Parenting Myths We Believe #2: Parents Know Their Children Best

This series of blogs has been such a blessing to write. As a parent, I’ve had to dig through all the half truths and outright lies I have believed throughout my life. Sometimes they are so subtle that it is really hard to unearth the deceptions. This particular myth is very clever, and I really had to challenge my thoughts on it. It’s been our current season that has caused my husband and me to have to address this misleading idea.  

Myth: I Know My Child Best.  

How could this possibly be a myth? Of course, parents know their children the best! There is definitely some truth to this idea. But that’s the sneaky thing about myths–there is always a bit of truth in them. As parents, we do know our children very, very well–in part, because we spend so much time with them. For biological children, we share a lot of the same traits and idiosyncrasies. This idea enables parents to have confidence when they are dealing with struggles in family life. However, what is a parent supposed to think when they are clueless about what their child needs? 

Recently, we ran into this wall. One of our boys has been struggling with anxiety and other behavioral issues. My husband and I had no idea how to restore the balance in our home. It was like a constant war zone. I can’t tell you how many times I allowed myself to wonder if God knew what he was doing by giving us our boys. “I don’t know how to help him… I cannot figure out what is going on in his mind and heart…  I can’t do this.”   I felt like an utter failure.  If I’m supposed to know what is best for my children, how can I be so clueless? This inner struggle left me feeling defeated. 

I gave myself permission (and I’m giving you permission) to stop believing that we know what is best for our children. The fact is, we don’t know. However, there is someone who does. 

God knows your child best. 

                   “For you created my inmost being;
                     you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

                   “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
                     your works are wonderful,
                     I know that full well.

                  “My frame was not hidden from you
                    when I was made in the secret place,
                    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.

                 “Your eyes saw my unformed body;
                   all the days ordained for me were written in your book
                   before one of them came to be.” 
                                                                                           Psalm 139:13-16 NIV

What a wonderful truth to base your parenting upon! He knows your child best. He also knows you best. Do you know what this means? You don’t have to have it all figured out. It also means that he knew exactly what he was doing when he crafted your family. It might not make sense to you, but it makes complete sense to him. This also means that you don’t have to carry the burden of knowing exactly how to parent your child. God wants to guide you through his Holy Spirit, giving you words and actions that will help your child in unique ways. He can also guide you to people who can help you in tough spots–counselors and physicians, for instance. For us, these folks have been a tremendous blessing from God. 

It’s time to let go of that silly myth that you have to know everything about your child. Instead, cling continually to the truth that God is the one who knows your child best. He wove that little one together in a unique fashion that will glorify his name in a one-of-a-kind way. Trust his beautiful design and simply be faithful in showing up, humbly and in love. He’s got this.

Amelia Furman has been a member of Faith for seven years. She is a professional fine artist and teacher who specializes in mixed media art.

At Faith, Amelia serves as a writer for the blog and The Perspective and encourages others in blessing people with their creativity. She loves telling meaningful, thought-provoking stories that shape imaginations and minds for God’s glory. 

Amelia is from Pennsylvania and enjoys painting, reading, running, hiking, and laughing.