Parenting is hard. I have two wonderful adult children, but I’m still wondering why God blessed us with such grace. Looking back, I’ve learned there are a few principles, which actually work.
The title says these are “easy” and they are in some ways. None of these are hard to remember. None of these are hard to implement with personal discipline. But, living them daily, in addition to the normal stresses of life, can seem very difficult at times.
But, in my opinion, great parents are continually working at them.
Here are 4 principles to be a great parent:
(Or the best parent you can be.)
Be there for your kids. Stay committed to them throughout their life. Be willing, especially in the formative years, to sacrifice your time for them. They’ll know whether or not you really want to be with them. And, something positive happens when they have your full attention. They model you. So it is also important you live a life worth modeling.
Make a plan for each individual child based on their needs and work the plan. Of course I would encourage you to introduce them to Christ and involve them in church regularly. But, also help them with their school work. Teach them Biblical and life principles. Do what’s best for them even when it isn’t popular with them. Always remember you are the parent. They will someday be glad you remembered.
Let love reign. Keep grace flowing. Provide healthy discipline, because you love them and they need it at times. But, be patient, recognizing they are learning even when it seems some days they are not.
Don’t ever let them think they have to earn your love. You may not always approve of their actions, but be sure they have no doubts you approve of them. Spend time with them doing what they enjoy doing. Sacrifice your time to play with them, even at the end of a long, hard day. It will be worth it. They will never forget the sacrifice you made.
Keep doing the right thing – always and continually. Over and over again. That’s what the great parents do. And, it may be the thing people forget to do the most. It’s easy to give up, but the win is in the continuance.
Even if you do everything you know to do, children are unique individuals with wills of their own. They will make choices in life, and mistakes, just as you did and do.
Parenting IS hard, but you’ve got this. And, the reward of seeing adult children thrive is worth every sacrifice.