Let me list my parenting resume
- I’ve been a parent now for over 4 years.
- I’ve read a lot of parenting books.
- I’ve listened to a lot of parenting sermons.
- I’ve preached about parenting issues.
- I’ve blogged about being a parent.
Which means I have it all figured out.
Come on, you know that once you’ve written a blog about parenting, you’ve got it all figured out.
In my vast years of experience, I’ve noticed a lot of parenting nuggets being thrown around. And I’ve noticed a lot of things that aren’t shared as nuggets as much as they’re just lived out in the moment.
Things get out of hand, and go sideways in a restaurant, and you default to a certain behavior, whether in the moment you believe that’s what’s best for your child or not. Right?
You don’t really think that yelling back at your child in Wal Mart is what’s best for him, you, or the rest of Wal Mart, do you? You don’t really think that giving in to your child’s temper tantrum is what’s best, do you? But in order to save face, and just “get through” the moment, we make decisions and base our actions on more immediate gratification.
I’ve seen some pretty bad decisions that have been made in the heat of the moment. I’ve committed lots of these. And I’ve noticed a few things that you and I should avoid.
9 Parenting Tips to Avoid
1. Count to 3.
“Timmy, listen to daddy. I’m going to count to 3, and you have to _____. 1…2…2.5…2.75…2.85…2.94…” Don’t expect obedience the first time you ask for it. Give your child a chance to disobey you for a little while longer.
Delayed obedience is disobedience.
2. Always let them decide.
They’re a child. They decide what’s best for themselves. Eating a candy bar before bed? Yes! Oh, you don’t want to go eat there for dinner, like mommy and daddy do? Ok! You want to stay up late because you just don’t want to go to bed? Sure! Thanks for letting me know, you little ball of wisdom!
Children need your wisdom. And they need to know you’re the parent, not them. As a parent, God’s called you to be an authority in your child’s life.
3. Let your world revolve around them.
Get in as many “activities” as possible, because that’s what’s best for your children and your family. Always be doing something. And during the “off” seasons, find something to fill your time. Because “resting” (the Bible calls this “Sabbath”) is something we do when we die.
If you let them, children will make your world completely circle theirs. This isn’t healthy. Good parents help their family find balance between doing and being.
4. Don’t have a discipline plan.
Don’t plan for discipline…because that’s no fun! Just try to figure out in the moment what you’ll do. That way, if you’re really angry, you’ll
do something stupid always do the right thing.
Plan out how you’ll discipline. Don’t make it an “in the moment” thing, or you’ll end up disciplining in a way that you regret. Godly discipline is loving, and for our good. (Hebrews 12:5-11)
5. Don’t make them go to church.
What kind of parent would you be if you forced your child to do what you know is best for them? You haven’t been called to shape the way your children grow and mature. Come on…do you even love your child?
Set corporate worship, and healthy relationships, as a weekly standard for your family, because you know you need it…not necessarily because you always wake up every Sunday eager to go. Do what’s best, not just what “feels” right at the time.
6. Always be firm.
Don’t ever let up on your kids. Because if you do, they’ll get out of hand. No grace. No mercy.
Model for your children what the grace of God looks like. Sometimes, when they’ve disobeyed, show them grace, and explain the radical grace of God to them. Don’t exasperate your children. (Ephesians 6:4)
7. Don’t ever play.
You’re the parent. They’re the child. They need to understand that distinction. Don’t ever get on the ground and play with them. Don’t show them your weaknesses. And for goodness sake, don’t ever have fun.
If you don’t play with your child, you rob them of a beautiful gift. And you paint a picture of a boring God to them.
8. When you don’t know what to do, let Google be your guide.
Not sure what to do in this parenting situation? Google it! There’s so much great advice that will always point your children to Jesus, and help your family grow. Use Google, and Google alone.
Always be wary of what you read on the internet. Find a parent (or two or three) and ask them to speak in to your life as a parent. Surround yourself with people wiser than you, and bounce ideas off of them, growing from their wisdom and experience.
9. As long as they’re not bothering me…
They’re watching something that may be a bit inappropriate for their age? Playing with something they shouldn’t? Spending too long on Facebook? Well, at least they’re out of your hair for a couple of hours.
Do. Not. Disengage. Know what is influencing your child. Set boundaries, and stick to them. Media shapes your children’s minds in powerful ways.
Anything you’d add?