"And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man."-Luke 2:52 (NIV)
I am going to be doing a vow renewal ceremony for a couple whose kids are involved in the youth bible study I lead. I have had the pleasure of getting to know them and their children over the past couple years and have been blown away by the character and integrity their kids have.
They will be married for 25 years and this is a major milestone for them. I am honored they have asked me to perform the ceremony for them.
One of the things I shared with them is they have instilled a solid foundation in their kids. Their daughters are leaders and have respect from their peers. Many adults have witnessed their kids in action and realize that they are two of the kindest young ladies you will meet.
They said, “We might have been strict raising them, but it was to protect them and guide them. We wanted them to be respectable and hardworking young ladies. We hope we have succeeded.”
I said, “I know you have. You guys parented for the long term win, not just short term success stories.”
I thought about that coming home, mainly because I didn’t know what I meant when I said it, but it sounded alright.My conclusion is this: We don’t want to parent just so our kids know the right times to behave, that’s a short term success. We want our kids to know how to act with or without us around, that’s a long term win.
I have watched so many kids behave well in public until they are 18. Then, they know they have the freedom to do what they want and no one can tell them otherwise. However, I have seen several kids grow up and remain just as well behaved as when they were children because their parents solidified character in them. They knew limits. They not only understood how to act in public with or without their parents, but they understood why it was so important to act that way.
In fact, I feel weird using the word “act” because it isn’t an act for them. It is who they are.
Parenting for the win is a process of setting healthy boundaries, fair timelines, and consistent discipline.
What do these mean?
Healthy boundaries are a way to set age appropriate guidelines. Your child, as they grow will only learn their limits by the “rules” you set. We need to allow our children to discover the world they will soon lead, but we have to be wise in what we allow them to do to early. Trust them, but know you are the ultimate decision maker in their life. Don’t just say no, but explain why. Take the time to help them understand why you placed the boundary in place in order for them to grasp the concept. Remember, age appropriate is the operative message. Explain to their level.
Timelines are important. When I say timelines, I am defining goal setting and time limits. When you help your child set goals and work to achieve them, they feel accomplished and you have been a part of that accomplishment. When they get older, they will thank you for helping them learn how to set goals and finish them. It might even help them in their college years if they have their goals and will do whatever they can to reach them. It might even save your bank account since there might not be six changes to their major in a year. Time limits are important too. Help you child know how much time they have to accomplish a task. Don’t stress them out, but help them remained focus on finishing what they started in a good amount of time. Placing a timer for toys, video games, etc. might help them find balance in their life.
Finally, healthy discipline is a major factor in raising children. As a father I have a tendency to raise my voice fairly quickly. I’m working on that. I want my kids to know that you don’t have to yell to get your point across. Yes, sometimes yelling is necessary, but not all the time. Timeouts are necessary, but consistency is key when it comes to punishment. Don’t discipline your child over running on the couch one time, then the next time laugh about it (whoops). They need a consistent message. I hesitate to mention spanking, but for those who choose to do so, please be wise in how often and how hard you do it.
Parenting is hard, but in the end we all want our kids to be as successful if not more successful than us in life. We want them to be well rounded and do good. We want to be good parents and raise the kids well.
May we strive to parent with the win in mind. May we strive to be parents who raise children who grow in wisdom and stature. May we be parents who know our own boundaries and limits in order to raise up children with healthy boundaries and limits.
Peace and blessings friends.
QUESTION: What are some things your parents did that you want to carry over into your parenting?