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The Art of Successful Parenting

You may be feeling that parenting is an awesome, rewarding, tiring, unthankful, overwhelming job . . . as there have been millions of books and articles written on the subject, many a class and seminar. I personally like to encapsulate it in a simple phrase on the cusp which means “at a time of transition.” So who’s in greater transition, you or your child? Well, that’s probably debatable.

Life is forever changed for one when they become a parent. However, think of the transition for your child – you brought him/her home bundled up in that little blanket, so tiny and fragile. You moved to their every command, whimper, cry, etc., but the goal was to help them reach adulthood in less than two decades whereby they would be a confident, responsible, loving individual who is ready to step out into the world and make a positive mark on it. WOW, what a transition and you’re a key player in that transition. So let’s look at some ingredients that will help you help your child get there – on the cusp.

Openness/authenticity – one needs to be honest and open with their child – you need to be truthful from day one about all matters.  For example, when your child asks for something is it truthful to say you can’t afford it when you can, but you do not believe your child needs it, but rather they need to learn self-control, not instant gratification? Perhaps you should say, “Yes, we can afford it, but you don’t need it.”

Near to God’s heart – one needs to be praying long and hard daily for their children from their conception forward, even in the best of times. Do you pray for your children daily?

Touch – Dr. Grace Ketterman, noted child psychiatrist, states that children need over 100 touches per day (holding hands, pats on the back, hugs, brushing hair, wrestling to high fives) -- lots and lots of LOVE!

Healthy habits – whether they are in eating, exercise, balance in work/play – you need them and your child needs them -- a disciplined life.

Ever available – this never stops – you need to be the anchor that your child can run to at any time of the day or night as they travail the many storms of life.

Consistency – in all areas of life – children need structure/predictability – it is security for them.

Unconditional love – regardless of what they do, think, say, believe – you do not have to condone it, but you need to love them as a person as it is the behavior that is not okay.

Sacrifice – yes, many times your desires need to be put on hold for theirs. Which really is more important, their soccer game or making one more sales call on a prospective client/watching that favorite television program, etc.? They’re only in your household a few short years.

Patience – ah yes, a calm endurance without complaining amidst delay, confusion, not getting it your way, unwanted interruptions, childish . . . (you fill in the blank). Your Heavenly Father models patience with each of us. Yes, we have to cry out to God for the patience that is needed to parent a child.

“When your child looks at the mirror in your eyes, he needs to see more than a positive reflection of his strengths and his emotions. He needs to see that you love him.”
** Charles F. Boyd **

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