Legacy Series: Advice to Parents
One thing that has been observed in this generation is that parenting is no longer a deliberate act as was the case in time past. We really don’t have parents anymore, we have adults living with children. As parents, your responsibility is supposed to be that training. “Train up a child in the way he should go. And when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6
There’s more to parenting than just paying school fees and feeding them. You have their future to consider. When you are deliberate as a parent, you are conscious of everything that concerns their lives. We must be deliberate about raising the next generation. You can’t run from consequences, you can only postpone it. The church and schools are not primarily charged with the responsibility of raising your children, they are supposed to assist you.
- Train your Child: Your child reflects you: They don’t outgrow you, they reflect your actions. God was conscious to set an example for us because he knows as humans, we are more likely to do something we observe than something we were commanded to do. “Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children” Ephesians 5:1 Children learn more from what you do than from what you say. As a parent, you are supposed to lead your children aright because you are setting the foundation on which their entire lives will be built. Don’t expose your children to the various temptations of this world. Let them grow and decide to do what. Your job is not to make your children happy, your job is to train them.
- Love your Spouse: the best home training you can give to your child is loving your spouse. They need to see what love is and you are their first point of learning. Most parents shower love on their children while neglecting their spouses, this is wrong. Always remember that you are in a covenant with your spouse and not your child. Nothing should compete for the attention of your partner. You can’t mistreat your spouse because your children will see or notice and pick up lessons from your actions. Your children need to see you love your wife/respect your husband.
When you beat your wife, your daughter will think it’s normal to be beaten and your sons will think it’s cool to mistreat women. As women, when you disrespect your husband, your daughters think it’s cool. One thing most parents don’t realize is that when you have a bad marriage, you are emotionally abusing your children.
- All Children are Different: one big mistakes parents are prone to make is comparing one child to another child. Stop comparing them! Some are going to be academically brilliant, some are going to be street smart. It’s important to be discerning as a parent, pray to God to help you see the potentials your child exhibits. Understand your child and give them the required assistance. They have different paths. Your job as a parent is to find out where their strength lies and help them harness those giftings.
The world has changed, it would be counter-productive to still hold on the old ways of imposing careers on your child. God created every single one of us as stars if only we can find our individual paths and walk therein. Whatever you do, don’t be tempted to live through your children. Don’t force your unaccomplished dreams on your children.
- Discipline your Child: Don’t be deceived into thinking it’s wrong to discipline your child, children need it. They may not like it, but they need it and you are the only one permitted to discipline them. This is no way encouraging those people who inflict injuries on their children in the name of disciplining them. Children have the gift of adaptability, so they can learn fast. Let them learn contentment and delayed gratification.
Fathers should be more involved in the home and in disciplining of the children. A woman might not be the best person to discipline your children. The Bible talks about the hand of judgement and hand of mercy. There needs to be a balance and that is why both parents are supposed to actively participate in the upbringing and disciplining of the child.
The bible is in support of disciplining children so don’t let people tell you otherwise.
Proverbs 13:24 – “Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.”
Proverbs 22:15 – “Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far away.”
Proverbs 23:13 – “Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish them with the rod, they will not die.”
Proverbs 29:15-17- “15 A rod and a reprimand impart wisdom, but a child left undisciplined disgraces its mother. 16 When the wicked thrive, so does sin, but the righteous will see their downfall. 17 Discipline your children, and they will give you peace; they will bring you the delights you desire.”
- Spend more time with your Children: Spend time with your children! There is nothing that can be substituted for quality time with them. It’s in spending time that you learn their strengths and build connections with them. Parents need to be deliberate with them. Unfortunately, in this generation, we have more children living with adults, don’t let this be you. Don’t let the television raise your kids for you, vet what they watch, vet what they read, talk to them, don’t ignore them.
- Don’t over Pamper and Spoil your Kids: Challenges bring out our strengths and potential. Don’t be quick to solve the problems of your kids. Let them learn to deal with challenges. As parents your first instinct is to protect your kids but remember, you won’t be there with them forever. So, let them learn life’s skills. Let them learn decision-making skills, let them learn to solve problems. Your job is not to shield your children from challenges because life is riddled with challenges. Allow them to learn decision making and consequences.
- Set boundaries: You can’t give your children everything at every given time. Setting boundaries for them help them to learn the art of setting boundaries in real life.
- Teach your Children Morals and Values: Teach them etiquette. Teach them to be polite, teach them to be kind, teach them to say thank you, to say please and to apologize.
- Always positively to your Children: You are their first point of self-confidence building for your children. You must teach them to be confident and not timid. Believe in your children, love them unconditionally, praise them when they do the right things, encourage them when they are down. Teach them the art of positive speaking.
- Pray for your children: Pray for every aspect of their lives. Pray that they find God and know God. Pray protection over their lives. Pray for wisdom over them. Pray for a heart that loves God.
Finally, remember that to be a good parent, you must be a better version of yourself than you were yesterday. Improve constantly, learn, grow and develop your giftings.