21 Parenting Tips I Learned from Genesis

1. Children will do things you tell them not to do (2:17)

2. They will blame each other (3:12)

3. You will curse at them, or perhaps want to (3:17)

4. Not all siblings get along all that well (4:8)

5. Children babble and make a lot of noise (11:19)

6. Your children may have to go off on their own journeys (12:1)

7. You may love your children so much that you put yourself at risk (19:26)

8. Do not, under any circumstances, let your children get you drunk so they can have sex with you even if they think it is the end of the world (19:32)

9. It’s possible to become pregnant even if you aren’t expecting it (21:2)

10. Be careful whom you invite to your weaning party (21:9)

11. Listen to your partner, even if you disagree with him/her (21:12)

12. It’s hard to watch your children suffer, keep your eyes open and look for the well (21:19)

13. You might sometimes want to kill your offspring, but keep your eyes open and look for the ram (22:13)

14. Don’t play favorites (Rebecca and Isaac re: Jacob and Esau; Jacob and Joseph)

15. Stay out of your children’s negotiations (25:33, 27:8-10)

16. Sometimes children have to struggle on their own (32:25)

17. Sometimes children change their names (32:29)

18. Sometimes siblings reconcile after long-standing acrimony (33:4)

19. Sometimes siblings want to avenge the honor of their sibling: this should be tempered (34:25)

20. Sometimes it is not only the child who feels as though s/he has been abandoned in a pit of despair (37:24)

21. Family is hard, but love is strong, forgiveness is powerful, and redemption is possible (45:4; 50:24)

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Lisa Port WhiteLisa Port White (lisa dee, to her friends) is a woman of many head-coverings. In addition to working part-time giving massage and Reiki treatments to hospice patients and their caregivers, she volunteers as a Mikveh guide at Mayyim Hayyim, occasionally contributes to their blog, The Mikveh Lady Has Left the Building, authors the little-read but well-received advice column Ask Lisa Dee for her spiritual community, Congregation Dorshei Tzedek, and is a popular, if somewhat of a slacker, mother to two teenaged daughters. She enjoys reading, writing, fiber crafts, and is an avid collector of Buff bandanas. Lisa excels at parallel parking and creative school-lunch making; she lives with her family outside of Boston.

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