7 "Be's" of Effective Parenting

Oct 21, 2022

Raising children is one of the most challenging yet rewarding joys and responsibilities we will ever have in life. However, the most significant disadvantage we have as parents is that our children are not robots. If they were robots, we would benefit from reading the operation manual on how to make them do what we want them to do. Fortunately, our children are uniquely different and one of a kind.

Even though our children are uniquely different, the goal of parenting remains the same. It is to launch children into adulthood with confidence, strong moral values, and the skills to succeed in life. 

I genuinely believe as adults, our most significant contribution to the world may not be something we do, but someone we raise.  

One of the blessings of doing what I do as a family coach is meeting so many wonderful parents. Even though our children are unique and different as individuals, so are we as parents. We all have different perspectives and life experiences (good & bad) that have influenced how we see the world and raise our children.  

In working with parents for over 30 years, I have seen a consistent pattern of highly effective parents. These parents are certainly not perfect, free from experiencing problems and pain in their lives. However, I have observed that they chose to prioritize their commitment to raising their children by displaying seven common characteristics that resulted in rock-solid kids and a close relationship with each other as a family. Here is the common thread I have seen displayed by highly effective parents. 

1. Be Observant

Listen with your eyes as well as with your ears. Watch for negative signs and symptoms (consistent patterns) that may indicate negative peer influence, academic stress, unmet emotional needs, chemical imbalance, eating disorders, chemical dependency, etc. The signs and symptoms can be endless. However, our goal is to be proactive by being on the "lookout" and "in touch" with our kids.   

2. Be Available

A Focus on the Family study revealed that the average parent spends less than fourteen minutes a week in meaningful conversations with their kids. Being available doesn't mean being a full-time Uber driver that drives our kids to all their activities. Instead, effective parents make it a priority in their hectic schedule to be intentional by entering into their child's world spiritually, morally, emotionally, academically, and relationally. Remember, the best way to spell love is TIME.  

3. Be Kind

In our busy, stress-filled lives, it is easy to lose our patience with those we love by saying and doing things that are counterproductive and, at times, hurtful. Remember, the way we see our kids is the way we treat them. And the way we treat them is the way they often become. You can't go wrong by practicing the golden rule, "do for others as you would have them do for you." 

4. Be Demonstrative

In a recent study, 68 percent of mothers give hugs, kisses, and pats to their fifth graders, but only 44 percent physically pamper their ninth graders. Fifty percent of fathers show physical affection to fifth graders as opposed to 26 percent to ninth graders. The statistics drop even further for older teenagers. Isn't it ironic and tragic that kids struggling with their identity and in need of affection receive it less when they need it the most? Communicate your love to your kids both verbally, physically, and in genuine and appropriate ways  

5. Be Wise

Wise parents do not see their kids as they are but as they can be. Make it a priority to notice and compliment your children's positive qualities and strengths and help them develop those strengths. When kids succeed at combining their strengths with their passions, they are on their way to discovering their purpose. Remember, kids who lose their "why" will eventually lose their way. 

6. Be An Example

As a parent, are you modeling the message? What do your kids see as they view your life? What values are you holding up in front of them? Remember, kids may doubt what you say, but they will always believe what you do. Like the old saying, "actions speak louder than words."

7. Be Courageous

It takes courage to stand against the negative influences that our kids are exposed to in today's world. As a parent, it's easy to feel guilt or remorse that we haven't done a good job at doing the very things this article is pointing out. Stay encouraged! You are doing better than you think you are, and you matter more than you think you do. Remember, it is never too late to start living with greater intention as a parent. Make a new commitment to be strong and courageous. Our kids need us now more than ever. 

Rodney and Michelle Gage are the founders of ReThink Life Church and The Winning Family. For over 30 years, they have devoted their lives to helping people win at home and in life.

One of the ways that Rodney & Michelle support families is through monthly mentoring where they provide live mentorship and Q & A to couples and parents. You can sign up today for a free trial of The Double Win Club and receive a free copy of Rodney's new book, The Double Win.