The Power of Parenting

toddler learning to walk

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Ephesians 6:1-3

Children, do what your parents tell you. This is only right. “Honor your father and mother” is the first commandment that has a promise attached to it, namely, “so you will live well and have a long life.”.  Fathers, don’t exasperate your children by coming down hard on them. Take them by the hand and lead them in the way of the Master.

There is such power in parenting.  I think it is lost on so many of us, how much real influence we have with our kids.  We really must stop believing the lie that says we are some kind of awkward interruption on our kids life.  Family is a God thing, and He has a specific way that it works best.  The following is my attempt to clarify what that means, and what a difference we can make in the world just by being a good parent.  Just remember, parenting has multi-generation implications, a meaningful future hinges on a powerful, and positive present.

There are different styles of parenting, which are you?

1. The power parent. (positional parenting). Dictator. “because I said so”

Power parents try to force the kids to follow by the concept, “I’m the parent, and your the child, so do what I say.”  While this is true, and sometimes appropriate, it is not the best way to parent, and its not the biblical way to parent as you will see.  Parenting is leadership, and you don’t want people to follow you just because your the boss, but because they care, and you have influence with them.   It should be the same for us and our children.  A great way to parent is to build an intrinsic motivation in your kids, “an internal want to,” by taking the extra time, to explain why you want them to do what you’ve asked them to do.  If they know the why, they will be motivated to obey.  Not because they will get in trouble if they don’t, but because its the right thing to do.

2. The permissive parent. (parenting by the buddy system). These parents won’t draw parameters cause their kids may not like them, “there going to do it any way, might as well keep them around me so they won’t get hurt.”  Reliving teenage years through your kids.  This is such a huge mistake.  Your kids don’t need you to be their buddy, they need you to be their parent.  Many parents think  if they take this approach their kids will talk to them, their relationship will be friendly, etc.  Truth told though, to your kids you come off immature and they need someone mature to help them with their problems, not someone who acts their age.  Be a parent, not a buddy.  You can be a parent now and a buddy later, or a buddy now, and nothing later.  That is the way it usually works. Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not saying you can’t have a cordial relationship with your kids.  I’m saying, a parent can have a close relationship with their kids by being a parent.

3. The passive parent. (I really don’t care what they do, as long as they don’t get hurt, or hurt anyone else)  This attitude really hurts your kids.  While we think it is perfect for kids, because they can do whatever they want, it truly comes across to them, that you just don’t care.  In the mind of a child, if you don’t care enough to give them parameters they interpret that as you just don’t care about them.

4. The overprotective parent: helicopter, hover constantly, no risk. No hovering please.  We are creating a culture of young people who cant take a risk, cant face a challenge, have a zero for an adversity quotient.  Our kids need to take chances.  We are going to protect them right out of success and significance, because we are training them to be so afraid that they won’t step out and take a risk.

5. The pushy/perfectionist parent. (the use of pressure to push your child towards excellence). “leveraging the opinions of others, comparisons, etc..”if you were like so and so.”  We all want our kids to try hard, to excel at whatever they do.  However, we don’t want our kids to resent us because we manipulated or pressured them by using leverage.  I’ve seen guys push their kids in ball, because they didn’t achieve the goals they had for themselves as a kid.  To the point their kids quit and don’t ever want to play ball again, and have a broken relationship with their parent.  There is a way to lead your kids to excellence without using leverage, comparisons, stress, and manipulation.  Your kids are not going to be perfect, you will push them over the edge trying to make them that.

5. The purposed parent. (intentional parenting, learning, praying, using biblical principles. Like, 1. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, 2. You reap what you sow, 3. Do what you need to do and then you can do what you want to do. Purposed parent understands the stewardship of parenting, and bases their parenting on influence. It takes the most work and involvement, has the best results.

What parent style are you?  What style were your parents?

Sadly, to many times in today’s culture we opt out for the least effort, or easiest route.  The intentional, purposeful route will take more time. It will take more effort, it will take more discipline on our part and more energy, and thought.  It is the only way to get the results you really want in your kids lives.

Be a purposeful parent, you will be a powerful component for the benefit of the upcoming generation.


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