This is not a discussion about how some people say thy are “babysitting” their kids whenever they have to stay home with them for some reason.
Rather, today I am asking the question “What is the difference between parenting and babysitting?”
I was thinking about it the other day, and the answer I came up with is purpose.
Other people may say things like love or pay or familial relationship, but those I think are incidental to the question.
The question is not “how do you tell the difference?” or “what are things that one done versus the other?” It’s hard to explain the question, so I’ll continue explaining the answer.
Some parents just babysit their kids, they don’t actually raise them because they as parents don’t have a purpose for their kids. Babysitters usually have a purpose, and that purpose is to keep the kids physically safe. That’s all anyone expects of babysitters. And that’s all some parents do. Which is better than nothing, I suppose. But let me encourage parents to aim higher than that.
As the saying goes, if you aim at nothing you’ll hit it every time. Unless you don’t pull the trigger. Plus how do you hit nothing? But I digress…
What is your aim for your kids? Maybe it’s college, maybe it’s starting pitcher, maybe it’s just to be happy.
If you don’t have a goal, a purpose, in raising your kids, then who knows how they’ll turn out? I say a parent should have goals. Plural. You’ll notice the examples I gave ranged from academic to physical to emotional. Think of those aspects, plus spiritual. Because if your kids are following God, the other things will be easier.
What if the kids don’t like your goals? Then discuss with them what they want as an alternative goal. Maybe start with vague goals and refine them as the kids grow. I think this is one of those areas where just about anything is better than nothing.
Pray for them. Pray for your children. And pray for yourself, to set the right goals and push your kids in the right direction.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.