Parenting Newborns: Learning Patience
Text: I Peter 5:6-11
I. Many changes comes to a family when a child is born
A. Preparation is made for the coming years
B. With a newborn, it is the parents, not the child who have much to learn
C. We could speak of love, devotion, but the lesson needed most is patience
II. The frustrations
A. Newborns make many demands
1. Needs to be feed, changed, played with
2. Would not be difficult, but the demands are made on the child’s time schedule and not yours.
a. Being loving and enthusiastic is difficult at 3am, especially when the last demand was taken care of at 1am.
b. Time has no meaning to newborns. Playtime could happen at 2 in the morning just as easily as 2 in the afternoon.
3. The needs are not spelled out in clear terms
a. Waaah! I’m hungry! Sounds strikingly similar to ... Waaah! I’m lonesome.
b. Parents soon learn to have a checklist ... Diaper? Hungry? Play? Just need to be held?
c. Most frustrating times when it is none of the above.
B. Every parent comes to end of his or her wits at some point
1. Frustration at our inability to quiet a child
a. Turns on ourselves - I’m a miserable parent. Why did I ever want a child.
b. Turns on the child - Why can’t you be happy?
2. For mothers a dangerous time as the hormones are settling back to their pre-pregnancy state.
3. For both parents, the lack of sleep and the constant irrating cries keeps one from thinking clearly
III. A lesson in patience
A. I Thess 5:14 - We need to be patient with all - that includes our own children.
B. James 1:2-4 - Trials brings about patience through the testing of our faith
1. Often think in terms of religious persecutions
a. Handling a newborn is a trial
b. Sitting up late with a sick child is a trial
c. Teaching a young teen to drive is a trial
d. Waiting for your daughter to get back from her first date is a trial.
2. Testing of our faith
a. Can we really depend on God’s help?
b. Can we trust God’s answers to our prayers?
C. Heb. 12:11
1. It is not fun to endure
2. But it teaches us peace
3. It trains us.
4. (We will talk about giving out discipline later.)
D. I Pet. 5:10 - Suffering
1. Perfects us - Brings us to maturity
2. Establishes us - Plants us firmly in our beliefs
3. Strengthens us - Helps us to endure whatever comes next
4. Settles us - Brings about a level head
5. Much like Tit 2:2 - Older men are to be temperate, dignified, sensible, sound in faith, in love, in perseverance
E. Patience is not a “natural” trait
1. It is a by-product of following God - Gal. 5:22-23. Characteristics we need to proper raise godly children.
2. A servant of God must be gentle to all, able to teach, patient - II Tim. 2:24
IV. Training of a newborn takes patience - Eph 6:4
A. Training? What training?
B. Difference between night and day
1. Teaching a child to sleep on his own
2. Begin to establish patterns or rituals.
a. Read a story, sing a song, a last feeding in a dim room
b. A fixed place to sleep
C. Learning that Mom and Dad are loving and dependable
1. Cries are not ignored forever
D. Learning that everything isn’t solved immediately, but problems are worked out eventually.
1. Sometimes, when all else fails, allow a child to cry himself to sleep.
2. Periodic settle down, but not giving in
V. It doesn’t end here
A. Parents need patience when dealing with their children throughout their lives
1. To deal with the endless questions of preschoolers
2. To deal with the stubbornness, the flights of fancy, the pleadings for just one more piece of candy.
B. Easy to forget the time it takes to learn
1. Writing may come easily to you, but for a little one it is a major chore.
2. I can easily write a four or five page typed letter in a few hours in the evening, yet I still remember the trauma of writing a 10 page report on Scotland in the fifth grade. Ten pages! How can anyone write ten pages on a subject? It took over a month to write.
3. Just because it is easy to you, doesn’t mean the skill is present in your child.