Be Their Parent Not Their Friend

Art Credit: Scott Maness

Art Credit: Scott Maness

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” – Proverbs 22:6 KJV

Parents, your children need you to be their parents. There is a difference in being their parent and being their peer.

God put you in a special position to bring your children up “in the training and instruction of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:1 NIV)

The best time to start this process is while they are young. Many times I have had to imagine an unruly 2 year old doing the same thing as a teenager. No matter how cute and innocent they seem as toddlers they still need their parents to show them what is right and what is wrong.

You can see one such example from a blog post I wrote at The Beginning of 2012. I could very easily let that be today’s blog post. Parents need to be firm and consistent in how they handle their children. You cannot worry about being their friend. You are their parent.

They may not always like you but they will respect you and love you for setting boundaries. Many times parents wonder why their children grow to be so bitter and angry at them when they give them everything they could possibly want.

Children need their parents to be parents. They don’t need you to be their sibling. You need to be their parent and teacher.

That does not mean you don’t listen to them. You do need to listen to them. What they have to say is important. You need to keep this in mind.

Listen to exactly what they are telling you. Ask them questions. If they have a complaint, hear them out.

Show you care but be firm in what is best for them. It’s okay to explain things to them. But don’t apologize for being their parent. Don’t give in to letting them have something you know will not help them.

They don’t need everything their friends have. This will be hard to teach your child when they are a teenager if you have not taught them as a small child. If as a small child you gave them everything they could possibly want then you will find they will resist your telling them “no” now.

If you are now faced with teenagers and have made some of these mistakes, it’s not necessarily too late. It will be harder and you will have to be careful in how you approach each obstacle you will face. Be extra quick to listen and slow to speak.

Explain to them and apologize to them for whatever mistakes you have made in the past. Tell them that now you would like to be a better parent and show them that you care about them and how they feel. They need to know that you want what is best for them and are there to help them reach their full potential.

Help them to find friends that are good influences on them. Take them to church. Don’t just send them. What you want to be important to them, let it be important to you as well.

You are their parent. Teach them to love you.

Do you teach your children? Are you afraid that they will not like you? Do you have any other parenting tips for us? Please share them with us in the comments.

This is Day 22 of 31 Days Building Commitment. These posts are expanding on my book “Don’t Quit: Build a Legacy of Commitment”.  You can download your free copy here.

Sometimes I feel these posts are a bit rushed. That is because I’m trying to get them written quickly in order to get to my other responsibilities in the home. If you see any mistakes, or have any questions about something I might say that is confusing please send me an email or fill out the contact form and I’ll fix the post as soon as I possibly can. If you are reading, this post by email please check the actual blog post first to see if I’ve already made the necessary corrections.

At the end of this series I will be going to a much easier to maintain pace. I will probably give myself 2 Days per post in order to make corrections before posting. Thanks for baring with me and continuing to follow along in this series.

~~ Anastacia ~~

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About Anastacia Maness

Anastacia Maness is a preacher's wife, homeschooling mother of 6 blessings, and writer. When she's not busy counting her blessings she's writing about them right here on her blog, encouraging and strengthening families.

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