On Being a Parent (Part 2)

You might want to read the first part of this brief series before reading this post.  You can find it here.  In that post, I expressed some concerns that I have regarding a number of parents today.  In this post, I want to ask you to comment on what encourages you about some parents today.

Just the other day, Charlotte and I were talking about a young couple from our church.  We both observed the way they dealt with their children.  This couple is in their late thirties/early forties and have four children, ten years of age and under.  I watched them with their children and I was encouraged.  They obviously encourage and love their children.  They are very "connected" to their children.  Their children are full of life and energy.

At the same time, these parents give their children limits and boundaries.  They deal with their children when they get out of line.  There are consequences for certain behaviors.

I see other good parents as well.  I also feel encouraged by these families.

What do you see in some parents that you find encouraging? 

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

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17 thoughts on “On Being a Parent (Part 2)

  1. Regarding Eric’s comment yesterday about electronic baby sitters, we have dear friends who have allowed their only child to spend literally hours and hours per day playing computer games. Even spent thousands of dollars on the very best gaming computers, both desk top and notebook. Today the kid has absolutely no social skills … can’t interact with others on his best day. And no friends to speak of.

    Regarding things that I find encouraging in parents? Those who devote themselves to being in love with each other first, which is the best gift we give our children (IMO).

    Those who discipline fairly and in love.

    Those who place family above all other social commitments. My dad was just the opposite, placing every other relationship above that of his wife and kids. We all paid a huge price for that.

    Thanks for this forum, Jim!

  2. We have friends here who so obviously love their children, but are not overly protective.  They are content to let their kids have exposure to the world, even if it means letting them get hurt every once in awhile since they know they will learn from it.  Their laidback care has been a wonderful example for us.

  3. Wow, I have Amen! Greg. I’m encouraged by a handful of parents I know who appreciate that the best things aren’t taught in school or college, but learned around a dinner table or camping trip. That is, I’m encouaged by parents to who are teaching their children to love and love well, helping them understand that they aren’t the center of the universe but an important part of it.

  4. Having raised four children to be responsible adults I know that without a doubt our constant prayers are what saw us through.  God took our lack of skill and knowledge about raising kids and helped us all through.  But the thing that bothers me most are parents who use the youth ministers and church sponsors to babysit and raise their kids.  When their kids have problems they turn them completely over to the youth minister or church instead of working with these great resources and learning together. 

  5. As a young Mother of three boys, I’m encouraged by seeing parents who have raised great kids and enjoyed the journey of parenthood.

    There is one Mom in particular that I turn to frequently for advice because I so admire her now-grown children. Her advice? More often than not–pray!

  6. Jim,
    I just returned yesterday from a week at youth camp. I have just read both of your posts on parenting and would like to share an overview based on some conversations I had with teenagers this week. 1) Dads, quit yelling at your kids. 2) Moms, quit babying and smothering your teenagers (especially boys). It embarrasses them and they withdraw from you and their friends because you continue to treat them like your "baby". 3) Parents, exhibit your love for each other in front of your children. They need to see healthy love in action. If you need help with this, get it now! 4) Parents, spend time with your kids. Signing them up for every sport imaginable and going to watch them is not spending time with them. 5.) Lastly, spend time with other kids who are the same ages as your kids. If you can get them to talk about their issues with their own parents, you will see a lot of yourself in what they complain about. It could be helpful to you and your children.

  7. I really appreciate Keith’s comment. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could read these things in our own kids? I like watching other parents with their children, for better or worse, because it does help me see where I can change. For instance, on the “babying” issue, I learned early from a few good friends that kids can DO things, want to do things. The moment to let them is the moment they first show interest. That often means giving a three-year-old the mop. (And saving cleaning up behind him ’til later!)

  8. I am with Greg too.  I am deeply concerned about parents who do not parent.  I am a "young" parent myself and struggle mightily on how and what to do … and it just gets more difficult as Rachael and Talya get closer to the teen years (Rachael just turned 12!! OMG what am I going to do??)   I am encouraged by parents that spend time WITH their kids.  We read together every day.  We play games on Thursday night (which is also "breakfast for dinner night") … none of these ideas are original with Pamella or myself rather we stole them from an Anglican Rector who is a good friend.  I am often distressed when I see the behavior of parents at our girls swim meets though … talk about bad attitudes and lack of sportsmanship!  I appreciate this series and am soaking in your wisdom and that of your contributers.  Shalom,Bobby Valentine 

  9. Greg,What a sad story about that little boy.  Thanks for what you said regarding your dad.  A good reminder that someone does pay the price for misplaced priorities. 

  10. L.L.,I really like what you say regarding kids who want to DO things.  That is so right.  And–it calls for parents to allow them to do so.  I found that this builds confidence in children.

  11. Bobby,Your relationship with your girls sounds great!  How wonderful.  You are making such a great time/energy investment with them.  They are blessed to have a dad like you. 

  12. Jennifer,Very good.  It really is possible for a child to hear  "Be careful" too much.  (Of course every parent needs to say that at times.)  I remember hearing one little boy who was afraid to play outside with others because he "…had to be careful and might get hurt." 

  13. Thanks Ben–like what you say about children being an important part of the universe but not the center of it.