I met some people yesterday that I am rooting for and respect, because they are working on becoming the parents they are meant to be.
Each gave up their Saturday morning to attend a seminar on “Proactive Parenting.” By being there, they embraced the view that we can positively influence the development of our kids by being intentional—proactive—in how we raise them.
Each was there to learn how we can balance our parenting with grace and truth. They gave up their time and comfort when it was not convenient to do so. That makes them heroes in my book.
Parenting with grace begins when we recognize the unearned blessing God bestows on us and show grace to ourselves by accepting that gift. When we recognize we are not perfect, we make mistakes, but God shows us grace anyway. Which sets the example for how we can treat our kids.
Grace is free and unmerited favor as we are loved—and love—even when nothing has been done to deserve it, such as:
- Loving our kids all the time, no matter what they do.
- Being patient and forgiving when we don’t feel like it.
- Parenting our kids the same way that God parents us.
Proactive parenting also helps us adopt a balanced view of grace that does not…
- Replace the truth – it complements it.
- Prevent our negative feelings – it bandages and heals them.
- Remove boundaries or consequences – it gives us courage to enforce them.
“To show grace, you must surrender your expectations of your kids to God.”
Great parents represent truth with their kids—the one truth. This has become even more critical in today’s modern world.
“Our postmodern, relativistic culture is having a devastating impact on the faith of our young people, so it’s crucial for us to be intentional about passing on faith to our children.” (Barna Group study on “The End of Absolutes: America’s New Moral Code”)
Parenting with grace and truth requires being thoughtful in our approach. Sometimes, that means accepting with serenity things we cannot change. At other times, we are called to summon the courage to do what is right, even when it is hard.
This balance of grace and truth plays out in the tasks great parents engage in:
- Setting goals and boundaries – Remaining patient, kind, and forgiving as we calmly enforce fair and consistent consequences for their bad choices.
- Building a warm and safe relationship – Telling our kids we love them and are proud of them whether they seem to be hearing us or not, and even when they screw up.
- Being a positive example – Letting them see us sacrifice wrong doings that are dear to us, such as our anger, hurt feelings, and need to be right.
- Encouraging healthy activities – Supporting them in what they want to do, what they are meant to do, and not demanding perfection.
- Teaching truth to our kids – Guiding them toward God with thoughtful, age-appropriate coaching and pursuing their heart with winsome and open discussion.
If you are still reading, you have already taken a big step toward being proactive and becoming the parent you are meant to be. You should feel good about that, and continue your journey.
Your kids and I will be rooting for you.
Question: Are you on the road to becoming the parent you are meant to be?
Action: Click here to read other blog articles on Proactive Parenting.