Parenting is hard. I have two wonderful adult children, but I’m still wondering why God blessed us with such grace. But, looking back I’ve learned there are a few principles that 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, great parents are continually working at them.
Here are 4 principles to be a great parent:
(Or the best parent you can be…)
Be present. 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. (So also live a life worth modeling.)
Be intentional. Make a plan for each individual child based on their needs and work the plan. Introduce them to Christ. Involve them in church regularly. Help them with their school work. Teach them Biblical principles. Do what’s best for them…even when it isn’t popular with them.
Be relational. Let love reign. Keep grace flowing. Provide healthy discipline…because you love them and they need it at times. 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 that 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.
Be consistent. Keep doing the right thing…always…continually. Over and over again. That’s what the great parents do.
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 do.
Parenting IS hard, but you’ve got this. And, the reward of seeing adult children thrive…worth every sacrifice.