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6 Parenting Tips That Work

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My son and I are epic arguers. We don’t holler or scream, but, boy, can we keep the back and forth going, and going, and going. More often than not, he wears me down and I lose my patience. So when I randomly read a particular passage in church last week, I zeroed in on this, Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. Zing! Those words hit their mark — me! They describe my son and I perfectly — our foolish and stupid arguments escalate to quarrels.

As I continued to read this passage, I found more advice for an effective parenting approach. Even though the words were originally written to a young man, they applied to me, an old mom.  Here are the 6 parenting tips I found, that still work today.

First, let me share the main points from the passage I read:  Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels, and don’t be quarrelsome but be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that… they will come to their senses.

1. Stop having foolish arguments.

A foolish argument is a pointless argument. They usually occur after you’ve asked your child to do something and he starts questioning you and tries to negotiate with you. Yes, sometimes it’s good to let our child dialogue with us, but we shouldn’t keep the argument going indefinitely. We are the mom and we can decide when the discussion is over. If we wait too long, our argument can become a petty quarrel.

A good way to end the argument? Say, “I’ve given you my answer and you need to stop arguing. I’ve communicated enough information.” Here are some more wise words to say when your children talk back.

2. Be Kind.

This has become my mom mantra, even if it remains an elusive goal, at times: you can be a kind mom and a firm mom. A kind mom isn’t a pushover. In fact, her kindness often inspires her kids to want to please mama because mama is so kind to them.

3. Teach.

Teaching is a process. It implies an ongoing approach to learning. We can’t expect our children to immediately fall into line the first time we present a new behavior concept — or even the thirtieth time. Children are a work in progress. 

4. Don’t be resentful.

When our children disobey us over and over, we can develop resentment toward them. Obviously, resentment is not a good place from which to parent. We need to hone our mothering skills so that we shape their behavior before it drives us to the point of anger and resentment.  That’s why number one on today’s list is so important — we have to nip our children’s troublesome behaviors in the bud so we don’t become resentful.

5. Gently instruct.

Visualize this contrast you might have witnessed on a sports field. Coach number one encourages his team and corrects his team gently: Come on, kids! You can do it! What you want to do is this…” Coach number two, on the other hand, instructs like this: You’re not getting it! Here. Give it to mworthy of imitatione and I’ll show you the right way to do it.” Which do you think is most effective? Discipline, yes. But discipline with love.

6. Lead them to the truth.

You want your children to learn the truth about life, how to handle themselves, and faith. But can you push them there? Can you pick them up and carry them there? Not if you want them to internalize the truth. The best way to get your children to the destination you desire them to shoot for is to lead them. Do this by example, by guiding, by leading. Be a mom they can emulate — here’s how.

So, what do you think? By the way, the verses I read are found in 1 Timothy, chapter 2, starting with verse 23.


Who is one person you wish you could spend more time with?

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