Being a Christian parent in today’s world is more challenging than ever. We are in a battle for our children’s hearts and minds and the tools Satan has at his disposal are more cunning than ever. We are now all in “crisis” parenting as we fight to teach our children their identity in Christ, how to discover their purpose and help them discern how to live in the world but not be of the world. Parenting without a plan is just not a good option if you want to win this war. Here are 5 steps to help you get started on your parenting plan.
- Look at yourself first. Are there issues from your past that you need to address? Often things such as anger, anxiety or insecurity from our past can appear in our parenting styles.
- Who will you serve? Take a look at your checkbook and calendar. Do they reflect the spiritual priorities you want for your family?
- Have you established objectives? What characteristics do you want to instill in your children? Integrity, work ethic, a servant’s heart? Be intentional about teaching these priorities.
- Set the rules! Every home needs a set of rules. They set expectations and establish boundaries. Rules need to be posted so everyone is clear and there are no surprises.
- Develop a discipline strategy. It’s not a question of IF the rules will be broken but WHEN and how often. We should not be surprised our children are not perfect. They are in training and it’s our responsibility to show them the way. Mix into your plan a warning phrase, as well as consequences that both teach your parenting objectives and provide an incentive to make a different choice the next time. Don’t forget to add a dash of grace.
Throughout our lives, we will make plans for vacation, plans for sending our kids to college and plans for dinner. How much more important is it that we develop a plan for our everyday parenting? Implementing a parenting plan can bring peace, draw your family closer and help you live out the purpose God has for your family.
Bethany Meadows is a mother of five, including a sibling group of four children from the foster care system. The Birmingham-based entrepreneur, author, speaker and radio host’s new book Getting a Grip is a practical step-by-step guide that teaches parents how to build a customized parenting plan. Learn more at www.bethanymeadows.net.