If I had it to do over again I would devote more time to enjoying my children versus trying to raising them right.
I would lighten up and not be so fearful. I would have less rules, allowing us to enjoy each other more. I would play more and fuss less. I would be intentional about spending quality time, observing my kids, and doing what they want to do.
If I had it to do again, I would be more generous and less consumed with my own lack. We would visit the poor more and serve those who were less fortunate.
If I had to do it again I would never manipulate my children into doing what I thought they should do. Instead I would let things go without trying to control them. I would trust God more versus trusting in my own ability to raise my kids correctly.
If I had to do over again, I would be more understanding, allowing my children to be who God created them to be. I would seek God for discernment of what their true purpose and value was. I would regularly speak words that affirm and show more affection.
If I had it to do again, I would be transparent and open. I would be more vulnerable and loving. I would listen to understand versus to be understood.
Regrettably, I can’t do it over again. However, I can look to God to help me right my wrongs. I can also reflect on the things I would not change but would keep the same.
Of course, I would marry my husband again. I would definitely have my three beautiful children again. I would step out in faith and homeschool them just the same. I would teach my children the Word of God and its power. I would spend the same number of hours teaching devotions and sharing with my children their identity in God. I would not change the spiritual growth in me or my children. I wouldn’t change the special times we spent together vacationing… driving, flying, and cruising. I definitely wouldn’t change the money transformation we experienced together as a family (thanks Dave Ramsey). I wouldn’t change our discipline method; I would only refine it.
There you go… these are things I am very proud of and that I would repeat over and over again.
A warning to parents with young children: once your children are grown, you do not want to find yourself in the same predicament that I have. You would be wise to learn from me, because you get one chance to raise your kids. No do overs! Learn from my regrets.
#1 Parent with intentionality
#2 Savor every moment
#3 Work diligently to build a strong parent/child relationship
About the Author: Rhonda McAfee is the founder of Homeschooler Education Network and the author of Homeschooling Worked For Us: You Are Your Child’s Solution. She is the retired homeschooler of three children and wife of 33 years to her husband, Charles.