Want to Be A Successful Parent? This is the first of six blogs I’m calling “Principles of Successful Parenting.” In these blogs we will be looking at the idea of “success” as it applies to Christian parents who want to do a really good job in parenting their children. If that is your goal and desire as a parent, let’s begin with a definition of what it means to succeed.
If you “google” the definition of success, you will find numerous ideas with one central theme. Success is determined by reaching a goal or desired outcome. Here is an example of a of what I mean, ” Success is the achievement of a desired goal, such as obtaining name or fame or wealth, or a higher degree, for which a person has tried his dead level best.” https://www.berkeleywellbeing.com/definition-of-success.html
I think we generally know what we mean when we use the word success to describe a business person, athlete, or entertainer. We usually have wealth or fame associated with the way we look at those folks. He/she is a very successful entrepreneur; therefore, they are into some big money, etc.
I believe one of the most important things a person ever engages in is being a parent. But, I don’t know if I’ve ever seen successful parenting described or defined. Well, that’s what I’m going to try to do with you in this blog and give you five ideas (blogs) of how you can become a successful parent.
How do you know when you’ve been successful as a parent? In much of what we do there is a direct connection between our effort and the result we get. For example, if we follow the blueprint for the house we are building, we get the house we planned. Bricks, mortar, wood, nails, glass, tile, pipes, paint, and roofing “do what they are told to do.”
Parenting doesn’t necessarily work that way. Children, unlike inanimate materials have personalities and wills of their own and often make choices that can thwart our best plans for them. Question: Is it possible you can be a good, responsible “successful” parent but get results that disappoint you? On the other hand, is it possible your child can do well even if you are sometimes doing a poor job as a parent?
These are interesting and perplexing questions to ponder. How do I answer them? My experience, as a parent of two, and teaching and counseling parents and children over many decades causes me to say “yes” to both questions. Does this mean the good, responsible parent has failed if his child doesn’t turn out well?
Here’s my thinking about this issue. Parents are the most powerful people in the young child’s life but we are not all powerful for our child’s entire life. There are many things in our culture that influence our children, Then, of course, our child has a will and the capacity to make choices that may or may not conform to what we want for them.
Some children make wise choices and learn to build their lives upon the foundation of love and nurture of their parents. Others, through willfulness and stubbornness become victims of their poor choices. While it is much more difficult, some children manage to overcome the unhealthy habits and thought patterns of their parents to become much healthier than would seem possible.
There are no perfect parents, but the child that grows up in a home where parents attempt to do what is in his best long-term interest (my idea of parenting love) has a decided advantage over the child who does not have that going for him. All children deserve to have parents that succeed in this way but children do not get to pick their parents.
We have come now to the point where we need to take a serious look at how we define “successful parent.” The next five blogs will spell this out in some concrete steps you can take to be a successful parent,, but let’s begin with a basic definition of what successful parenting involves.
Your job is to know your child and encourage and guide him to develop his full potential. It is not your job to change your child but to create an environment conducive to change and growth on his part.
Direct attempts to fundamentally change him will end in frustration and resentment and any perceived change will be temporary. Real change and growth must come from within your child, from the inside out. Guide your child toward what you believe is best for him, but ultimately he must choose his response to your love and guidance.
While Proverbs 22:6 is not and absolute promise, the possibilities are good that your loving guidance will produce the kind of character you have prayed and worked for in your child. “Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.”
While there are no guarantees in parenting, there is a strong likelihood that if you are “successful” in the way I have described, your child will develop and grow into a person of good character. You only have one shot at this and your time of profound influence is limited. Make the best of it. The next five blogs will give you ideas and encouragement in how to do it.
These and many more ideas about parenting can be found in my book, Parenting With A Purpose, available athttps://www.cosdavis.com/product/parenting-with-a-purpose