey. This past week I had the opportunity to really reflect on the awesome yet at times challenging journey that I have been on for the past six years, as my sons celebrated their sixth and fifth birthdays. It was a most joyous occasion as they are growing into wonderful young beings.
As I reflected, I realized that in all of my sharing, there was one huge omission. I forgot to share the role that prayer and my faith have played throughout the past six years. It was only when a friend who is expecting her second boy within the space of a year asked, “How did you do it?” I can say that without a second thought the word, “prayer” rolled right off of my tongue. I prayed and I continue to pray.
“Mutryce, you need to pray! This journey is unlike any other and the only thing that will sustain and empower you is prayer!” This advice came from two superb individuals, Yolanda Wilson and the late David Fox, who not only inspired this column but have also provided invaluable support throughout my parenting journey. I can say that to date this is the best parenting advice that I have received.
The journey of parenting is no small feat. It is a rather unique adventure. It requires strength. It requires patience. It requires faith and most importantly it requires prayer. In this issue of Navigating Island Parenting I have chosen to share with you two prayers that I pray daily in the hope that they may help you get a new or renewed perspective on parenting. I share in the hope that these prayers may also empower and sustain you.

The Prayer – “Adjusted” by Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli
I pray you’ll be their eyes and watch them where they go.
And help them to be wise in times when they don’t know
This is my prayer for when they lose their way
Lead them to the place guide them with your grace
To a place where they will be safe
Lead them to a place, guide them with your grace
Give them faith so they’ll be safe

Shepherd of my Heart
I sit at your feet, Lord.
I rest in your presence. In your presence, I become satisfied.
Lord grant me a new, fresh season of prayer in my life. May my prayers be spoken containers that hold the essence of your heart.
Grant me insights into my child, so that I can pour out more blessings on my child. Reveal to me how to love my child, so that my child will feel the depth of my love.
Move my thoughts to the important things of life. I will listen, as you remind me to delight in being with my child.
Copyright © 2004 from the book Praying for your Child
by Beth McLendon and Robert A. Rohm

Parenting Quotes
“Raising children uses every bit of your being – your heart, your time, your patience, your foresight, your intuition to protect them, and you have to use all of this while trying to figure out how to discipline them.” Nicole Ari Parker
“Little children are a treasure. Their worth you cannot measure.” Ron Zupsic

“Raising children is an enormously important part of life. I think one of the most important, or the most important, period.” Eric Braeden

“God put us here to prepare this place for the next generation. That’s our job. Raising children and helping the community, that’s preparing for the next generation.” Dikembe Mutombo

“The best academy….a mother’s knee.” James Lowell
“Children are the brightest treasures we bring forth into this world, but too large a percentage of the population continues to treat them as inconveniences and nuisances, when they’re not treating them as possessions or toys.” Charles De Lint, The Onion Girl
“Nothing you do for a child is ever wasted.” Garrison Keillor, Leaving Home
“Nobody’s born rotten. You just don’t have bad kids. It’s not true. There is no such thing. But we can make them bad.” Jean Liedloff, interview, Touch the Future, fall 1998
“I never met anyone who didn’t have a very smart child. What happens to these children, you wonder, when they reach adulthood?” Fran Lebowitz, “Words Are Easy, Books Are Not”, New York Times, August 10, 1994

Recommended Reading for Children
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein for ages 3-8
Fly Guy Presents Sharks by Tedd Arnold for ages 4-8
Wonder by R. J Palacio for ages 8-12
Recommended Reading for the Parent
Mind in the Making: The Seven Essential Life Skills Every Child Needs by Ellen Galinsky
Nurture Shock: New Thinking about Children by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman

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