Wise Parents Don’t Try to Fill Their Own Emptiness by Using Their Children
You’ve seen him. He’s the Dad who pushes his son. He is almost living vicariously through his son. He goes ballistic with the coaches. He never stops talking about his son’s athletic performance. In fact, that is all he ever says about his son. As one young man said, "My Dad only sees me as a football player. That is all he talks about with me."
Or, maybe it is the mother who pushes her daughter to date the quarterback. She pushes her teenage daughter to run with a popular crowd and date popular people. She lives vicariously through her daughter.
Wise Parents Are Street Smart With Their Children
I’ve heard my children say about certain parents. "They don’t have a clue. They think their son/daughter is such a great person. In fact she is know as a…." Street smart parents believe in their children and yet they don’t ignore the evidence. They are not the parents who look the other way or who think their child would never do this or that. They understand the power of peers, the power of hormones, and the power of the evil one. They love their children and keep their eyes open. This is for the sake of their children.
Wise Parents May Trust Their Children But They Don’t Necessarily Trust Other Factors.
OK–I want to trust my children. In fact, I can remember both of my children saying, "Trust me, Dad" when they wanted to something that I felt uneasy about. Yet, so often it was not that I didn’t trust them. What I didn’t trust was their hormones. I didn’t trust the environment. I didn’t necessarily trust a friend that she was with. I didn’t trust the situation they were going to be in. There are situations I wouldn’t even trust myself in! So I stay away.
Wise Parents Dare to Ask Trusted People for Honest Feedback
You’ve seen these situations. A train wreck just waiting to happen. Maybe these parents spoil their children. Maybe they over indulge them. Maybe they are constantly running interference so their children never have to experience the consequences of their choices. How different that might be if these parents were to asked someone who they trust about their home situation.
I would rather know what is going wrong when I can still do something about it, instead of realizing my mistakes long after they are grown.
Wise Parents Give Their Children What They Need Instead of What They Want
Many parents buy and buy and buy for their children. What kids need more than anything are things money can’t buy. Here are a few:
- Time with Mom/Dad.
- Learning to work and act responsibly.
- Learning delayed gratification. Not getting it now but saving for it. Not experiencing it now but waiting.
- Moral instruction and guidance.
- Learning what it means to live in an obedient relationship with Jesus every day.
Wise Parents Have High Standards For Their Children Seasoned With Grace
Some parents seem to expect their children to do drugs, drink, have sex, etc. Do a lot of kids do that? Of course. But there is a problem when mom and dad communicate that their expectations of their children are actually very low. How much confidence can children gain from parents when they are constantly communicating to their children, "We don’t expect much out of you?" Wise parents have high expectations of their children. They do not settle.
On the other hand, wise parents, season their home with grace. When someone messes up, they experience forgiveness. These children also learn to forgive. Grace means that no matter what children will be loved–just the way they are.