How were you parented? Would you say your parents did a good job, or did they really blow it? Were there things in their parenting style that you wanted to replicate as a parent? Were there things you wanted to purposefully leave behind? None of us are perfect parents, and none of us had perfect parents. The reality is that our parents were our textbook of how to be a man or a woman, a husband or a wife, a father or a mother. Have you ever caught yourself acting toward your child in the same way your parent acted toward you? Has this ever been one of those actions you swore you would never repeat as a parent? Don’t worry—I think almost all of us have been there at one time or another.
This is what I want you to think about. What kind of parent do you want to be today with your kids? What are you doing well as a parent? What do you want to change? The key to parenting is that it takes three of you—you, your spouse, and God. If all three are lined up together in parenting, you can hit home runs all the time. Don’t get me wrong—it still takes a lot of work, and there will be times of frustration. But now you can have a plan. Here are some steps for you and your spouse to follow:
- Pray for God’s wisdom as you parent.
- Make a list of the things you are doing well.
- Make a list of the things you feel you need to change.
- Make a short-term and a longer-term parenting plan. What is important today and what will be important in the next year or so?
- Pray for each other as parents.
- See yourself as a parenting team, and don’t let anything separate you.
If you do not have a parenting plan yet, create one! It will make a significant difference in your life, in your kids’ lives, and in your marriage.