Effective Parenting & the Art Of Making Jello

When I make Jello, I feel like Betty Crocker.  That’s an oxymoron, but let me explain.photo (16)

Making Jello is probably the simplest food to make.  But it requires patience and forethought.  When making Jello, it takes time to “set up.”   Even the “quick method” doesn’t yield immediate results.   You can’t rush making Jello.  You can’t speed up the process by cranking up the oven, nuking it in the microwave, or putting it in the freezer.  It takes a while for the final product to evolve.  If you expect it to be done prematurely, it’s a mess.   Thoughtful, intentional planning makes the Jello a success to serve at just the “right time.”    So, I feel like a kitchen diva when I make Jello.  Intentional planning, good forethought = stellar cook.  Just call me Betty.

Kind of like parenting, really.

I’ve made enough “messes” in parenting to know there’s no “quick set’ formula.   The best decisions we’ve made as parents took intentional forethought and planning.  You can’t rush the development of children.  It’s not good to rush them to the next phase too quickly.  They need to “set” at each stage, becoming sturdy and strong in the process.  The development of children requires time.  If you expect things of them prematurely, it’s messy for them and you.  Changing the prescribed environment for healthy development won’t yield the same results.   Children take time to evolve.  Thoughtful, intentional planning makes the development of children a success at just the “right time.”

photo (15)Just like Jello.

It’s tempting to think parenting is easy, a piece of cake, a quick and simple recipe, like our jiggly-food-friend.  But there’s simply no easy formula.  It requires large amounts of patience.  Understanding the delicate nature of child development and the long-suffering it takes in shaping a child is an essential skill.   Children are fragile.  They can be messy, and can dissolve when too much heat is applied.

At the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9, (NIV)

 God’s gracious to teach me big lessons in simple ways, otherwise, I may miss a lot of important things.

Thank you, God, for the simple things in life. 

How has God spoken to you in the simple things lately?  We’d love to hear?





  1. This is so true. I remember my “rebellious” stage as a teenager. My father really struggled with it; my mother, who went through a long rebellious stage herself growing up, was patient (for the most part) and waited, explaining to my father that “I’d grow out of it.” Sure enough, by my parents letting me make my own mistakes, I learned more about myself and my development those years than I ever would had they pushed or forced me out of that stage. This is a great reminder for parents with children at all ages, and I should re-visit these posts when I start my family years down the road!

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