Here at TBC Cayce we try as best we can to reinforce the importance of godly parenting and raising our children to be fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ. As parents there is much we can do to help our children follow Christ, but only God can draw their hearts in, in such a way that they truly love and follow Him. As a parent it’s not hard to see that we don’t all have the same approach when it comes to raising children. Though it is one of the most important and greatest challenges we face, there is no single “right” way to raise a child. That is to say, there is no one who has a one-system-fits-all approach that guarantees success.
That begs the question, “What is success,” when it comes to raising a child. Below I am listing a few trends I see in parents today, and I’m curious as to whether you also see them, and if you believe they are good, bad or just neutral approaches.
*(Notice - these are the trends I see as I interact with my church and the school system my child is currently in. Obviously, I’m aware that there are parents, children and other caretakers in completely different circumstances - this is a mostly white, mostly middle class, mostly southern, mostly conservative reflection.)
1. Parents know a great deal about their children’s life and activities.
2. Parents intervene in the life of their child when they are able to do so if they see their child hurting or struggling with something.
3. Parents have a considerable amount of communication with their children’s schools, teachers, coaches and other leaders in the life of the child.
4. Parents do not like to see their children hurt in any shape, form or fashion.
5. Parents are very cautious about allowing their children to go to other people’s homes.
6. Parents know exactly where their children are at all times.
7. Parents share a great deal of information with their children.
8. Parents critique and allow their children to critique authorities.
9. Parents have set schedules and generally early bed times for their children.
10. Parents tend to cultivate a “stay-near me” atmosphere when it comes to their children. 11. Parents attend all of their children’s functions.
What do you think? Do you agree or disagree with these trends in parents? If these trends are generally true, what is good and what isn’t good about them? I think it’s important for us to step back from the rushing waters of culture and be sure the stream is taking us where God wants us to go. If these trends are true of us it behooves us to step back and think through the choices we are making and how they are impacting our children. It’s quite easy to assume there are certain things we “should do” as parents, however, I think that as parents we shouldn’t assume the model we inherit is necessarily the best model for our children. I’m thankful that so many people I’m around desire to be godly parents and to see their children grow close to God. To that end I’d encourage you to make a list of the characteristics that define your parenting and evaluate their strengths and weaknesses.