8 Great Ideas to Be a Better Parent – Part 1

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post on what I’d learned from my 12 years of marriage.  At that point, it was my most read post.  That was a pleasant surprise.  However, when my kids saw the picture of their mom on my blog, they asked me to write a post where I could use their pictures.  So this post is for them.

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I remember when my wife told me that we were pregnant for the first time.  I was so excited.  I was also terrified.  I instantly realized that my child needed me to be a better man than I was at that moment.  This was an absolute defining moment for me.  It changed me.  I became dedicated to becoming that kind of dad.  I became serious about my faith.  Everything changed.

I’m certainly no expert in parenting, but I have learned some things.  Here are the first 4 keys to being a rock star parent.

Love Your Wife

I don’t think there is anything greater you can do for your kids then to give them the security of knowing their parents have a strong marriage.  Enough said on this one.

Become a Student of Your Children

“Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.” ~ Prov 22:6

IMG_6746 copyI’ve heard this verse quoted by many parents with wayward children trusting that this verse means they will come back to the faith.  I’m not sure that is what this verse is talking about.  I don’t think the bible teaches that parents have the ability to parent in such a way that guarantees the salvation of their children.

I think this means that parents have the responsibility to help their children reach their potential.  This means that parents must be students of their children.  What are their natural abilities?  What are their passions?  It is like a great puzzle.  I ask my boys all the time what they love doing.

If your kid is creative, champion that in them.  My oldest is very competitive, so I play sports with him all the time.  Do whatever you can to help your kids grow towards their potential.  This does not mean making them into what you are passionate about.  This is not about you.

Pursue the Hearts of Your Children

This idea is nebulous, but you want access to your children’s hearts.  Are you a safe place for them to really share what is going on with them at a heart level?  I want to suggest that you only get a few chances when your kids will open up the windows of their hearts and give you access.  If you are a safe place for them, they will give you the key to their hearts forever.

IMG_6855 bwcopyTwo things can revoke this access quicker than anything:  anger and teasing.  If your child shares a heart-level secret with you and you get angry – access revoked.  If your son shares with you his feelings for a young lady, and you tease him, he’ll never share it with you again.

Pursue their hearts.  Gain and treasure that access.  Protect it!  Be that safe place.

Develop Your Family Culture

Developing a family culture gives your kids an identity.  Here are some things that we do together as family:

  • We eat together almost every night.
  • We pray together every night – rotating between the 3 kids’ rooms.
  • We share and reinforce the same values – honesty, a strong work ethic, risk-taking, caring for each other.
  • We play together – sports, coloring, building Lego’s, hanging out together on the couch watching The Biggest Loser, etc…

Later this week or maybe next, I’ll share with you the next four ideas.  In the meantime, share with us a great idea from your experience as a child or a parent.  What is your favorite memory with your parents?  What would you add to this list?  Comment below!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.