I’ve said it before: Being a dad to my five children is one of my highest honors. And being a dad is my most important job.
Over the 30 plus years of my job as a dad, I’ve learned some very important truths that have helped me on the journey. Here are 8 of those truths that every parent must know. I hope they will be helpful for you.
1. Parenting requires loving your kids for who they are, not for what they do.
Your kids’ value lies in who they are, not in what they do. Your kids are masterpieces, created in the image of God, by God and for God. There are no flaws in their design and no errors in their construction.
Your kids need to know there is absolutely nothing they can do or say that will ever take away your love for them. Now, if they do share something with you at some point that is shocking or disturbing, remember your commitment to love them through it. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t express sadness or disappointment over it or that you shouldn’t discipline them; it just means you shouldn’t go ballistic by shouting or using mean or angry words, and you shouldn’t withhold your affections from them.
2. Parenting requires patience.
Anyone who has been a parent for one day, or many years, knows this. I do too. But patience has always been a challenge for me. That’s why, after all these years, I’m continuing to learn how to practice patience.
3. Parenting is “heart work.”
It’s not just about outward obedience; it’s about your child’s inward attitude. In my How to Discipline your Child podcast, I share how you can start molding your child’s heart through effective discipline.
4. Parenting is always doing what’s best for your child.
My children all know, without a doubt, that I will always do what’s in their best interests. Because they know that, they never have to question or wonder why I am doing or saying something. They have an assurance that they have a parent who will not only take a bullet for them but will die for them.