Successful parents enjoy being parents. They enjoy parenting not because it's easy or instantly rewarding, but because of the sheer joy and privilege of cooperating with God in shaping another unique and precious life. Any parent of grown children will tell you that “they grow up so quickly.” Successful parents remind themselves of that and try to savor every day with their children. They immerse themselves in their children as much as possible and just enjoy them—even the days of dirty diapers, illness, and disappointments. They don't just love their children, they like them and look forward to spending time with them.
Successful parents don’t expect perfection, either from themselves or their children. Parenting is an art, not a science. Successful parents understand that, like themselves, their children aren't perfect either. This frees them to love their children unreservedly.
Successful parents don’t fear occasional failures. They understand that mistakes are a normal, even healthy, part of parenting. They make the best decisions they can, and when they're wrong, they learn from their mistakes and try to do better the next time.
Successful parents don’t expect to have smooth sailing. Children have their own opinions, personalities, and preferences. Inevitably, they cause us to say, “Where did that come from?” or “What were you thinking?” Our responsibility to provide them with limits and guidance will sometimes clash with their growing desire for independence. Successful parents aren't surprised by [difficulties and conflicts]; they expect them. But successful parents understand that their responsibility to their children is not to always please them or make them happy—it's to make the hard decisions that will be for their best in the long run.
Successful parents don’t go it alone.No one has the experience or answers to every parenting challenge. Successful parents aren't reluctant to seek out the wisdom of others. They know that, at the end of the day, the decision is theirs, but before they get there, there is plenty of wisdom along the way waiting to help them.--Richard Patterson, Jr.
One day a group of mothers was solemnly discussing the value of spending “quality” time with their preschoolers. The consensus seemed to be that, as bored as they were by pushing trucks along the floor, playing Candyland, or building Lego spacecraft, these activities were somehow sacred—deemed essential for purposes of bonding with their children. Suddenly, one mother’s voice rose above the others, “I’m sorry … I’m very clear about this with my older daughter. I just tell her, ‘I don’t play Barbies.’”
The nonapologetic nature of her remark stopped everyone in their tracks. … We began to talk about what “quality time” really meant. [We discussed how] quality time by definition can be so stressfully full of “shoulds” and “oughts” that you lose the feeling of doing something mutually enjoyable.
Sometimes the best time with kids is when there’s not that element of obligation or sacrifice. Spontaneous moments of pleasure feel more meaningful than hours devoted to Barbies and baseball cards. As someone once said, “Joy can be better caught than taught.”--Nancy Samalin with Catherine King
The surest way to teach your children something is through your own sample—not what you preach at them, not what you tell them they should do, but what you yourself believe and act upon.--Jesus, speaking in prophecy
When parents are brave enough to [apologize for] their flaws and lacks to their children, they serve as beautiful models of what it means to depend on God. When you are open and transparent before God and your children, you are saying that, “Even though I am many years older, I, too, depend on [Jesus], just as I want you to depend on Him.”
Another benefit of being open before God and your children is that it will motivate them to seek you out and talk about their real feelings. They are more likely to share their problems and weaknesses with you if they know that you have been down that same road yourself. They will reason, Mommy won't be mad about this because she had it happen, too. …
Show your child that you are depending on the all-encompassing love and strength of God in your life. Model submission to the Lord before your child and he will learn how to submit his own life to God.--Kevin Leman
Have you ever watched a mother duck with her little ducklings? Mother duck seems so cool, calm, and collected as she swims with her little ones on the pond, but all the while she’s watching out for them.
That’s an example of the calmness of spirit that helps your little ones feel secure. You will always have more things to do than you have time to do, and it’s so easy to get in a rushed, nervous spirit. When that happens, you can make a conscious effort to remain calm and to convey that to your children. When pressures begin to mount, stop for a moment, close your eyes, and ask Me to fill you with the perfect peace that comes from trusting in Me.--Jesus, speaking in prophecy
I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.--Psalm 121:1–2
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.--Isaiah 40:29–31