A recent study from Cornell University concluded that the vast majority of parents today want to be “intensive parents”. According to USA Today, “moms and dads want to be involved with their kids at all times. And they do it whether or not they realistically have the time or money to do so”. Researchers described the intensive parenting style as helicopter parenting on steroids, in which parents are defined as hovering, setting their child’s schedule and mitigating risk and failure.
Dr. Randy Carlson instead recently offered some suggestions on becoming an “Intentional Parent”:
- I will not do for my children what they can do for themselves—when I do, I disrespect them.
Therefore my son, be strong in the grace of Christ Jesus. (2 Timothy 2:1)
- I will not over-react when my child over-reacts—when I do, we both lose.
And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. (Colossians 3:15)
- I will not rescue my children from life lessons they need to learn—when I do, I weaken them.
We gladly suffer, because we know that suffering helps us to endure. And endurance builds character, which gives us a hope that will never disappoint us. All of this happens because God has given us the Holy Spirit, who fills our hearts with his love. (Romans 5:3-4)
- I will not treat my teenager like a child—when I do, I create resentment.
Speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ. (Ephesians 4:15)
- I will not be dissuaded from doing right, despite anger, tears, cursing or threats—when I do, I am an irresponsible parent.
Whoever pursues righteousness and unfailing love will find life, righteousness, and honor. (Proverbs 21:21)
- I will pick my parenting battles carefully—because it’s more important to be the right parent than to be right.
Carefully guard your thoughts because they are the source of true life. (Proverbs 4:23)
- I will give lots of encouragement—because it will help my child to succeed.
We urge you in the name of the Lord Jesus to live in a way that pleases God, as we have taught you. You live this way already, and we encourage you to do so even more. (1 Thessalonians 4:1)
- I will provide training, instruction and support as needed—because that’s my job.
Take hold of my instructions; don’t let them go. Guard them, for they are the key to life. (Proverbs 4:13)
- I will pray daily for my children—because my children belong to God.
So I never stop being grateful for you, as I mention you in my prayers. I ask the glorious Father and God of our Lord Jesus Christ to give you his Spirit. The Spirit will make you wise and let you understand what it means to know God. My prayer is that light will flood your hearts and that you will understand the hope that was given to you when God chose you. Then you will discover the glorious blessings that will be yours together with all of God’s people. (Ephesians 1:16-18)
- I will be an Intentional Parent—because my children need to feel secure in my love for them.
Instead, I am content and at peace. As a child lies quietly in its mother’s arms, so my heart is quiet within me. (Psalm 131:2)
© 2016 by Randy Carlson