Wisdom in Parenting Young Children

Just over a year ago, my wife and I were searching to gain insight on rearing our children to passionately love Jesus. This time around, we wanted to talk with someone other than our parents. The qualifications for the family we chose were simple:

  • They had to have more than one child (preferably three)
  • They had to have at least one child who had already graduated high school
  • All of their children had to live the highest standards of Christ likeness
  • All of their children had to respect their parents and value their family

I would like to tell you, that out of the 300 families, from which we had to choose, most of them fit these qualifications. Unfortunately, that was not the case, which is way I am blogging the notes from the conversation with the family we chose. It is evident, that many others, not just us, need to receive this counsel. The parents we met with would tell you this list is not complete, but it is a great starting point, especially for parents with younger children.

Random thoughts on raising children who passionately love God:

1. Have a sense of humor. Kids need to see parents joking. They need to be included in the laughs and taught appropriate humor. It is okay to be silly with your kids!

2. Play on the floor/rough-house. Children love nothing more than to wrestle with their dad. By playing with your children, they learn to see you as approachable, to see you at “their” level. By wrestling, they can feel your strength and the security you provide. When you play, focus solely on them.

3. Touch, hug, and kiss them often (especially dad). Again, this is how they feel your strength and love. Touch confirms the spoken “I love you.”

4. Look for things to do together. Help them discover what they enjoy; then join them on their adventures.

5. Look for reasons and opportunities to say “Yes”. Reward them as often as possible.

6. Include them in as much as possible. Of course, this needs to be done appropriately to their age. This enables your children to see how dad and mom handle problems without the sordid details.

7. 95/5 percent rule. Love, play, and laugh 95 percent of the time; discipline 5 percent of the time. Discipline decisively but fairly. Do it quickly and always work to restore the relationship.

8. Explain why. Give them the values behind your decisions. This will teach them to make wise decisions.

9. Anticipate problems ahead of time and discuss them early. This takes being aware of your child, the culture, and their friends.

10. Help them find the right friends. Children become like the children they spend time with. Teach them the qualities of good friends. Your wisdom with protect them.

11. Brag about them. Do this when they know, that you know, they can hear you. Do this when they think, that you think, they can’t hear you. Do this when they can’t hear you, but you know the word will get back to them. Always brag them up.

I am posting these one-year after the fact, because I wasn’t blogging back then, and I needed to remind myself of this powerful conversation so Stefani and I continue applying them to our parenting. I trust it will be beneficial to you as well.

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One Response

  1. Great post on parenting Ron. I surely agree with your friends eleven points. One more point that I know you and Stefani do is spending time with your kids letting them see you worshiping, praying and reading God’s word, as well as doing those things together. Keep up the good work. God is faithful!

    Ron’s Mom

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