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We have been chosen by God to be good leaders to our children. Bola Adesanya
Effective parenting stems from leading our children and not controlling them. But before being an effective leader, you need to know where you going, to gain conviction ( you must have a clear vision of the future), you must have been there before to gain credibility (experience is the best teacher) , you must carry them along to gain connection ( leading by example).
God has called us as parents to lead our children and lead them aright. The things we exposed our children to will most likely be what will guide them into making their choices in life. Therefore for us to have peace in our old age, the work starts now. The world is ever ready to teach them, but when they are well equipped, nothing will shake them.
Do you have a vision for raising your children? Are they aware of the vision? Are you deliberately modeling the right attitude and behaviors for them to see?
I’m certain we meet most of their physical needs, they look good and feed good and all. But we need to do a little more than these. The leader is like a shepherd, so we are like a shepherd for our children. A leader provides, enables rest, leads confidently, restores, renews, refreshes, guides, directs, protects, defends, comforts, corrects, feeds, loves unconditionally, provides shelter.
“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it” Prov 22:6
The key things to focus on here in leading our children is;
- Have a vision for them
- Ensure they know this Vision and working towards achieving the vision
- Model good behavior and attitudes. What you do has more impact on a child than all the things you tell them. They learn by example. My 13-month-old daughter sees us going to trash can putting different things inside and she started doing the same thing. I practically have to go there to check for valuables every day. All her socks are suddenly gone. Even when I see her trying to trash something important, if I tell her NO, she still goes ahead to trash it anyway but I sneak back to retrieve it. The message here is she believes more in what she has seen us do over time than what we tell her.
- Manage your child according to their temperament and wiring. Good management is very critical in leading our children because no two children are alike. Even from pregnancy, they are different. I only need to tell my first daughter what she just did was not good enough and she readjusts but the second, it is not so straight forward. It takes continuous telling over and over again. So know them and how to handle each well.
- Create loads and loads of memories. Children retain their early memories and embrace them later in life. I recently printed some of our old pictures and was going through them with the girls. I was surprised my first could remember almost all the incidents leading to the memories, amazing!
- Be the go-to resource dad or mom, through the training and support you give plus the atmosphere you create.
- Give them all of yourself, your time, energy, focus and undivided attention.
- Care for them through communication and understanding
- Praise them for their strength and encourage them through their weaknesses. I noticed my daughter tends to stay back during their physical education while telling me about her day. Mom, I had a headache today, I hurt my leg today, so my instructor told me to rest. I decided to walk up and down the stairs today instead of running. We had a conversation on the topic since I know she does not like anything that stresses her out. However, I encouraged her that it was good for her in other to keep fit and gave her reasons why she needs to be fit. Also how she can do whatever seems daunting only if she puts her mind to it.
- Make your expectations clear to them.
- Reward good attitude and behaviors all the time.
To lead your children effectively,
- Work on yourself, these includes learning how to manage your emotions appropriately, especially anger. Trust me, children knows how to press that unwanted button perfectly.
- Work on your priorities. Keep them on the list of your priorities at all times.
- Work on your team spirit. You cannot be effective on your own. Teamwork always wins
- Work on strength. It will allow you to accomplish more in less time.
Work on your relationship with God. Trust me, you need to always be on the right track with him for everything to work in your favor.
Good parent leaders are happy parents. Bola Adesanya