Christian Parenting and Family Resources with Biblical Principles

Are You a Prideful Parent?

Are You a Prideful Parent?

Have you ever considered that the kids you bore and love so much are not yours? Ultimately, your kids belong to God. He has entrusted them to you as a steward. He expects you to nurture them physically, spiritually, and emotionally. The best you can do is be a good steward and train them in the ways of the Lord (Proverbs 22:6). It is therefore important to constantly evaluate your parenting methods against the Word of God. This will ensure that you are on the right track.

Often, we want our children to fit in a specific mold that we have carved out for them. We want them to achieve certain feats so that we can beam with pride. We push and force them to pursue hobbies and careers that don't resonate with them. We want them to turn out how we have always envisioned them. We reduce our kids to trophies that we proudly display in our homes. We forget to seek God's will upon their lives.

Our parenting decisions are laced with pride; it's all about our egos. If you have allowed your personal interests to override God's will for your children, it's time to flip that attitude on its head and submit to God's plan for them. Here are five things you can do to take the pride out of parenting.

1. Learn to Apologize to Your Kids

I recently watched a TikTok video where a bewildered mom was offered two choices. She could either apologize to her kids or mop the ocean. Your guess is as good as mine. She rolled up her sleeves, chugged down an energy drink, took the mop, and trotted down to the ocean. Besides making me cackle, that witty video bears an important message. Sadly, many parents struggle to apologize to their kids. Yet as parents, we are human and far from perfect. We make oodles of mistakes. Sometimes we judge our kids wrongly. Other times we heap blame on them for errors they didn't make.

Yet what do we do after realizing that we have wronged our kids? We sometimes gloss over the issue, sweeping it under the rug. This hurls our kids into confusion. They wonder if some mistakes are not grave enough to warrant an apology. They wonder if they are not good enough, deserving an apology. Pride will keep you from apologizing to your kids. That's mostly because you don't want to appear weak or vulnerable to your kids. You would rather climb Mount Everest than seek forgiveness.

One way of ditching pride in parenting is by ensuring that you seek forgiveness from your kids whenever you wrong them. Besides, your kids will learn how to ask for forgiveness by watching you. If they never hear you apologizing, they may struggle with the same.

2. Realize That Not Every Mistake Calls for Discipline

You've made the rules in your house, and you expect total adherence from your kids. But kids will be kids; they easily trash the rules and revel in the exact thing you forbade. If you are a pride-driven parent, you won't allow any of their mistakes to slide. You will want to enthuse your ego, which says that all mistakes must be punished. Your kids must realize who runs the roost in your home, and that's you. Yet some of those mistakes kids make are flimsy and inevitable. Yes, your preschooler scribbled on your squeaky clean kitchen wall with her new set of crayons, but that's not the end of the world, is it? And just because your school-going daughter lost her swimming costume in school doesn't make her a horrible child.

Not all mistakes should be punished. Some can be forgiven. That doesn't make you weak as a parent. It just means that you can empathize with your kids and extend forgiveness. The call to forgive others is weaved throughout the entire Bible. Your kids, too, deserve forgiveness. Besides, if you are a strict authoritarian parent who rules your household with an iron fist, you may stifle your child's development, making them afraid to explore. They may also become anxious, fearful, or rebellious.

3. Allow Your Kids to Make Some Choices

Here's a fact, no one likes to feel controlled, even kids. We all crave independence. We want to make our own decisions and face their consequences head-on, good or bad. We cringe when someone tries to control us. That's why toddlers throw tantrums in the first place. They want to call the shots. It's a strong innate desire that God placed in each of us. So just because you are the parent doesn't mean that you need to make all the choices for your kids. It's frustrating for kids when they are not allowed to make even the most flimsy choice.

As a parent, pride will make you cling to the notion that you have to call all the shots in your home. It doesn't hurt to allow your child to choose. For example, allow your toddler to decide what to wear to church. Indulge your tween and let them decide whether to attend a birthday party or not. This doesn't make you any less "powerful" as a parent. Besides, allowing kids to make choices helps perk up their confidence, ingrains responsibility, and arms them with problem-solving skills, among many other benefits.

4. Quit Trying to Project Your Kids as Shimmering Trophies

Let's be honest; we don't mind having the smartest kids in the neighborhood. Every parent dreams of raising brilliant, responsible, kind, and well-adjusted kids- the salt of the earth kind of kids. What's more? Hearing others admiring and speaking highly of our kids becomes the cherry on top. It makes us beam with pride; our egos get a hefty boost. So when one of our kids is not exuding the strengths and virtues that we so desperately want them to, we blow a gasket.

We mount lots of pressure on them, urging them to pull up their socks. We want them to excel in their academics so that we can floss with their exemplary grades. We need them to ace public speaking even though they loathe addressing crowds. Such actions are purely driven by pride and the craving for admiration from others. We need to remember that each child is unique and endowed with different abilities. Forcing them to be something they are not is setting them up for frustration in life.

5. Quit Raising Your Kids the Way You Were Raised

We tend to instinctively raise our kids the way we were raised ourselves. If we grew up devoid of love and affection, we might struggle to express the same to our children. If we were spanked for every little mistake we made, we may be strict parents who have no wiggle room for weakness or mistakes. Granted, our parents raised us the way they knew best, and yes, we probably turned out fine. But that doesn't mean that we should replicate their parenting tactics. We should be careful to evaluate our parenting tactics against the word of God.

Also, remember that many things have changed since you were a child. Society has evolved by leaps and bounds. What's more? There's a wealth of information available to you at the click of a button. Clutching to outdated parenting tactics just because they worked in your days is another example of prideful parenting.

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Crosswalk Writer Keren KanyagoKeren Kanyago is a freelance writer and blogger at Parenting Spring. As a wife and mom, she uses her blog to weigh in on pertinent issues around parenting, marriage, and the Christian Faith. She holds a degree in mass communication with a specialty in print media. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram and/or shoot her an email at