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Do you want to be the best parent ever? Okay, so there are no perfect parents, but you can help your kids succeed with these tips. In the meantime, it might be a good idea to make sure you are not accidentally creating some bad habits.
You may wonder what I mean by this.
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Unfortunately, many parents don’t know certain behaviors can lead to bad habits down the road. If you are doing these things, it is not too late to change. Kids are resilient. Heaven knows I have had a few failures that have been redeemed.
In this post, I am going to help you be the best parent ever. But first, here is a list of 13 parenting strategies that may seem harmless at the time, but over the years could create some bad habits. Moreover, check out the 13 tips to fix it!
* I am updating this post during the COVID quarantine. Lo, and behold, my 21-year old just walked out of her room with blue streaks in her hair. Grace. people. Lots of grace. I reacted well, but wow!
How Can I Be the Best Parent (Or Worst)?
Check out the thirteen things you may need to change in your parenting. More importantly, solutions to get your parenting on the right track.
1. Make your child the center of the universe
Everything in your home revolves around your child. He gets a separate meal made for him, he goes to bed when he feels like it, and he doesn’t have to do what he is told.
Whatever your child wants, he gets. You don’t hesitate to buy things for him constantly. You are wary of ever saying “no” because you don’t want to hear him cry or throw a tantrum.
He is the prince (or princess) and everyone tries to make him happy at all costs. If you make your children the center of the universe you will have a self-centered child one day. It’s not worth it.
What to do: Your child is a welcome member of your family, but God and your marriage come before your kids. By the way, you are not the maid or short-order cook. Your goal is to lovingly train your child to be godly. Sometimes that means tough love.
This is a great way to be the best parent ever.
2. Don’t teach empathy
Don’t ever let your child know how his behavior affects others. He doesn’t need to say “I’m sorry.” Or learn how to read other people’s emotions and facial expressions. It is all about his feelings. No one else’s feelings matter.
When it comes to poverty, make sure you shelter him from seeing how others live. Whatever you do, don’t ever let him volunteer or go on a mission trip when he gets older. It is too dangerous, and he could be upset.
What to do: Teach empathy. Have your kids pray for missionaries, friends, or family that may be hurting. Have them volunteer or go on a mission trip before they graduate from high school.
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3. Allow laziness
Don’t make your child work. Don’t ever give chores and, by all means, don’t let him get a summer job. Make sure he sits around all day playing video games, watching TV, and having friends over.
Let him make a mess and not clean up after himself. It is too much work to clean up.
Bad grades are no big deal. He doesn’t need to study or make an effort to be successful. He is probably going to live at home forever anyways. If you choose to allow laziness, you will have a lazy child. Pretty simple.
What to do: Make sure your kids learn how to clean up, return things in good condition, and work hard. Teach delayed gratification. This will make you the best parent ever.
4. Don’t give consequences for bad choices
Don’t punish your child when she misbehaves. It might hurt her self-image or make her feel inferior. And don’t ever be angry with her because it could make her not like you.
You are her friend. She doesn’t need a mom.
Don’t forget that she is innately good. She doesn’t really mean it if she is rude or acts sassy. If she is disobedient at school, make sure you get her out of her punishment. You don’t want her to learn anything from her mistakes.
If she breaks something, you don’t need to make her repair it or pay for what is broken. And most of all, she never needs to go back and make amends for wrongs committed.
What to do: Your child needs consequences for bad choices. Let the punishment fit the crime. Example: the child pays the fine for an overdue book. Don’t save your child from learning a lesson on a small level. It is better than learning it on a big level. . This is one of the best ways to be the best parent ever.
5. Be a hypocrite
Live by the motto, “Do what I say, not what I do.” It doesn’t matter what you do because you are the adult. You can act however you want because you are the boss.
Your kids are not watching you or learning anything from your actions or behavior. You have a different standard than they do because you are the god of the household.
What to do: How you behave matters. Your kids are watching you whether you like it or not. In fact, they are more likely to follow what you do than what you say. If you want your kids to respect who you are as a person, practice what you preach.
6. Allow disrespect or rudeness
It is okay if your child says something disrespectful to you. Let him scream at you, threaten, or push you around.
If he is rude, ignore it. He is just telling you how he feels. He doesn’t need to adjust his attitude. Having a bad attitude is tough and cool, In fact, a bad attitude will take him far in life. Ever met a child like this??
What to do: Don’t allow disrespect. Period. Plain and simple. If he does it to you, he will do it to his teachers, his boss, and the law. Allow your child an avenue to respectfully disagree and/or ask for reconsideration as he gets older. (This can be abused so keep it in balance.) You want a household that is firm but loving.
7. Don’t pray for your child
You don’t need any help from God. It is useless to pray for your child to have wisdom, protection from harm, or help in times of trouble.
You have got this. God can’t help because He doesn’t really exist. Or even if He does exist, He doesn’t know or understand your child or his needs. God is irrelevant to you and your family. Let me tell you, this type of self-reliance will mess up your kids. This is one of the worst parenting mistakes you can ever make.
