Three Easy Parenting Principles

I am asked dozens of questions about what we did or didn’t do as parents. I am amazed that God has allowed us to raise the two young men we have in our house, but there were a few principles we practiced consistently.

Here are three principles for parenting I think all parents should consider:

Be intentional – Parenting is hard work. Don’t try it without a plan. It’s amazing how we tend to plan for everything in life, but seldom for our parenting. I know men who have a plan to improve their golf game, but nothing to help them grow as a father. If you want to be a great parent, you must be intentional about that role. Have an overall plan for your parenting and an individual plan for each child, depending on their needs at the time.

Shape the heart – The Bible is clear that we should “Above all else guard the heart for it is the wellspring of life.” (Proverbs 4:23) I believe in firm discipline. I also believe in extending much grace. More than anything, however, the parent should learn to know, protect and shape their heart of their child. It is that heart, which will determine the decisions and directions the child eventually makes in life.

Enjoy the ride – Children are children for a very short time. Enjoy those days. Be a fun parent, balancing love with discipline. Laughing together with your children will help relieve the stress of your life and keep them wanting to be close to you well into the difficult teen and early adult years.

For my complete parenting philosophy see THIS POST or read other parenting posts HERE.

Which of these do you most need to improve upon as a parent?

(Speaking of principles, be sure to read my disclaimer post about them from yesterday by clicking HERE.)

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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14 thoughts on “Three Easy Parenting Principles

  1. If I may add a fourth: Having Kids Lets YOU Learn Again – You may be finished with your education and have a solid view of the world, but having a young child is THE perfect time to expand your own horizons. For instance, in the last month your child may have come to you asking "What's Wrong With Japan?" Every parent will get questions that are equal parts astounding and daunting from their 4 year olds. Instead of answering that you don't know. Take that opportunity and go to the library so you can both learn about Japan. Their world view is in part shaped by what you know and believe. Taking the time to give your children informed answers to hard questions is as important as molding their heart.

  2. I am a church-planting pastor and the hardest job in the world is pastoring my own family. Thanks for the article and encouragement.

  3. Parenting is a very tasking and rewarding work.It’s a commission that must be undertaken with great care for any mistake has a negative impact on the family,society and the world at large.

  4. I agree wholeheartedly with the three principles mentioned (and feel the first is the key to applying the second and third). I do have to say that the title "Easy Parenting Principles" made me a little wary as I have found nothing "easy" about parenting, particularly now that I have a high schooler :)

    • Thanks Heidi! I agree, there is nothing easy about parenting. It even gets harder when they get out of high school…if you can believe that. I chose the title though because in my experience, we have a lot of lazy parents out there. Setting up the system to parent well is easy….follow through gets more difficult.

  5. Wow – interestingly, today early morning as soon as I woke up, a question is keep bordering me, Am I good father of 3 young kids?

    I really need to have an overall plan and believe this will lead my more enjoyable moment with them.