Becoming a Successful Parent

Take the Successful Parent Test, and see if you make the grade!

How do you usually feel about your role as a parent? (choose only one answer.)

  1. I feel optimistic and willing to learn. I enjoy the challenge of meeting my child’s needs.

  2. I feel kinds re OK, but there’s more to life than parenting.

  3. I often feel like a failure. I’m discouraged and sometimes wish I’d never had a child.

  4. At times I’ve felt like all the above!

If you answered number 1: Excellent! You’ve got everything going for you to be a success. But every family has room for improvement. Check below for seven helpful steps.

If you answered number 2: Things are probably going OK for your family. But why settle for just an average relationship when you could have a dynamic one? With a little enthusiasm and a few creative ideas you could turn your ho-hum family experience into a rich and meaningful one. Keep reading!

If you answered number 3: You could use a little encouragement. You need to reach out to someone to help you occasionally. Parenting is a tremendous responsibility. Sometimes overwhelming. But nothing’s impossible. If you’d like to be a better parent, read on.

If you answered number 4: This pamphlet is a must for you!

When it comes to parenting, knowledge is important. Skills are important. But it’s your attitude that will ultimately make or break your chances for success.

It’s easy to fail if you know you’re going to. If you find yourself wishing you’d never had children, if you resent the responsibility, and you live for the day the school bus will carry them off to school, your children will suffer. If life has treated you harshly and your words are full of censure, criticism, and negative commands, you’ll never be effective. Discouragement leads to failure. Turn yourself around, and be positive, optimistic, and enthusiastic about parenting.

Successful parents are positive. You can be too. Look on the bright side. See the good in your child. Be quick to appreciate. Encourage, encourage, encourage. Put a smile on your face and a song in your heart. Concentrate on filling yourself with positive emotions. Ask God to fill whatever you can’t. Learn to say “Thank You, God” for everything that comes your way. Notice the little blessings. Dwell on God’s answers to your prayers. When troubles come, smile and say, “OK, God. What do You want me to learn from this?” He stilled the wind and waves. He’ll send a ray of sun through your gloom.

Successful parents are optimistic. Effective parents face the future with hope. High expectations are important. They’re like stars. You may never reach them, but you can set your course by them. But an optimistic parent must work to make dreams come true. Start today. Write three goals you have for your family. Brainstorm about al the possible methods to reach these goals. Then select the best suggestion and do it. Put one idea into practice each day. You’ll discover you’re slowly but systematically moving toward your goal. Run into problems that seem impossible? Remember what Jesus said, “With men [moms and dads] it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.” (Mark 10:27, NKJV.).*

Successful parents are enthusiastic. Children flock to people who show a zest for life. Cultivate a passion for parenting. Let your children know that you love having them around. Create an environment of emotional warmth where children delight to dwell. Listen to them. Talk with them. Play with them. Laugh with them. Leave no doubt in their minds that you are continually interested in their lives.

Surprise them. It’s not hard to please a little child. An unexpected treat of your time and attention will make them happier than a purchased trinket that’s soon broken or lost. Show your devotion to your family by putting them first. By responding to them with affection. By helping them when they need you. You’ll find yourself becoming more effective.

Seven Steps to Becoming a Dynamic, Successful Parent

  1. Each day spend fifteen minutes of uninterrupted time with each child, doing what that child chooses.

  2. At least three times a day, tell your child he or she is loved. A kiss, a wink, a smile, a hug, a back rub, a compliment, or just plain straightforward “I love you” will do!

  3. Surprise your child with a kind deed.

  4. Plan to do something special together. It’s fun to look forward to a weekly date. Do something “crazy” that you don’t ordinarily do.

  5. Listen carefully to your child’s verbal and body language. Resist the temptation to lecture. Just pay attention!

  6. Laugh together and laugh a lot. Humor has a way of smoothing over the rough places in family relationships. It adds sparkle to a life and a lift to the soul!

  7. Daily dedicate yourself and your child to the Lord. And believe the promise in the Bible: “In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success” (Proverbs 3:6, TLB).+


Texts credited to NKJV are from The New King James Version. Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982, Thomas Nelson, Inc., Publishers.

+ Verses marked TLB are taken from The Living Bible, copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton, Ill. Used by permission.

Copyright © 1996, Published for NAD Church Ministries Department

  Bible Studies:

    - The Bible

    - The Origin of Sin

    - Salvation

    - Heaven

    - Faith

    - Prayer

    - Oil of the Spirit

    - Baptism

    - Destination of Evil

    - The Christian Life

    - Death

    - Happy Happy Home

    - The Law and Grace

    - Jesus

    - The Sabbath

    - Change of Sabbath

    - The Seal of God

    - The Second Coming

    - The True Church

    - Not Enough Room

    - God's Health Plan

Everyday Bible Studies:

    - Speaking in Tongues

    - Forgiveness

    - Morality or Immorality

    - Entertainment

    - Christian Dress

    - Victory Over Sin

    - His Righteousness

    - Guaranteed Security