Parenting turned out different for most people this year! The COVID-19 global crisis changed lots of things about family life. School, extracurricular activities, family outings and vacations, even just running around the neighborhood! Let’s face it. 2020 will be known as a year of incredible upheavals.
Good Parenting is Still Important
You can bless your child, or your grandchild, no matter what challenges are present. There are basic principles that work – always – in good times and in awful times. Are excellent results guaranteed? Well, yes and no.
“Yes” because these precepts are based on God’s Word. They establish a strong foundation your child can return to all their life. And sometimes it’s later in life that God’s principles impact a grown child most.
“No” because your child has a free will God designed. Your child may or may not adopt what you train into them. But parenting is all about giving a child the best launch into life using God’s principles to nurture and develop a healthy adult.
So, what helpful precepts give best practice results?
1. Be “Present” With Your Child
Let’s start with what it’s not. Being present does not mean constantly being with them. Nor does it mean smothering them. Rather, it means being alert and aware of their circumstances and needs. Being “present” trains your child that there are some things they can count on. This helps your child learn to trust God.
One way you can be present for your child during uncertain COVID days is to talk with them about the global virus. Invite them to ask question and talk about what they are thinking. Go online with them and stay informed. Assure your child that God wants to help humanity during these hard times, and He always keeps His promises. Help them select promises for any concerns they might have. And teach your child the recommended safety practices.
2. Love Your Child Whether They Are Obedient or Not
Loving your child means they can be assured you will always accept them. When they are wrong, you will help them get back on the right path. Your child needs to know that love is not earned or rewarded. It simply “is” at all times. 100%. They need to know you will always be in their corner. Let them hear you say, “I love you” often. Even when they have been disobedient. This is what God does for you and me. Loving your child does not mean letting them always have their way.
Knowing beyond any doubt that they are loved fills a child’s heart with confidence and courage.
3. Give Them An Orderly Environment
For best results, your child needs an orderly environment to function in and build onto. This does not mean being obsessive about things. Kids of all ages do better in a well-organized and flexible home. In a disorderly world, show them how to live an orderly, balanced life. This gives them a base from which to make good decisions, and it helps them know they still have some control over their domain. It gives them a place to rest and renew. They can conclude that it is in their reach to build a strong, manageable, life base.
Give your children careful safety steps about this pandemic. Having a “family plan,” with careful thought – kids need this to interact in the world, especially when things are in crisis. Organization affects their environment. Yet, it also affects how they think, speak, and solve problems. It affects how they pursue and manage healthy relationships.
4. Set Up and Lovingly Reinforce Clear Guidelines
Your child needs good guidelines. No one has ever been a kid before – or a parent, for that matter. So everybody is learning how to do this.
Children need training and boundaries for agility, adaptability, and stability. Having clear guidelines helps your child set their life compass. God has established right and wrong, and your child needs to know where those lines are. That means they would seek to know God’s principles and then work to live inside them. And you help with that process. By agreeing with what God says is best for them, they contribute to their community, their family, and their own life character.
How To Make These Four Good Parenting Principles Real
How does a parent teach these timeless values to their child? I’m going right to the root on this. It’s an immediate jump into being rightly connected to God. These life-balancing four principles flow from Him to any parent ready to receive.
God is, after all, a perfect parent to His children. 1. He is ever present to you at all times. 2. He loves you whether you are obedient or not. 3. God has given you an amazing environment of this world to live in and to build upon. And 4. He has given clear boundaries which He lovingly and firmly reinforces.
So, commit to these principles in your own life. Model them. Simultaneously, train your kids in them. Then, expect these qualities to be reciprocated by your children.This training helps your children be:
- Well rounded
I encourage you to jot ideas down. Pray and ask God for wisdom. Then form practical action points to adopt for your children.
I leave you with a Scripture filled with hope. Jer. 32:40 says, “I will make an everlasting covenant with them (God is very present with you), that I will not turn away from them (God loves you 100%), to do them good (God has given you an incredible, orderly environment of this world to live and build into); I will put My fear (respect) in their hearts, that they shall not depart from Me (God has given clear boundaries and lovingly reinforces them).”
God bless you as you parent your child during these difficult days. May their hearts be drawn to Jesus in every way . . . and your heart, too!
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10 Days of Prayers During COVID-19