Our family identity statement: Parenting advice from an unexpected source

I’m no parenting guru. Seriously. I read all these parenting books, (or start and read a few paragraphs at Barnes and Noble), I peruse blogs and I basically try to survive. My kids are so different one from the other. They watch too much TV and play too many games on the iPads. But I love my kids. We try. I don’t think that I’m that different than most parents who feel inferior to all the superMoms in the blogsphere.

SuperMom intimidates me

When I do something right, it’s either repeating what my parents did, or it’s accidental.

Our family identity statement was perhaps one of those.

I’m writing this because we’ve gotten so much feedback from people who have heard of what we are doing.

The genesis of the idea came from a friend named Kai, a Haiwaian dude that I met one summer at a camp I worked at. Kai told us his grandfather would hold his hands everyday before he went off to school and have Kai say a verse or something. I honestly have no recollection of what that was.

When my son Joshua was diagnosed with Duschennes Muscular Dystrophy, I knew that strength would be an issue for Joshua. We began to think about what we could do to prepare him for some of the battles ahead. Every night I began to have him repeat this phrase.

“I’m strong. I’m brave. I trust Jesus.”

The statement has grown to include the 2 younger ones as well. We added “grateful” after a visit to the lady who cared for Joshua his first 3 months of life. We added “loving and obedient” as inter-sibling conflicts came up. “I like myself” joined the chorus while observing all the self-hatred and mutilation that happens with teenagers. Recently, we added “I’m loved and accepted by my father.”

We added the fruits of the Spirit at the request of Joshua. We added the Armor of God at the request of Alana.

I don’t know if it’s working. Only time will tell. But every way possible, we are working at establishing a firm character and identity in our children.

We either do this as we tuck them in, or I do a nightly “roll call.” My kids line up, and say

“We are the Porters. We are strong, brave and we trust Jesus.

We are (I am) grateful, loving, handsome (or beautiful), obedient, and I like myself.”

We then quote the fruits of the Spirit, and put on the Armor of God. I kiss them good night, tell them I love them, like them, and am proud of them. And lights off.


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