Parenting well is the gateway to our future generations. We have the privilege to alter the destiny of the future through our diligence and ability to parent into and out of freedom. Here are a few tips to help you parent well. 1. First, you must rule yourself. Many parents bring their children into my office assuming the child is the problem. They usually discover the real problem is them. It is essential that parents are free from their own baggage in order to parent from a place of true freedom. If I am not in charge of my past, my experiences, and myself, how can I be in charge of my children? It takes time to honestly reflect on what you know you need to let go of as well as what you need to hold onto. The further into your own freedom you start to walk, the more capable you are to free your children and to allow them to be the best versions of themselves. You are no longer trying to rule them because you can’t rule yourself, but you are ruling them out of a place of love and acceptance. In order to see the best in your kids, you first have to see the best in yourself. 2. You can’t parent “out of something.” If you try to parent out of hurt, anger, bitterness, rejection, or any other wounded place, the results are never in your favor. You will always end up acting or reacting according to your own wounded places. First recognize your own need for freedom in a specific area and properly deal with that in order to provide a healthy parenting experience for your children. Typically the very thing that you need to get free from comes from your own childhood. You don’t want to make your children pay for hurts and wounds that they were not even around to inflict. What you parent out of is what you duplicate. There are many things in my life that I want to be duplicated in my children, but on the other hand, there are things I do not. It is up to me to filter my own “stuff” in order to ensure that I am not making a way for the wounds of the past to be duplicated in my future generations. 3. You were designed to submit. One of the biggest mistakes I see parents make is letting their children make too many decisions. Parenting children to make decisions within some boundaries and limits is good and healthy, but allowing them free reign is detrimental to their nature and purpose. When you let your children get away with something, you are encouraging them to defy the very nature of who they were created to be. You were designed to submit to the authority of God, and when you allow your children to defy your authority, it is completely contrary to their divine nature. You are responsible for setting boundaries and creating an authority structure in the home. What your children think about themselves, how they view themselves, and what happens to them speak loudly through their behavior. When you provide proper boundaries and authority, your child will have the capability to succeed and see themselves as a contributing member of the family. It is up to us as parents to provide safety, security, and structure in the home. The ability to set proper boundaries and allowing children to submit to those boundaries creates a structure for success. 4. Call forth the nature of your kids. I meet many parents each day who are confused about how to bring out the best in their children. Many parents make the mistake of attempting to shape their children into someone they desire them to be as opposed to someone they were destined to become. It can be possible that these two entities can be one and the same, but often the parent is having difficulty seeing who their child really is and was created to be. This fourth parenting tip is to call forth the nature of your children. One of the best books on parenting is Loving Our Kids on Purpose by Danny Silk. One of his main points is that parents need to see who their children really were created to be. He encourages parents to pursue the heart of their children rather than a desired behavior. When you think about it, the only person who is designated to call out the destiny and direction of children is their parent, at least for their formative years. There can be many others who are in tune with who these precious children are created to be, but those who know them best are those who were involved in creating or shaping them in the first place. You plant the seeds in your children and allow them to discover who they are and who they were created to be. It is so important to speak to their heart and know them in order to bring out the best. Take time to know your children. Find out what they like, what they dislike, and adjust your plans accordingly. Allow them to feel important and pursued by you. Just as you love to be pursued, so do they. I love it when the Lord gives me something so specific that there is no doubt that He orchestrated it just for me. What are some things in your children that are unique to them? What is something new you can call out in their destiny? 5. You cannot wait until tomorrow to do it. You have seen this very scene play out before you in the checkout line. The kiddo wants the candy. The parent says no. The kiddo screams again. Finally, after threatening a spanking, the parent gives in. You know the feeling, the overwhelming feeling that can take over when your child won’t do what you need him to do at the time you need him to do it. Many parents threaten to spank or say they won’t buy the candy but then ultimately give into the pressure and do it anyway. You cannot wait until tomorrow to instill order in your home and set yourselves up as the safe authority in the lives of your children. You must seize the moment and show them proper authority to ensure that they are able to understand proper boundaries in life. I see a number of parents with teens who have many regrets about not setting themselves up for success in parenting earlier in their child’s life. At this point, their child isn’t screaming for candy, but sometimes it can be something much more devastating and much more dangerous. Take the time now to establish authority in your child’s life. If you take the time now, imagine how your children will respect authority in the future. Conclusion What is the Holy Spirit saying to you through all of this? Are there areas of your parenting where you are doing well? Are there areas that could use improvement? If you are willing to see yourself, your children, and your parenting through the lens of the Holy Spirit, it can make so much difference in how the destiny of your future generations will play out. You are in control, you have what it takes, and you are a great parent. If I or any member of the Cassie Reid Counseling team can be of assistance, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us via our website www.cassiereid.com. We are always honored to partner with you. Copyright © 2014 by Cassandra Reid, Ph.D., LPC-S All rights reserved. This article or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the author.