The really important parenting task that most of us miss (part 2)
HOW TO RAISE GREAT PARENTS
In my last post, we talked about how God’s original parent training program was that one generation teach the next how to parent God’s way. It’s our job as parents to not only learn how to parent God’s way and to do it effectively but also to teach our children how to be a parent while we are parenting them.
This sounds more daunting then it actually is. In reality, parenting while teaching to parent is the easiest and most effective way of parenting.
When we send our children to school, they go knowing that they need to go through the learning process and do well so that one day they’ll graduate. They know because we tell them. From there we encourage them by telling them that great marks lead to better post secondary education options and those options can lead to better career opportunities etc. We keep them going by helping them to understand and to take on the goals as their own.
If our children think the only goal of parenting is for them to try and have fun and for us to try and stop them, they don’t see the reward in the process and our task will be difficult. However, if we talk to them not only about the benefits to their life for doing things the right way, but also about how cooperating with the parenting process and learning how it works will help make them great parents, then they’ll be able to see a bigger purpose and a greater reward.With my kids, I’d always break it down. I’d tell them what my role as a father looked like and what I was responsible to God for. I’d also tell them what their part as a kid was before God and what the purpose or outcome of the whole parent/child relationship is meant to be.
It’s quite simple. A parent’s job is to consistently and diligently instruct train and discipline their children so that by the time they leave home they are mature Christian adults prepared to work, live, love and parent successfully on their own. Each child’s job is to cooperate with their parents in the process and do everything they can to help themselves reach that same goal.
I found that this idea of working together towards the same goal always made things easier when things went off track. Instead of locking horns with my kids over an issue (say like homework) I’d merely sit them down and talk about our mutual goal and what we both could do in this situation to work together, solve the problem and eventually reach the goal. It was always more peaceful and my kids would respond much better than they would if they thought that I was merely trying to force my agenda on them.
If both parent and child understand and agree on their roles, the process and the goal, then it’s easier to work together and the parenting process becomes more of a joy. As you do this, the parenting process also becomes transparent and your child learns how to be a parent as they are being parented.
Now I said that the parenting books, courses etc, that I write and advocate should just be a booster shot to this process. Although I believe this ‘parent raising parents’ method is God’s primary parent training program, it’s not the only Biblical process for parent training. None of us know it all and we all have different teaching styles, personality types etc. that work better with some people than others. Therefore, it’s always helpful to get outside help from other parents, grandparents, family, church community and family ministries. The Bible teaches that in our church communities, the older women should teach the younger women (Titus 2:4). In other words, those with godly wisdom and experience in the community should help in the process of preparing the next generation to take over.
Christian parenting books, classes, courses and wisdom from others are all needed but they should come along side and help a young parent who has been taught to be a great parent while being parented.
If you haven’t started doing this yet, sit down with your child or children and discuss it and then start. I think you’ll find that it makes a world of difference.
For more practical and Biblical Christian Parenting ideas we recommend the Christian resource, “The Seven Mistakes Parents of Toddlers Make”
(RICK OSBORNE / Christian Author, Speaker & Dad – your source for Christian Parenting advice)