7 Awesome Tips this New Year for Being a Better Parent
Inside: Do you feel like you’re failing at this parenting gig? Do you have the desire for being a better parent this year? We can’t grow without God’s help!
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Another new year, are you ready?
What changes have you considered? Have you made any plans to transform your parenting?
Or maybe you think you’re rocking your parenting?
Can I be honest?
I fail at being a good mom every day. Many days, I don’t exemplify Christ to my kids. I have said swear words, eaten many nights without praying, and have tucked in those littles bodies without saying a night prayer.
Somedays I’m so me-focused on my problems that although I’m
I’ve dealt with seasons of anxiety and depression so during those times I’m not my best.
Friend, you might have just read the above sentence and thought, “well gosh, you should see me if you think you’re failing!”
What I want to tell you is that we all get parenting wrong more than we get it right.
There are just some mistakes we wish never existed, but the goal is being a better parent today than we were yesterday.
Change doesn’t happen overnight, but rather it takes intention and dedication to become better.
Here’s the thing, might I suggest we were made to make mistakes?
Yes, you read that right.
No one is perfect except the Creator of the World. We were made to make mistakes.
Mistakes are what drives us to rely on Someone greater than yourselves.
It’s the beauty of grace and the determination and the drive to be transformed more like Christ.
I don’t know about you, but I need someone to depend on when days of parenting are hard.
When I don’t know how to discipline or how to approach a situation.
When my guilt and shame of getting it wrong beg me to give up or give in.
However, the blessing of God is that He is wise and knows how the situation will turn out, so this comforts me because I have someone greater than me to lead and guide me.
Parenting in this World
The truth of the matter is we live in a scary world.
With the blessing of technology, also comes the curse of having everything at our fingertips. Our kids are exposed to much more negative behaviors within the home than ever before.
School violence is commonplace and our kids are dealing with stresses that are real and damaging to their minds and bodies. It has been said that when online, our kids are 2 seconds away from porn and graphic, inappropriate scenes.
Another issue our kids are buying into is that the world revolves around them.
By catering to their wants and needs, holding back discipline, the instant gratification of our culture, we have kids that are focused on themselves and not on the real reason for their existence. (Which is God’s purpose for them by the way)!
Busyness is a trend and families are just plain old busy. Studies have said that the family engages in less than 15 minutes of parent-child conversation each day.
Most families are on the run from morning till evening and the numbers of increasing cases of anxiety and depression have to prove it.
The problem comes when we don’t allow our kids to have downtime, refresh and regroup. When we shut off the technology and spend time enjoying each other’s company.
As Washington Post journalist Brigid Shulte points out on NPR’s Tell Me More, we’re an achievement culture, always wanting to be our best and pushing our kids to be their best.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting the best for our kids, but are pushing them away from the Real Best?
Being a Better Christian Parent
As Christians, our primary goal as a parent should be equipping our children to:
- Develop their own faith
- Figure out their God-given purpose
- Learn how to depend on God through prayer and His Word.
- Understand God is in control
God has a directive to both parents and children and that is to transform/ grow and become more like Him.
6 Direct your children onto the right path,
and when they are older, they will not leave it.
Truly we can never become better parents without spending time in God’s Word ourselves.
Sometimes we might find ourselves in a parenting rut and need some direction on how to get out and start a new.
7 Practical Steps to Being a Better Parent
- Spend daily time in God’s Word
- Utilize support through godly friends and small Bible studies
- Make time for ourselves
- Spend time connecting with your spouse
- Reduce stress
- Aim for wellness for your whole family. (Eating well, exercising helps moods and mindsets)
- Ask God to help make us better parents
The only way we can ever become good parents is when we are connected to God.
Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.
Even though I might not consider myself a good parent, I know that by being connected to God, He is transforming me. He knows what my kids’ needs and what I need to possess in order to help them be their best.
So on the days when guilt feels huge, and Satan’s lies about our parenting keep harassing us, let us draw in closer to the vine, give ourselves the grace God blesses us with, and remember that He makes all things new, even our parenting!
Children are truly a blessing from God. Unfortunately, they don’t come with an instruction manual. But there’s no better place to find advice on parenting than the Word of God, which reveals a heavenly Father who loves us and calls us His children. It contains great examples of godly parents. It gives direct instructions on how to parent, and it is filled with many principles we can apply as we strive to be the best parents we can be.
– Adrian Rogers
Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your FamilyThe Christian Parenting Handbook: 50 Heart-Based Strategies for All the Stages of Your Child’s LifeGrace Based Discipline: How to Be at Your Best When Your Kids Are at Their WorstShepherding a Child’s HeartThe 5 Love Languages of Children: The Secret to Loving Children Effectively
Thanks for sharing this information. I really liked your examples and suggestions especially setting priorities for raising our kids:
Develop their own faith
Figure out their God-given purpose
Learn how to depend on God through prayer and His Word.
Understand God is in control
Our son is grown and married now. They have our first grand baby. There are many parenting decisions I should have made differently when he was a young boy. I am thankful for lessons learned and thankful our son is a wonderful, Christian man. My husband and I love watching our son and daughter-in-love parent this now 18 months old baby boy. We make sure they both know how proud we are of them for loving and caring for their child in such precious, loving ways.
As a Parent of two adult Children I can honestly say it was definitely a journey and we weren’t perfect but we did what we could to show them the love of Jesus in and out of the home. This is a great article for sure, sometimes we may not see the effort until they are grown and gone and that’s when the fruit starts appearing. Like the letter our son wrote us once he was in basic training…. tears were streaming down my face that day……. God Bless and thank again for the great article!!!
Stephen- thanks for your wisdom and encouragement!
Love the 7 practical steps. My daughter is grown now, but these steps can still be applied to our relationship. Thankful that God can work through our imperfections. Thank you for your post!
Peggy- thanks for the encouraging words!
I agree, spending time with God really is the best parenting tool! I also think that making mistakes is part of parenting, it teaches our children (intentional or not) through our responses when we mess up. Sometimes what we say and do don’t always align and parenting checks this – along with the Holy Spirit prompts! If we have an incorrect response we can show our children how to correct wrongs. Satan can twist our mistakes but sometimes our mistakes are a good teaching for all of us.
Danielle- such wisdom here!
This will be the first full year I’m a parent so I love this encouragement!
Sarah- congratulations on parenthood!
I have definitely made my mistakes as a parent, Julie. Gratefully, God is also raising them. I guess the best way to parent is to let God do the parenting through us, responding to the Spirit as He leads. Great practical steps, especially those first 2. We will have trouble hearing from the Spirit if we’re not spending time with Him.
It is so important to remember that we all make mistakes as parents. But we must rest in the fact that God is still guiding us and to trust in His direction. Spending time in the Word, and simply asking for His guidance each day will make it easier.
LeeAnn- Yes! Absolutely!
I’ve raised my two children and am now in the blissful stage of grandparenting. I love your comment: “Truly we can never become better parents without spending time in God’s Word ourselves.” So true.
This message is so important, as we try to remain faithful to God’s truth in an increasingly secular society. These suggestions are powerful and helpful. Though my children are older, I still pray for ways to help them grow closer to the Lord. Thank you!
Melissa- yes! We can always influence other kids that aren’t ours per se too!
Some great advice and good hope.
I recently read somewhere that a benefit of failing as parents is that we remove ourselves from the running for savior. Instead we can show them that we too need a Savior. 🙂
I fail all the time too.
I feel particularly convicted about doing more quality time after reading this- and also down time to recover & be my best for my kids.