Parenting Style: Faith and Gratitude

By Greg Baer M.D.

January 31, 2024

One day I got a call from a mother, who complained that her son, Mitchell, had failed to clean off the dining room table again. She wanted to know what to do about it.

Later that same day I talked to her husband, Mitchell’s father. During the conversation I asked him about his son not cleaning off the dining room table. 

He said, “Yep, true, but he’s miles beyond where he used to be.

"He’s consistently responsible and happy, but occasionally he does forget things. He’s moving forward. He’s learning. He’ll be fine.”

I was forcibly struck by the two different accounts of one event.

Choosing Annoyance or Faith and Gratitude

Mom didn’t really make a choice. She just reacted to a lifetime of pain and being told that she was worthless and helpless. Her son’s minor mistake poked old wounds, and she reacted with pain, fear, and a need to control him.

Dad had chosen to have faith in the Real Love® he had been given, and he was feeling it in the moment of his son’s mistake. So Dad was not in pain and could CHOOSE faith and gratitude, two qualities that alone can entirely change our lives.

Dad chose to be grateful for Mitchell’s growth. He was grateful for the love he felt from other people and from the Spirit. And he had faith that with more LovingandTeaching, Mitchell would continue to grow, and that his moments of irresponsibility would gradually disappear. With faith and gratitude alone, he chose to be happy rather than annoyed.

WHAT a power we have when we can choose, rather than react to pain. Power naturally flows from choosing faith and gratitude.

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About the author 

Greg Baer, M.D.

I am the founder of The Real Love® Company, Inc, a non-profit organization. Following the sale of my successful ophthalmology practice I have dedicated the past 25 years to teaching people a remarkable process that replaces all of life's "crazy" with peace, confidence and meaning in various aspects of their personal lives, including parenting, marriages, the workplace and more.

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