This topic is adapted from the PursueGOD Couples YouTube channel.
Parents, our job is hard so let’s break the process down into manageable pieces so we can develop a parenting strategy. If we don’t do that, we’re likely to become overwhelmed, unsure, and insecure. Those emotions will only lead us down a path toward passive parenting in which we don’t engage our kids but instead settle for wishful thinking and the hope that they’ll “Turn out okay.”
Here are three things to keep in mind which can help you to strategize as a parent.
Parenting Is a Process
Parenting is about setting the tone of your family life. It is laying the groundwork and building the principles you want your kids to live out daily. This doesn’t happen in a vacuum and it doesn’t happen overnight. Time is your friend and patience is a must. Only God can produce real change in our kids. Our job is to coach them to hear God’s voice and want to respond.
Parenting Is One Long Conversation
Be ready for conversation with your kids. Make time before bed, after dinner, before school, or when they come home from school. Your job as a parent is to build a bridge of trust early-on, showing that you care about their experiences and you want to help them with them with it all, big or small. Establishing a conversational culture in your family will lay important groundwork for the harder conversations that need to come in the teen and young adult years. Start now.
Parent with “the Win” in Mind
Take every moment, every struggle, and every triumph and submit it to God’s perspective. In every success, remind your kids that God created them uniquely to fulfill his purpose for them. Every “win” confirms God’s hand in their lives. For every struggle, remind your kids of God’s faithfulness and how trials teach us new things we need for the future. Remind kids that Heaven is the real destination. This life isn’t the end. This helps us to avoid knee-jerk parenting where we react in often unfruitful or even destructive ways.
- Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
- What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
- Describe how you’ve viewed your role as a parent thus far. Share some successes. What about some failures?
- What are some of the parenting issues that have proven most frustrating to you? What is your desired outcome in those situations? What strategies can you put in place to start moving toward those outcomes?
- Have you had a great bonding moment with your kids where you felt like they opened up to you? Explain.
- Think about your family schedule. When is the best time for your family to have conversations? What do you need to do to create opportunities for conversations in your home?
- Read Psalm 139:13-17. What does this passage say about God’s involvement in our lives? How does this passage affect your perspective as a parent?
- Write a personal action step based on this conversation.