Parenting is a lifelong journey. It has the potential of becoming positively overwhelming or it may turn out to be utterly depressing. Life has its ups and down and so does parenting. However, with God’s intervention this daunting task can be conquered. (I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me)
Raising a child can be so much easier if the parent can:
Accept their uniqueness
God made us in his own image and scores of parents are keen to mold their children in their own image. This isn’t a good thing because humans are meant to be unique in their own ways. Uniqueness eases development of diversity resulting in a variation which is what spices up life. Raising a child isn’t about molding, it’s more about discovery. A child isn’t a formless piece of clay that requires to be molded. Rather, a child is a folded sheet of paper that ought to be unfolded. Make an effort to seek God’s help that he may help you unfold the child’s life in accordance to His will.
Let them know they are valued
It’s important for children to feel treasured and valued. Some people think children aren’t intelligent enough to perceive emotions. This perception is very wrong and the sooner it’s realized the better. Parents can affirm their value for their children in two major ways:
By the words they use. The words that a parent uses are very vital. Parents ought to be careful on the choice of words they use. Children are more likely to be courageous if their parents constantly speak positively and encourage them.
In their actions. Despite the use of good words, the child needs to be shown by actions that they are really valued. A couple of activities that are bound to make the child feel valued are; spending time with them, sharing mealtimes, maintaining eye contact with them when communicating, touching them appropriately (which also tends to be an affectionate gesture).
Trust them with responsibilities
Trusting children with responsibilities does more good than harm. Most parents are skeptical on this issue for fear of failure. Failure is inevitable and the sooner the parent realizes that the better. At times, failure is the best teacher but only if the results are handled sensibly. Trusting a child with various responsibilities awakes the urge to be responsible at an early age. You may start by assigning them simple tasks to gauge their sense of responsibility. If the smallest tasks can be handled, then the child is ready for more complex responsibilities (Luke 16:11-12, Matthew 25:29). Furthermore, a child is better-off when they know that they can be trusted.
Correct them without condemning them
Children are naturally bound to make mistakes because it’s a form of learning. The main issue is how the parent reacts to the child’s mistake. As a parent it isn’t right to correct a child when you are blinded by rage. Nothing sensible is accomplished when it is done in anger (Proverbs 14:17, 29:22). It’s a parent’s duty to correct their child whenever they make a mistake (Proverbs 13:24, 29:15, 29:17). However, the parent should always make their children understand that they are disciplining them for their own good.
A parent ought to watch the words they use when correcting their children. Negative words make children perceive that they aren’t loved and this derails their development (Ephesians 6:4). Positive words are signs of love and the child is more likely to learn from their mistakes (Ephesians 4:29).
love them unconditionally
Just as God loved us even when we least deserved it, so should the parent unconditionally love the child. Whenever a child makes a mistake, the parent ought to forgive the child absolutely (Matthew 6:12, Ephesians 4:32). Even as humanity was drowning in sin, God had his plan of salvation and he never lost hope in the quest for salvation. A parent should never give up on their child. The whole world may condemn a child but the parent should be their source of hope and encouragement (1 Corinthians 13:7). Children are known to handle life’s issues boldly when they know they have their parent’s unconditional support and love.