The following Parenting Tip is from the National Center for Biblical Parenting. Click on the link to subscribe for FREE E-mail tips. The Elkhorn Hills UMC Adult Education Committee has sponsored parenting classes from the National Center for Biblical Parenting in the past. A number of their books are available in the Elkhorn Hills UMC library.
I’m sure that as you look around you see other families who have rather strange relationships with their kids. Some parents seem to have a boss/servant relationship with their children, as if the parents own their kids. They order them around as if they were slaves, being demanding about obedience and respect. Others act like a policeman allowing children to do anything they want within boundaries. When the children move outside the boundaries then the parent blows the whistle to get them back in line. Other parents have a little prince relationship with their children. These parents go out of their way to make their children happy, sometimes trying to make up for their own unhappiness as a child.
A better analogy is the one that views the parent as a coach. Your children need training every day, involving teaching, correcting, firmness, and encouragement. A coach builds a relationship with the child, recognizes weaknesses and equips the child to succeed. When a runner falls down, a good coach doesn’t condemn but motivates to excellence through support and encouragement. The coach and the athlete are both on the same side, working to make that young person successful.
Don’t let childish problems like anger, impulsiveness, or meanness motivate you to become an opponent to your children, allowing the problem to come between you. Instead, partner with your children, moving the problem to the side, with you and your child working together to conquer it. Your attitude in conflict will mean all the difference for a child who needs to be coached out of immaturity. Children need to know that their parents believe in them. It helps them in the deepest areas of their hearts.
For more helpful tips for parenting, consider The Christian Parenting Handbook by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN.