Biblical and Practical Thoughts on Parenting, Part 25: Raising Perfect Parents

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For the final post in this series, I want to again address the children in a family.

Kids, do you realize that you have as much time to raise your parents as they do to raise you?  You can have a big influence on how your parents relate to you.  What can you do to help them become perfect (or at least “better”) parents?

Here are 10 tips:

  1. Encourage them.  We all need encouragement, and parents are no different.  Tell them you appreciate them and the efforts they put into their responsibilities.  You also can encourage them by showing them that you are growing up.  That means cooperating more and fighting less (Eph. 6:1-3).
  2. Don’t be too strict with them.  Learn to be less demanding about always getting things your way.  Let Mom and Dad watch their favorite T.V. show once in a while.  Let them have their freedom and a little room.  Let them know you understand their needs, and you’re likely to find yourself with more freedom and opportunities.
  3. Say thank you.  Think for a moment about how much there is to be thankful for: food, clothes, your possessions, a roof over your head.  Don’t take these things for granted-or your parents who provide them.  Look for little things to thank them for.  Being thankful is an attribute God desires that we all possess (Col. 3:15; 1 Thess. 5:18).
  4. Try to do something nice for them.  The key here is to do it before they ask.  There are lots of things you can do before they ask you.  Clean your room.  Put your things away.  Wash the dishes.  Clean the garage.  Prepare dinner. Mow the lawn.  Show by your actions that you love them.  Don’t just tell them (thought telling them is important too).
  5. Don’t be afraid to say “I’m sorry.”  If you are sincere, they will forgive you.  Show them by “changing,” that you are sorry.  Making a mistake is not as bad as not being willing to change.
  6. Never do anything to betray your parent’s trust or make them question your honesty.  Trust is one of your most precious possessions and tools.  Once you lose trust, it’s hard to rebuild.  Be honest.  Take your punishment when necessary.  Don’t try to lie your way out of something.  Building trust is absolutely necessary if you want to improve your parents.  If you want privileges and freedom, you first have to let your parents know they can trust you and that you are dependable.
  7. Don’t get so upset at what you believe are their imperfections that you forget your shortcomings.  Learn to be forgiving.  Remember, it’s not east to be a parent.
  8. Ask your parents for input.  This can work wonders.  They were once teenagers and, although times have changed, their advice can still save you a lot of heartache.
  9. Take them into your confidence.  If you are open and willing to share things with them, they will start sharing more things with you, and your relationship will blossom like never before.  Talk to them like you talk to your friends.  Remember, the friends who are the most valuable are the ones who will occasionally disagree with you and your ideas.
  10. Time your talk right.  Learn the value of timing.  Don’t talk to them when they’re upset.  You have moments when you don’t feel like talking.  So do they.  Wait for a time when they’re relaxed and can give you their full attention.

 

 

Biblical and Practical Thoughts on Parenting, Part 24: Understanding Parents

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Wise children will want to please their parents.  But first they must understand them!  As any teenager knows, parents are tough to figure out.  Sometimes they are just plain weird.  These seven tips may help you see where your parents are coming from:

  1. Don’t shy away from speaking their language.  Try some strange sounding words like “Let me help you with the dishes,” or “Yes,” or “Thank you, I appreciate you.”
  2. Try to understand their mind.  Put yourself in their place and ask yourself, “What would I do in this situation knowing what I know?”
  3. Be patient with their weaknesses.  If you catch your mom sneaking a candy bar, don’t jump all over her.  Quietly set a good example.
  4. Encourage your parents to talk about their problems.  Keep in mind that things like earning a living, providing things for you, and paying off the mortgage seem important to them.
  5. Be tolerant of their appearance.  When your father gets a hair-cut, don’t try to hide him from your friends.  Remember, it’s important to him to look like his peers.
  6. If they do something you think is wrong, let them know that you dislike their behavior, not them.  Speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15).
  7. Above all, pray for them.  They may seem confident on the outside but often they feel weak on the inside.  They, as well as you, need God to get them through these difficult years.

For more of this series, see here.

Biblical and Practical Thoughts on Parenting, Part 23: What’s Your Parenting Style?

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As we continue our series on parenting, this love comparison chart serves as a helpful tool in discerning your parenting style.  This is adapted from  by Dr. Tim Clinton and Dr. Gary Sibcy.

Parents Who

Give Healthy Love

Parents Who

Overprotect

Parents Who

Overcontrol

Parents Who

Overindulge

Nurture kids

to be unique

Nurture kids

to be safe

Nurture kids

to be perfect

Nurture kids

to be entitled

Are respectful

and supportive

Lack respect and

are overly supportive

Lack respect for their child

Are overly supportive

Are kind and firm

Are kind, not firm

Are firm, not kind

Are kind, not firm

View mistakes as opportunities to learn

Allow no opportunity for mistakes

Allow no opportunity for mistakes

Believe mistakes do not matter

Practice collaborative problem solving

Believe their kids can’t learn to make good decisions

Consider only the parent’s will

Consider only the child’s will

Believe children are a gift from God

Believe children are a fragile extension of themselves

Believe children are an investment

Believe children are an expense

Teach living skills

Teach fearfulness

Teach drivenness

Teach laziness

Teach balance of grace and biblical truth

Teach that the world is dangerous

Teach a theology of works and performance

Teach pride and selfishness