10 Steps to Being the Perfect Parent
- Release yourself from the expectation of ever being a perfect parent.
Take a deep breath. It’s okay, there is no such thing as a perfect parent.
- Admit to your children when you are wrong and say you are sorry.
This is being a humble parent and it does not put the authority in your child’s hands. It teaches them to admit when they are wrong and how to apologize and resolve conflict with those most important to them.
- Don’t pretend to be perfect in order for your children to respect you.
Children will respect you because you love them, listen to them and care for them, not because they think you are perfect. They will know very early on that you are not perfect, only that you are trying to appear to be perfect. They will respect you even more when you share with them how you have made right choices after bad ones.
- Do not be afraid that if you discipline your children, they will grow up to hate you.
“ 9 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! 10 They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:9-11
- Have fun with your kids, laugh a lot and get to know their friends.
If you don’t have much of a sense of humor then celebrate the ones who do and use your strengths to create an environment of fun. Maybe hospitality, cooking or decorating is your thing. Good, use it! Make your house the place to hang out. Fill your pantry and fridge with food to share and this will give you entry into their secret world. If you start this when they are young it will continue when they are teenagers. We did not allow “keep out” signs on doors because we all love each other no matter what.
- Teach your children to choose what goes into their minds, and to protect their spirit from evil, by not allowing it in through their eyes and ears or other people.
“Above All Else, guard your heart for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:9
When the girls were too little to understand we would change the channel on the tv for them but at a certain point we would challenge them, “do you think that is good for you? If not change it.” We taught them they have the power to choose what goes into their mind and spirit. When the Spirit of God lives inside your heart you protect your heart. Sometimes we would need to intervene but it was a valuable lesson especially in this society with every single evil thing right at their fingertips, with phones and devices everywhere all the time, you have the power to choose not to allow evil inside your mind or spirit!
- Make your marriage a priority and allow your children to see you being affectionate.
Our kids have seen that we are in love when we hug, kiss, hold hands or dance. It shouldn’t be a performance but a natural experience and expression of your love for one another. We didn’t know our kids were watching but as they got older, they confessed that they always saw. They also told us how their friends noticed how we are affectionate with one another. It has been an example of a loving marriage which, after many years, is still filled with love. Many of their friends had never seen their parents show any kind of affection. (Of course, it’s best to keep it PG otherwise, well, that is another conversation going back to number 6. LOL)
- Allow your children to know you are human and if they hurt you, let them know.
When our girls were little I remember crying in my room after they had been very disrespectful and said very hurtful things to me. I don’t think they realized that a child was capable of hurting an adult because adults are too strong for that. The truth is, the fighting between them has always been some of the most hurtful things to me as a parent. I finally decided they needed to understand what that does to a parent. I let them know how sad it made me because I love them so much. I don’t suggest you get into a big emotional drama and become the child. I am just saying let them know the boundaries of what is hurtful, even to an adult.
- Love your children by seeing them for who they will become.God sees us through the eyes of a loving father. Learn your child’s strengths and help build upon those.
- Grow with your children.
Learn to laugh at yourself, and allow them to laugh with you.Thanks for reading,