In the Way He Should Go

As I write this my little son is asleep in his car seat.  This is a rare moment for him, as he usually screams his head off back there until we take him out.

There are those that will tell you all babies fall asleep in the car.  Those people would be wrong.  If there’s anything I’ve learned since becoming a mom, it’s that every child is different.  Personalities are not shaped, they are born.  My baby boy has had a strong personality from the moment of his birth, and he most definitely hates his car seat with a passion.  It’s just the way he is.

My son has also turned into a very poor sleeper this past month.  Until then, he was sleeping at least one 4-6 hour stretch a night.  Last night his longest stretch was two hours…and that was a good night.  I’ve already had people scold me for not “sleep training” my babe…or for not putting him on a schedule set by me.  I assure you, we are working on helping him sleep better again.  However, I’m not doing it in the way prescribed by some “expert”. 

You see, the truth of the matter is that no expert knows my son.  He is a unique little person, and there is simply no one-size-fits-all solution.  I’m using what I know about my son, God’s wisdom, as well as my own instincts l, to parent.

There are so many Christians that are quick to say “train up a child”, yet they miss out on one of the key parts: “in the way HE should go”.  It doesn’t say “in the way you think he should go”, or “in the way experts say he should go”, but “in the way HE should go”. 

As parents, it is our duty and privilege to find out what that path is for each precious blessing entrusted to us, and help him or her walk in it.  Honestly, that’s sometimes a hard task.  We crave control and security, yet our children often challenge that simply by being them.  Now, I’m in no way advocating an absence of discipline or training…that would be just as bad!  What I am saying is that our discipline and training should be tailored to each individual child.  And, frankly, there are definitely areas we need to let go of.  We need to give our children space to grow and bloom into the person they are meant to be!

And so, as I work with my little man, helping him to sleep better, I’m going to do it in the best way for him.  I’m going to be patient, loving, and supportive.  I’m not going to see his cries as manipulative or controlling, because I’m not so needy for control that I turn his own needs into wants.  And you know what?  If he’s not the best of sleepers, that’s okay.  In the long run, some extra night cuddles aren’t going to hurt anyone.

3 thoughts on “In the Way He Should Go

  1. Caitlin, Miles sound sooo much like Norah! Please don't hesitate to email me if you get frustrated or need to talk about your high-needs baby. I'm also not an advocate of sleep training and cry-it-out, so keep me in mind for support. =) And yes, babies are all different! Don't let people pressure you into something you don't feel is right. You're the mama!

  2. Yes, yes, yes!!! Love and accept him as he is, and give yourself the freedom to parent him with the Spirit gently whispering in your ear–not the voices of other people telling you their “method”. I agree with Jeannie, “DON'T LET PEOPLE PRESSURE YOU INTO SOMETHING YOU DON'T FEEL IS RIGHT.” Such good advice!

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