Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Parenting: A Poke in the Eye

In the United States, we have more parenting experts than the rest of the world combined, but somehow we all are clueless on what we are suppose to do. Well, I thought I'd throw my name into the mix. I want to be a parenting expert. So, what qualifies me to put my name forward into the fray of advise giving to parents? Uh, nothing! I don't have a degree in early childhood development. My children are moderately obedient, but nothing to write a book about. Yep, nothing! Wait, I do have children, and I do spend way to much time thinking about parenting. I am a pastor. My church has lots of little kids in it. Yes, I am qualified. So, lets talk parenting. Here are a few of the parenting musings that have been bouncing around my little brain.

You are in-charge. Yep, your the boss. The world does not, and should not, revolve around your children. If it does, it will only go bad for them later.

Respect. It is not earned. It is expected and taught.

Hello, Goodbye, Yes Mom, No thank you, Please, may I, What can I do to help?, I'm done cleaning, what should I do next?, and How was your day? are all phrases that you need teach your children to say and act on.

Sports. Stop asking some other adult to teach your children how to play sports. Stop running around like a chicken with its head cut off. Go play in the park with your kid. Teach them to run, and throw, and play. Trust me, it will have a greater impact on your kid than year-round sports teams can ever have.

Self-esteem is stupid. Your kid is ordinary. So are you. Teach them to work hard and esteem other people. Otherwise, they will just grow-up to be arrogant, self-important , , , , adults

Stop talking down to your children. Literally! Children, for the most part, are short. Get down on your hands and knees. Look in their eyes and communicate person to person.

Things you should be willing to say to your kids: 1. Johnny, the adults are talking. This is not a time for you to interrupt. Go play, and I will find you later. 2. If you continue in this behavior, I will spank you. 3. Whining is unacceptable in this house. 4. Go play outside until I say you can come in. 5. If you come out of your room one more time, I will spank you.

Stop explaining everything to your children. Starting telling them how it will be, and how it is.

Your family is a team. Clean together, Goof-off together, serve others together, talk about the family way.

Don't modify behavior. Pursue the heart. Our children are foolish, and the purpose of parenting is to introduce them to Jesus. Talk about Jesus all the time. Don't tell your children to be like Jesus. Show them how to fall in love with Jesus.

Tiredness is not an excuse for bad behavior. Never offer something you are unwilling to give. Never outline a consequence you are unwilling to follow through on.

Intentionally disappoint your children twice a day.

Surprise your kids often.

Dad, go on dates with your daughter. Start early. Talk about boys all the time. Tell them what a good husbands look like. Use yourself as an example. Mom, take your boys out and talk about respect for women. How you should treat a girl. What they should look for in a wife. Start when they are 3 years old.

Most important. We love our children because God gave them to us. They need to know that. Tell them often.

Stop apologizing to your children.

Last. Perseverance is the key to parenting. Don't give up. You are going to yell when you shouldn't. You are going to pacify when you ought not to. You will allow way to much whining. Remember, tomorrow is a new day.


Hannah Yeakley said...

Thank you for your words. Encouraging. Challenging. Hopeful. Guiding. Makes me want to lean into Jesus more throughout my day, pray with my husband more and keep talking with older wiser parents along the way.

Andrea McCulley said...

Love it. Thanks!

Kim Cromer said...

I would add: Learn from your children.

Susan P said...

I didn't mean to be anonymous! This is Susan Park.

Eric Cepin said...

Good stuff except... never apologize to your children? I disagree - Susan Park

Hey Susan, couldn't get your anonymous post to show-up, so I just reposted it. I agree with you. It is important to apologize to your children. But, I think our culture is so child centric that we over apologize for our actions, and we don't expect our children to apologize to us for their disobedience. I belive that when we do things that require an apology, we should use those opportunites to explain how we have sinned against God, and in doing so, we have hurt our child.