What do you think is involved in being an effective parent?
The Bible tells us in Proverbs 22:6 to “Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (KJV).
Now that’s a tall order, and a great responsibility, and there are some positive ingredients that make that possible.
Your expectations as a parent for your child have a definite influence on your child’s behavior. For example, two different people can try feeding a child. One will succeed, the other will fail. Why? The one expected to succeed. The other expected to fail.
The first one had what was called confident expectation. If you’re doing something that’s worthwhile, whether it’s feeding your child or anything else necessary in parenthood, if you feel it’s worthwhile and in the best interest of your child, you ought to have enough conviction to carry it through. That involves confident expectation.
Your child may not want or like what you’re trying to do and may resist you in different ways. But don’t take your cue from your child, letting him control the situation. With love and gentleness, but with firmness, persist with confident expectation and you will gain the victory.
Dr. Ethel Wethering, a professor at Cornell University, once talked about 4 building blocks that help in raising children.
1. Attitude of Approval
A child’s attitude has a lot to do with the attitude of the parent. Choose to have a spirit of approval, so your child sees “I like you, even when you are bucking me.”
When you have an expectation of your child, figure out how to help make it happen.
Be patient with your child and take time to understand what the child can and can’t do. Respect their abilities.
4. Affection and Tenderness
This building block can cement your relationship with your child. Show your love for your children. Hug them, tell them you love him. That will help you jump over a lot of hurdles and heal a lot of hurts.
The most important part of parenthood involves your character. Much of what you teach your children will be caught, not actually taught. You are shaping your child’s character by your example. Unfortunately, few parents realize how important it is to be good role models of the attitudes, speech and actions they desire to see reproduced in their children.
So, pay attention to the kind of person you are, and how you relate to your spouse. You are making an impression. Ask God for wisdom and direction as to what changes you need to make in order to be a more approving, helping, respecting, affectionate parent. Be your best and your children will benefit all the more.
This summary is from Dr. Brandt’s message A Happy Ending.