41 Things Parents Ought to Know (Part 3 of 4)

Parents
21.  There is no sure fire formula for child rearing.  Are there important basic principles?  Yes.  However, beware of people who seem to have all the answers for everything related to rearing children.  Most of us are still learning.

22.  A parent’s job is not to "fix" everything that goes wrong.  Some parents are constantly running interference preventing children from experiencing the natural consequences of their actions.  Some parents do their children’s homework.  Others pay their traffic tickets.  Still others fuss at the principal for giving their child consequences related to bad behavior.  Consequently, these children do not experience the consequences that come naturally as a result of their choices.  These children are robbed of what they might have learned.

23.  Many parents wrestle with guilt over the way their children turned out. That guilt may need to be tempered by realizing that there were other influences at work in their children’s lives other than their parents.

24.  Sometimes your children will have friends whose parents support your values.  However, some parents may not support your values at all.   In fact, some may undermine you.  Pray for wisdom in dealing with this situation.

25.  Pick your battles.  Pray for wisdom to know what you need to overlook and what you need to address.  Parents need wisdom to know what is and what is not a big deal.

26.  Communicate hope!  Children need to know that no matter what happens, God loves them and you as their parents love them.  No matter how bad it gets, God will not abandon them. 

27.  Beware of giving this child everything she wants.  Maybe as a young child this begins with ice cream, cokes, and toys.  However, this will often begin to set a pattern of future expectations.  As a junior high school or high school student, she may begin to expect immediate gratification for whatever she wants.  Because of pandering to this child began a long time ago, the expectation of parents giving in is always there.  A parent is doing this child no favor by indulging that child’s every whim.

28.  Pray for your child’s friends and their parents.  I have done this for many years with my own children.  As most parents know, the friends of our children have a strong influence on them.

29.  Some parents may be overly restrictive while others may be too permissiveIn this culture, many of us are more tempted to resort to permissiveness.  I remember being amazed the first time I became aware of some parents who had given their daughter permission to have sex with her boyfriend.  She just needed to keep her grades up and use a condom.  That first occurred many years ago.  It certainly isn’t an isolated situation.  Meanwhile, Christ-followers are looking to instill in their children God’s ethic for sexuality. 

30.  Don’t try to be a "cool" mom or dad.  Some try to do this by being permissive.  Far too often, parents who try to project that they are cool come off looking goofy.   Take a genuine interest in your child and in your child’s friends.  Look for ways to compliment and affirm.  This genuineness goes a long way with kids.

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