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Parenting is the process of leading, guiding, teaching, training, promoting and supporting the physical, emotional, social, financial and intellectual development of a child from infancy to adulthood. Christian parenting is a process of inculcating Godly, positive ideals into the child’s growth and maturity so that he can imbibe them in adulthood. In our society, we can say parenting is through out life. It is the ultimate long term investment wherein you put far more than into than you get out of it. Sometimes it gets worse before it gets better but the beauty of it is that if done properly and effectively, it is most rewarding in life. Parents here could be biological, adopted or guidance.
For a Christian, parenting should start from the womb when the mother begins to speak to the destiny of the child she is carrying. Parenting is a school you enter and never graduate.
Biblically, the position God placed parents in the all round development of their vis a vis formation of character, lifestyle, relationships and idea about life in its entirety cannot be overemphasized, an all round authority over them hence God spoke about Abraham in Gen 18:19 that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the Lord, to do righteousness and justice……….. Parents should exert great influence on the growth and development of their children more than Peers, environment or the society.
TOOLS OF PARENTING.
There are various tools to use as parents in fulfilling our roles and these tools are determined by the age of the child. These tools are in the form of command, compel, appeal, encourage, teach, train, discuss, admonish, advise and sometimes spank. There is the right age and time to employ each of these tools or instruments. If a parent appeal when he ought to command, he may not get the right result and vice versa.
However, living a good examples for the child to see is more effective in the development of the child in that it leaves a lasting impart on the child especially in adulthood. The admonishment to train a child in the way he should go in Prov. 22:6 shows that effort must be put in place to put a child on the right track of life and in doing so constant repetition/correction a behavior, words, acts and enforcement of rules should be employed at the right time for training to be effective. Training a child in the observance of her prayer time, bible reading, tithing, positive confession, academic reading are no mean feat that can be achieved by parents. Laying down a pattern of life for the child to follow,using biblical perspectives and experiences also help drive home some points. Parents should note that every child comes into the world with his own temperaments and it is the duty of the parent to guide, provide and also prepares him for complete independent life.
Every child is unique and special in his own way therefore parents must employ various methods, styles to bring out the uniqueness and special, latent abilities in the child. The show of love, reward and punishment sometimes denial are daily tools to drive home our ideals. Words matter, our children soak them up like sponges. “God loves you”, “l am here for you”, ” l am proud of you”, “l love you”, “l am wrong”, “You were right” etc make them feel loved, appreciated, teach them right and wrong.
Note: Parents should avoid the pitfalls of their own parents, making sure they are not doing the same mistake (s) because they carry their genes and tend to act like them.
GROWTH: Allow every child to grow at his or her pace and never compare one with another because each child has his own strength and weakness. Parents need to exercise patience with the slow learner among them and be ready to repeat their words, expressions whenever it is necessary and also go the extra mile.
FRIENDSHIP: Parents should cultivate the friendship of their children. Show interest in what interest them and guide them. At a certain age begin to seek their opinion in all decisions of theIr lives and some family’s. Learn to say “l am sorry”, when you are wrong and when they are right acknowledge it. When they make mistake(s), correct or rebuke them and move on immediately. Do not hunt them with their mistake. When they come to you with their problem seeking your help or opinion, do not blame them first, together help solve the problem after, you can now point out those areas where they have missed it.
PRAYERS: Great things are born out of prayers and parenting is not an exception. Knowing that the spiritual controls the physical world, prayers for our children should be held in high esteem. Parents should lift each child before God regularly knowing the changes God could bring about in the child.
In conclusion, employing parenting tools or tips couple with prayers guarantee success, positive lifestyle and a rewarding future for the child and the family. Let us imbibe knowledge to our teaching and training.