There are a lot of things that come with being a parent – especially in the first several years of their life. Everything is new and fresh and you’re trying to figure out how to function with a new member of your family. It’s important to remember that the time you have with your kids is short, but what you do starting right now will determine what they experience in their future. Here are four steps to help you
parent for the future:
Teach Your Child How to Think, Not Just What to Think.
Children make on average 3,000 decisions in a single day. As a parent you should be teaching your child to make great choices – understanding that decision making for a toddler is a new concept for them. At an early age, the things we teach them will impact them for a lifetime. So that is motivation enough to get started right as a parent, not only for our sake, but especially theirs. God’s Word is the guide we use to teach our kids how to make the best decisions.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” - Romans 12:2
Structure is Vitally Important.
Children need a structure and routine to thrive. Toddler’s schedules are constantly changing but that doesn’t mean you can’t create a structure around their day. Children are looking for parameters and boundaries and will push the limits. Having a set bedtime, a morning routine, and daily chores are just a few ways to help provide the structure your child desperately needs. Give your child responsibilities that they can fulfill at their age. If they can’t carry a whole grocery bag, give them something inside the bag they can carry. Help them to be as mature as they are able.
“Equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” - Ephesians 4:12-13
Lead Your Child to Own Their Faith, Not Just Follow Your Faith.
The greatest responsibility that you have as a parent is to help them begin and grow in their relationship with Jesus. This is no easy task but with Jesus, and His church, it can be done! Allow God to be a common topic of conversation in your home. Teach them how to pray, and model for them the value of it. Commit to bring them to church and talk about what they learned and how it applies to their life. Don’t relegate the role of spiritual leader to the church. You as the parent have the biggest influence on your child’s life!
“Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” - Deuteronomy 6:7