What to do: Pray for your child daily. Pray for wisdom on how to raise him. You can also pray for favor, protection, godly friends, etc. This is one of the ways to be the best parent ever.
8. Don’t teach any morals or values
The Bible is nonsense. It is an old book that doesn’t really fit into today’s world. Things have changed. The Ten Commandments are just suggestions for people who need a crutch.
Go by what you feel is right. There are no absolute truths. You are your own truth. In fact, you are your own god. It pains me to even type this! But oh, how I have seen this over and over.
What to do: Teach your child the difference between right and wrong. Read the Bible out loud. Encourage a quiet time with God. Remember, character training is just as important as schoolwork.
9. Don’t get involved in church or youth group
Going to church or youth group is a big waste of time and boring. In fact, sports are more important on the weekends than any church service.
Your child could be a professional athlete someday. It is all about the big game and winning. You don’t have time to sing and hear some guy talk about how to be good. There are a bunch of hypocrites at church anyways.
What to do: Get your kids to church! And help them find a youth group/bible study they enjoy going to every week. (Preferably at your church, but whatever works.) They need to be in the Word of God. This will help you to be the best parent ever.
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10. Don’t develop a relationship with your child
Children should be seen and not heard. You don’t have time to play with your kids, do fun activities, or make some great memories together as a family. And don’t eat any meals together. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
Forget being involved in his life or attending any of his extracurricular activities. Your child is there to serve you. He comes to your world, you don’t go to his. Your life is way more important.
What to do: Spend time with your child. Go to his games, help him with homework, stop and listen when he is talking. Be there for him. You can have a great relationship and not be a buddy. Your role is to be a sounding board, cheerleader, and wise guide through life.
11. Act in a severe way
Have lots of rules that don’t make sense. Yell and threaten when you are angry because this is the only way you are going to get her attention. Act severely without grace.
Make sure you are abusive with your words and actions. Cut her to the core. Show her who is boss.
Make her terrified of you. It is your way or the highway. Don’t listen to the circumstances or understand the context of a situation. You don’t have time for that nonsense.
What to do: Respect your child as another person. Treat him like you would want to be treated. You can enforce the house rules without destroying her spirit. Use positive parenting tips such as praise to help reinforce good behavior. Enforce consequences for bad choices without losing control of yourself.
12. Don’t have boundaries
Anything goes in your house. Make sure everyone is having fun all the time. Rules are boring and restrictive.
Just as long as your child is at your house, you have control over the situation. Drugs, sex, and alcohol are okay in moderation.
Respect for other people’s space or things is not important either. You just take and use what you want without asking. You don’t need boundaries or any type of guidelines for good behavior.
What to do: Make sure your child understands your expectations. You need some basic house rules. Your child needs a parent, not another buddy. Teach boundaries. Respect and enforce them. Don’t allow drugs, alcohol, or premarital sex. Period.
13. Allow pride and arrogance
Your child does not need to be teachable. He is the smartest or most popular kid around. No one is going to tell him what to do.
He doesn’t need some stupid teacher to make his life miserable. He knows best and doesn’t need others to speak into his life to make him a better person.
What to do: If your child is teachable, he will learn not just academically but also spiritually. He will gain wisdom. People like working with someone who has a good attitude, smart, and has wisdom about life. This is how to be the best parent ever.
Here is a video from Dr. James Dobson. He has a few words on how to effectively help you be the best parent ever. You can do these things! It’s not hard.
What Qualities Make a Good Parent?
Parenting is not an easy gig. Your kids are going to try your patience at every juncture. They are going to pull out the worst in you, at times. If you want to be the best parent ever, then allow God to refine you so that you react well when your kids try you.
Your best will never be good enough without God. You are weak and insufficient without the Holy Spirit. The good news is that when we are weak, He is strong. Fall on your knees daily and pray for wisdom. Walk in the rhythms of grace. God will take everything, even the hard things, and turn it around for His glory.
What do you do to be the best parent ever?
Got Family Problems? There is Help and Hope!
Are you experiencing family problems or even estranged? Are you feeling shame, anger, or rejection? Check out my book Estranged: Finding Hope When Your Family Falls Apart on Amazon or at your favorite digital store.
This book not only talks about my seven-year estrangement from my Christian family, but it also gives solid tips to help you with your difficult family relationships. Break free from your pain. Allow God to heal you no matter what has happened in your family of origin. There is hope when your family falls apart.
Creating Family Memories Book
Get Creating Family Memories. This book will help you manage your family in a way that allows more time to be intentional with your kids. It includes a schedule too. You can get it at your favorite bookstore.
Join Christian Family Living Facebook Group
Continue the conversation on Facebook and join the group Christian Family Living. This is a place for Christian women to share their experiences and get helpful tools to navigate the Christian life. We love to laugh, cry, and encourage each other to live out our faith one day at a time.