I can still remember sitting in my therapist’s office two years ago and her telling me that I was an adult and therefore could make my own decisions. I was stunned. I knew I was twenty-one and legally an adult, but in my family, I was still a child. This started me on a path of self-discovery that led me to finding my place at Liberty and the path toward becoming a Counselor myself. Through my journey and researching this paper I have gained some valuable tools that I am glad to be able to share and implement in my own life as I am gaining my independence. While I love my family dearly and am grateful to them for so many things, there are definite practices I will not apply to my children that were applied to me and some new practices I will implement. In God’s timing and with his help I am growing and learning and with these tools, hopefully the process will be a bit easier for my children. Good Biblical Practices
The first place to look when searching for good parenting practices is the bible. It is our instruction book for life and I am a firm believer that good children are not the work of parents alone, but the work of God working in and through the situation. Over and over in the Bible God expresses the importance of children, so it makes sense to use his book as a guideline to raise his creations. Proverbs 22:6 says to “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Parents are called to be active in their child’s life. They are called to train them so that they will learn the lessons they will need for life. Much in the way of a good coach, parents need to know when to push their child and when to let them rest, when to call for more and when to celebrate how far they have come. The end result of parenting isn’t good children, it is godly adults. This should be one’s aim, to equip a child to become the adult they were created to be. By training them in God’s law, a parent is giving their child the best chance they can to be successful in their purpose. This takes dedication and discernment on the part of the parent, and a willingness to follow God’s direction for their child.
Another important verse to consider is Colossians 3:21 “Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged” There is a difference between demeaning one’s child and disciplining them. In the grocery store last week I heard a parent tell a child they couldn’t have the snack they wanted because they were too fat. That would be an example of demeaning a child. Taking the opportunity to teach a child about healthy snacking habits and finding a new fruit or veggie to try is a different approach that has a better result. Opportunities to parent come in small moments as well a large ones. I know for me, my mother constantly referred to the way I dressed as being “boyish”. This led to me thinking that my mother thought of me as a boy, and gave me some stress growing up. There are multiple ways to say everything. The best tactic is usually to come to someone instead of coming at them. If parents are able to come to their children and address behavior and concerns, there is a potential for a lesson to be learned. If parents come at their children there is a potential for fear and mistrust. Sometimes taking a moment can be very beneficial to the disciplinary process.
Proverbs 29:15 is another verse to heed. It says “A rod and a reprimand impart wisdom, but a child left undisciplined disgraces his mother.” There is a growing trend in the world today to be best friends with one’s child. There are TV shows like Gilmore Girls or Two and a Half Men where parents are seen more as peers of their children, instead of an actual authority in their lives. From my years working with pre-k children I know that they thrive in a rule based environment. Those children who were not well behaved at home tended to not have a consistent rule set to follow. At school, parents would be...