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Monday, February 4, 2013

Parenting Tips That Make Sense

As a mom, I am always trying to be the best parent I can be. My husband is the same way. It’s not easy especially in today’s world. I recently heard some information that I felt was really useful. It is from author Andy Stanley and his wife Sandra. They did a video presentation called Future Family and one section was on parenting. It is about some of the tips the Stanley’s learned along the way from others and from parenting their kids into adulthood (two boys and one girl). It isn’t everything there is to know about parenting, but as least there are ideas to ponder, especially since we weren’t given manuals with instructions to follow when our children were born. 

Parenting needs to start when our children are young. The Stanleys shares the 4 stages of parenting like this. The discipline years are ages 1-5. The training years are ages 5-12. The coaching years are ages 12-18. Than the friendship years are 18 years old and up.  

When I think about this, I think how true this is. We really need to start the discipline young because it is so much harder if a child never has discipline and you start to discipline them when they are in middle school. I think today we have so many parents trying to be their kid’s friends when they are younger and aren’t being parents. This causes problems. As Andy Stanley puts it, there is a time for friendship. He also mentioned that later is longer meaning we have so many years to be friends once your child turns 18 that being their friend and not their parent at a younger age can break the relationship.

As far as discipline there are three things that are non-negotiable. They are disobedience, dishonesty and being disrespectful. If your child does any of these they need to be disciplined. Just think if kids knew there were consequences their attitudes may change. I think it’s important that we discipline our kids out of love. I know my parents would always say it hurt them more than it hurt me. I know what they mean now after having two of my own little girls.

Something that is really important about parenting is being there for your kids. I know we are all busy, but the years go by so fast. We need to take time for family. One of the best times to really connect is having dinner together. You can interact with your kids and learn about their day. Having this time together will last a lifetime. The Stanleys talk about it and I know it from personal experience. The dinner table is where a family bonds. It does take planning, so we need to write this in on our schedule. We schedule time for everything else, so we need to make our kids top priority. It is so worth it. Our kids won’t be little forever.

Another good tip mentioned was to make sure you are part of the carpool. You can find out a lot about what’s going on with your child and their friends during the drive. Kids forget you are driving and they start talking. Something else to think about is having your house be where the kids in the neighborhood gather. I know your thinking, no I don’t, but if your son or daughter is at your house you know what’s going on. You don’t know what’s happening if they are somewhere else.

Another tip, but this one was something my parents did. They didn’t allow televisions or phones in the bedroom, because they always wanted to know what we were watching and who we were talking to. I know today there is so much technology out there from cell phones to iPads that it’s hard to monitor our kids, but we need to.

How we raise our children the first 18 years of their life will last with them forever. Oddly enough it lasts into our future generations.
If you are interested in watching the video series, click here and go to video series number 5.


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