Over the next few weeks, I will be posting some basic things parents ought to know. Most of these come from years of both being a parent and watching many, many other parents.
1. Parents need to wrestle with their long term vision. "What kind of person are we rearing this child to be? What is the point?"
2. The best thing a person can to be a good parent is to first be a good man or a good woman. (Living in daily obedience to Jesus and dependence upon his Spirit will produce such a person).
3. What kind of atmosphere exists in your home? Children are blessed by a home where peace, love, and healthy laughter (not at the expense of others) exists.
4. Parents and children make a lot of mistakes. (We all do!) Yet, it is so important that parents attempt to remain emotionally connected with their children.
5. Many of us have "baggage" from the past. Parents must not allow their own baggage to fuel the way they deal with their children. (For instance, the father who is now reliving his childhood vicariously through his athletic son or daughter. His intensity may be fueled by the frustration he felt as a child in athletics).
6. Moms and dads need to be watching other moms and dads to learn from them. (Sometimes learning what not to do!) No parent has it all together. Yet, we can bless our children by learning from parents who have already experienced the phase of life we are about to enter.
7. If you are not praying for your children, who is? Children desperately need their parents to pray daily for God's intervention in their lives.
8. Children learn a lot by watching their parents. As they watch you interact with your husband or wife, what do they see?
9. Parents need to teach their children how to behave when things don't go their way. How should a person act when he strikes out in little league baseball? How is a person to behave when the referee calls a foul and there was no foul committed? A child learns how to behave by watching his/her parents. They can model for her how to act and not act when frustrated.
10. As parents, get ready for some days which seem like weeks and years which go by so quickly, you can't remember them! Rearing these children (having them at home) is actually a very brief window of life.