Gold Star Parenting
In the mid-1980’s when my husband, Randall, and I discussed having children, I asked myself the question, “Do I really want to bring children into this world?” Fast-forward to the future. With all three of our sons having graduated from college, I think back on the question that the Lord posed to me,
“Is it me you don’t trust, or do you not trust yourself?”
Raising children today is certainly not your “parents’ parenting” in terms of the Information Age, global communication, world affairs, and competition for the top position in schools. However, what yours and my parents needed is what Randall and I used.
We used the
L. O. R. D.
Following are some of the practices we instituted in our home.
LOVE is the key ingredient to parenting. It establishes a foundation upon which all other aspects of parenting can rest.
• Teach your children the meaning of love by showing them love. Say “I love you” to them regularly.
• Teach your children the importance of loving the Lord. Have daily prayer and Bible reading with them.
• Spend time holding and nurturing your babies. Hug and kiss your children. Compliment them when they accomplish a task or meet a goal.
• Display their awards, plaques, and winnings. Keep a file for each child.
• Put together a resume for your children as early as middle school.
• Apologize to your children when you are wrong.
• Forgive your children when they make mistakes, and do not rehearse their errors as punishment.
Prescribe ORDER in their lives to help them to succeed. “God is not the author of confusion, but of peace” (I Corinthians 14:33).
• Institute routine times for meals, naps, and play.
• Avoid embarrassing moments when you go out to dinner by teaching table manners at home.
• Help your children learn to sit in church or other public places by participating in activities at home where they have to sit for certain periods of time.
• Teach them how to keep their drawers and closets organized.
• Establish a time and place for them to complete their homework.
Give them RESPONSIBILITIES comparable to their ages and abilities. As they grow older, they will understand the necessity of work for the good of society and themselves. Help them develop a strong work ethic. II Thessalonians 3:10 says: “”If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.”
Show them how to:
• Clean up after themselves – their toys, rooms, and bathrooms.
• Take out the garbage. Clean the kitchen.
• Get a job that will not jeopardize their walk with the Lord or academics.
• Open a bank savings account.
• Recognize family members’ birthdays, parents’ anniversaries, and other special occasions.
• Keep their promises to practice their instruments and sports so they perform at their best in the band or on sports teams.
DISCIPLINE means to teach through modeling and guidance, calling attention to action that parallels with the word of God. “For whom the LORD loves he corrects (disciplines); even as a father the son in whom he delights” Proverbs 3:12).
• Set up guidelines with your spouse before your children are born.
• Be extremely clear about what is, and is not, allowed in your house.
• Keep your disciplinary promises. Do not make promises you cannot keep.
• Set indisputable limits and hold to them.
• Children are not cognitively adept to discuss disciplinary terms with their parents. Do not allow this to happen.