Parenting is a journey not a sprint. There will be many peaks but there will also be valleys. There will be wins but also losses; some ups and some downs but through it all, Jeremiah 29:11 says; “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” These words must placed deeply in your heart and soul as you are raising your children. After working with children and families for over 26 years, there are some crucial things we as parents can do to bring out the BEST in our children.
First, Expect the Best: If you think they can or if you think they can’t you are both CORRECT! It is important that we always look for the silver lining. Children need to know that you are their number one cheerleader and that you will stick with them through thick and thin. They must know that BEST is their Birthright and Average is not in their DNA. You do that by modeling excellence in everything YOU do. Children will BE what they SEE so show them what brilliance really looks like.
Second: Educate and Empower Them: The Secretary of the Department of Education, will not be showing up at your door to read to your child. You might have gotten a better response from John King but folks, Betsy ain’t comin. (it’s poor English but you get my point). It is our responsibility as parents to be in Position to Adequately Raise Educate, Nurture and Teach our children. Research indicates that during a period of a year, children spend an average of 7800 hours at home and 980 at school. Which teacher do you think should be more effective?
Third: Eliminate Excuses We live in a country where everyone is so busy that they don’t have time for anything including the children they birthed. I will tell you like my mother use to tell me… We make time for what we want to make time for. Children are a gift and no matter how busy you think you are they should be a top priority when it comes to sowing seeds of success in their lives because LOVE to them is spelled TIME!
Fourth: Effectively Discipline: Discipline comes from the root word to “disciple” which means to teach. It is imperative that when we discipline our children we are teaching them a valuable lesson. A lesson that does not require inflicting pain which leaves them feeling humiliated and embarrassed but a lesson that they can glean from and think twice before doing it again. Fifth, Finally, it is imperative for parents to Evaluate your Words: Life and Death is in the power of the tongue. Some forty and fifty year-olds are still suffering in silence from something someone said to them when they were younger. Learn to connect with your children before correcting; and respond instead of reacting. Speak life into your child no matter what they have done and give them the grace that we so needed and perhaps didn’t get growing up. Say things like: “there is greatness in you”; you are a winner; I believe in you; the best is yet to come, you are enough, you are fearfully and wonderfully made. If you get them to believe in themselves first… then they will realize that all things are possible even their opportunity to reach their Divine Destiny.