A "Perfect" Parent. Someone to love a child twenty-four
ours a day. Should be an effective disciplinarian who can teach
obedience and at the same time be kind, considerate, fun-loving,
flexible, energetic, enthusiastic, and responsible. Must be a good
listener and be willing to say "I'm sorry." Valid driver's
license recommended. Salary: None. Please apply immediately. Your
child needs you.
Do You Qualify?
Parenting is the most important job you’ll ever have. And the toughest. You may not be perfect. But you can qualify if you know the answers to these three questions:
How can you always love a child even when the child
doesn’t deserve it?
2. How can you teach a child to obey without resorting to punishment?
3. How can you resolve conflict so everyone feels like a winner?
How to always Love a Child
The key to loving your child is to picture that
child as an empty cup that needs to be filled Love fills the empty
cup. Attention fills it. Punishment empties the cup.
If a child feels unloved or empty, he will seek to
fill himself with attention. Most children discover that negative
behavior gets attention more quickly than positive behavior. The
problem is that parents often react by punishing a child for
misbehavior. And this ends up emptying the child’s love cup even
Instead of immediately punishing that “empty”
child, we should first give him positive attention. Fill his cup to
overflowing. A child can be loving only if he is so full he has
enough love to give away. A child who feels sure he’s loved is
better able to learn from discipline. So we won’t have to resort
to harsh punishment to get our message across.
How can you always love your child? By filling your child with lots of love and positive attention. And keeping it filled with hugs and kisses. Speaking kind words. Doing fun things together. Respecting individual needs.
How to Teach Obedience
We must make it easy for our children to obey—and
we have to start early. Here are some simple steps to take. Get your
child’s attention. Make a reasonable, simple, and clear request.
Then immediately move to see that your request is followed. For
example, it’s time to eat. You ask a small child to come to the
table. At the same time walk over and take his hand and lead him to
the table. Don’t nag. Just make sure the child understands you
mean what you say. Expect obedience, and the chances are much
greater that you’ll get it!
How can you teach obedience? Just ask your child to do one thing at a time and then make sure you follow through.
How to Resolve Conflict
Conflict can mushroom or be defused with words. We
must show we understand our child’s position. The key is to listen
to the feelings behind the words. And we mustn’t be afraid to
express our own feelings.
Cultivate the use of “feeling” statements. If
your child is doing something that irritates you, tell him, “I
feel irritated when you…” If the child is angry and screams,
“I hate you!” don’t argue. He is asking that his feelings be
recognized. Say, “You feel angry at me when I…” Instead of
causing more conflict, the child has to agree with you. “Yes,
I’m angry.” This defuses the conflict and makes it easier to
find a successful solution.
How can you defuse conflict? Listen to feelings.
Becoming the Perfect Parent
You can qualify the “Perfect Parenting” job if you can answer the previous three questions---and put the answers into practice. When you forget, be sure to say, “I’m sorry,” and try again. Remember, a perfect parent is not one who never makes a mistake, but one who makes the same mistake less and less.
For a deeper investigation of the topic of parenting, read “Becoming a Successful Parent,” a vital part of the Winning Series of Friendship tracts.
Copyright © 1996, Published for NAD Church Ministries Department