10 Indispensable Habits of Successful Parenting
Invest in your relationship with God.
Attend church regularly, pray for your family, and read your Bible.
Be the person of integrity and character you tell your children to be.
We ALL need to look in the mirror regularly and determine, with the Bible as our measuring stick, how we are doing in life. This takes great courage. Look in the mirror, identify your needs, and making changes. Great parents lead their children by being the person God has for them to be. Leadership is not simply the setting of bedtime or inspecting of chores; that is a simplistic understanding of the concept. Godly leadership takes courage and sacrifice. Your kids long for others of character they can follow. Make the bold decision to start improving your family by first looking in the mirror.
Speak well of those in authority.
It is ironic that one of the chief complaints that counselors hear from parents is children not respecting authority. As a parent, what is your attitude towards authority. To be more specific, do you speak ill of your boss, complain about church leadership, and run down public officials. Not every person in leadership is doing a job worthy of respect. However, the Bible does not make a distinction in these cases. God’s word is clear; respect them anyway. If you sow seeds of rebellion in your children via your words and actions, you can only hope to harvest rebellion. Use care in what you say and how you say it. Honor those in authority. In doing so we are obedient to the Lord and we establish our own authority as parents.
Take time with your children.
If you don’t have time, make it. If you can’t make it, re-evaluate your priorities. Remember, teenagers need attention too. Do you have time? Can you make time? Your children need you. Driving down the road there are billboards urging mothers and fathers to engage in the lives of their children. Well-meaning non-profit groups implore us to seek out time to spend with our little ones. There is no simple answer to finances and other obligations that keep parents from their children. However, making the decision to spend time with your kids is an investment both you and they will reap a huge return on.
Set rules and enforce them, even when you don’t feel like it.
Don’t worry so much about children always understanding why they must do something or the reasons behind it. Remember, obedience comes before insight.
Love and cherish your spouse.
Your relationship with your spouse is critical in the development of your children. Sons will learn what it means to be a husband and father. Daughters are taught how to be a wife and mother. Children learn how the sexes should treat one another and how important a marriage really is, versus all else that demands your attention. The condition of your marriage has, is, and will shape your child’s future.
The Bible is your measuring stick for the way a family should operate, not television or the popular culture.
Never stop loving your children with your words, actions, and intentions.
Say “I love you,” give hugs, and intentionally make time for your kids.
Take care of yourself.
This is a passing statement you may laugh at. When do you have time to take care of yourself? It is a very serious manner. You can’t have anything to give to your children, if you are used up yourself.
Forgive yourself when you mess up, and ask your family to forgive you.
The concept of forgiveness is powerful, not only as a cornerstone of our faith, but as a character trait we want to possess and see developed in our children. It is learned, so lead your children through humility. Asking for forgiveness from your spouse and children when you have made a mistake and forgiving others is a tremendous act of courage and humility, not a sign of weakness.
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