By Jeremiah J. Brown, Regional Coordinator
One of the greatest joys of my life has been the birth of my two boys. I remember vividly the day that Micaiah and Josiah were born. I also remember the prayer I prayed after I held each of them for the first time… “Dear Lord, please do not let me mess this up.” Being a Daddy has a blessing in my life, but that prayer still rings true.
No parent wants to make a mistake when it comes to raising their children. Most of us do not want to “mess” it up.
3 Common Parenting Mistakes
Every mistake we make helps us prepare to be better parents as we raise the next generation of amazing people.
- Not recognizing the child’s individuality (especially compared to other children)
My boys couldn’t be more different from one another. From the time they were babies, they were completely different. One slept through the night beginning at 1 month…the other loved to keep mommy and daddy up way past his first birthday. One of my boy’s loves building things, the other loves to destroy. One boy can’t get enough of Star Wars, the other wants more Baseball.
Just like you and me, our children are unique. Understanding this uniqueness helps alleviate the pressures of comparison to other children. I find this especially helpful in disciplining my children as well. Understanding that timeouts may work for one but not the other further add to their uniqueness.
- Putting your child’s wants above everything else.
This common mistake can be hard to overcome. After all, many of us want to give our children a better life than we have, as well as give them the things we may not have had a child. This is not a bad desire, but when our children’s wants to become more important than teaching them self-discipline, appropriate boundaries, self-control, and strong work ethic, we ride a dangerous line of making them happy versus creating issues in the future.
- Not recognizing your role to make a disciple.
Proverbs 22:6 tells us, “Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it” (NLT). This passage commands parents in the commission of making disciples. Our children are gifts from the Lord. We as parents are called to be great stewards of the gifts God gives us, our children are no exception. In fact, I would argue that our children may be the biggest gift and responsibility. Raising them on the right path requires an understanding that you are called to disciple them. They do what you do; say what you say; love as you love; they are reflections of you. The call of Matthew 28:19 to go and make disciples begins at home.