Parenting Tips That Will Immediately Impact Your Family
- Janet Thompson Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
- 2015 18 Dec
“My kids are driving me crazy. I’ve tried everything… reasoning with them, yelling at them, taking away privileges, sending them to their rooms. Nothing is helping! My husband and I are exhausted and frustrated and on the verge of losing it.”
That’s a paraphrase of one mom’s cry for help on Facebook. She was so desperate that she aired her parenting problems to the world and admitted she and her husband were close to the breaking point. All their usual parenting efforts had failed, and I could tell that she felt like a failure as a parent.
I watched as the tips and suggestions flooded in on her Timeline, but I noticed that most of them were about trying some form of harsh discipline that would probably set up an adversary environment where the kids were the enemy and the parents the enforcers.
At some point in our parenting, we’ve all reached the breaking point these parents were rapidly approaching. They were looking for help right now. I’ve only found one book with parenting tips that apply to any child at any age at any time: The Bible.
Tips for Implementing Deuteronomy 6:6-9 in Your Home
In Deuteronomy 6:6-9, Moses instructed the Israelites in a timeless parenting skill: make God a priority in your home.
These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. Deut. 6:6-9
1. Talk about God. When you walk with your children, eat with your children, play with your children, ride in the car with your children, relax with your children… Include God as a member of your family. How often do you talk about God, and to God, in your home?
2. Role model to your children the way you want them to behave. Good behavior is caught more than taught. Children don’t respond to lectures, rational explanations, lists of rules, yelling, cursing, or acting irrational. How you treat others, as well as your children, speaks volumes to them. Speak lovingly and you won’t have to speak firmly as often.
3. Live out during the week what they hear in Sunday school on the weekends. If we want our children to respect us, we need to be respectable. They need to see us living what we say we believe.
4. Let your children see you reading your physical Bible. If your Bible is on an electronic device, your kids can’t tell if you’re reading the Bible or checking email, social networking, or playing games. Discuss with them what you’re studying. Give children age-appropriate Bibles and teach them how to use their Bibles in their own life.
5. Stop and pray as a family over decisions, conflicts, and difficult issues. Invite the children to pray and express their thoughts and concerns.
6. When children do something wrong, take the time to show them a Scripture that points out the reason that behavior isn’t acceptable.
7. Call sin, sin. For example, explain that lying is a sin and give them a chance to ask for forgiveness and then to tell you the truth. Kids lie because they’re afraid of getting in trouble. They need to know that telling the truth, while it might disappoint you, is always the right thing to do.
8. Stay relevant in their world. Find out what’s important to your children and encourage them to use their gifts and skills. Be your child’s biggest cheerleader.
9. Do age-appropriate Bible studies and daily devotionals together as a family.
10. Use mealtime as a time to discuss God in their life. I have jars with questions relating to the Christian way of life that my grandkids love to answer after we finish a meal. As they get older, there’s another jar with Scriptures for them to look up in their Bibles and discuss.
11. Discipline your children in love, never anger, and be consistent with consequences.
12. Praise God with them for daily events such as: a good day at school, new friends, a good test grade, feeling better after an illness…
13. Play Christian music in your home, car, and electronic devices.
14. Find godly parenting mentors. Seek out parents further along in the parenting journey and ask for their wise counsel.
Your Favorite Parenting Tips
I asked parents to tell me their best parenting tip and here is what they said:
Keep a schedule no matter what. Our kids eat, sleep, play, and bathe every day at the same time. They rely on it and so do we.
When a child asks your opinion, ask him or her what they should do and guide them to the proper decision. This method teaches children how to make their own decisions and what the consequences might lead to if they use poor judgement.
Kids spell love T-I-M-E!
Stay close to God daily. Teach children in every way about God and lead by example.
Don’t worry so much about a messy house. One day you'll have a spotless, empty house. Make memories now.
Ask God for wisdom and discernment knowing these precious kids are on loan; they are His creation. Teach your kids to have a healthy awe and reverence for God, by showing your kids you need God's help desperately to raise them right.
Ask God to give you Scriptures to pray over your kids. Then use Scripture to discipline.
Say you’re sorry when you mess up.
God put parents in authority over children to raise good, godly, helpful, honest, hardworking, faithful kids to glorify Him. None of us are perfect parents, but God will hold us accountable for how we raise our children, so ask your heavenly Father for help. He’s just a prayer away.
What’s your favorite parenting tip?
Janet Thompson is an international speaker and an award-winning author of 18 books including Forsaken God?: Remembering the Goodness of God Our Culture Has Forgotten (release 2/9/16) and Praying for Your Prodigal Daughter. She is also the founder of Woman to Woman Mentoring and About His Work Ministries. Visit Janet at: womantowomanmentoring.com.
Publication date: December 18, 2015