The secret to being a great parent is actually a simple acronym for the Christian mom to live by, but often there is one thing that stands in your way. Here’s a brief story to describe what I mean. A few months ago I asked some moms, “What kind of mom do you want to be in five years?”
I let the words hang a little—then I asked the moms to think and write down an answer. The responses were similar.
“I want to be a great mom—a great parent, and to train my children to be followers of Christ.”
What are the qualities of a good parent?
These moms knew what they wanted, yet the pressure of the perfect mom was crouching at their door. Transitioning with another question I asked, “Looking back over what you just wrote, what are you doing today to make that great parent—you? That longing in their spirits had just met it’s checkmate; the thought of “How am I doing and how do I start making that happen?”
“I’m not perfect.” The moms weren’t just thinking it. They were feeling it too.
Often the thing that stands in the way of you becoming a great parent—is the pressure to be the perfect parent.
Maybe that’s you too? You want to be a great parent but it’s how to do it—even the magazine Parents has all the tips, advice, and tricks for parenting. But, trying to do all of those things might just keep you stuck.
It doesn’t have to be that way sweet momma. You don’t have to be overwhelmed by everything.
That day I spoke with those moms, I shared with them some encouraging words to inspire them and give them hope when they feel hopeless. I’m excited to share it with you too. It’s the Christian mom’s secret to being a great parent.
What is an example of a great parent?
That very thing you dread as a first time parent—it happened to me. I was 8.5 months pregnant and my water broke in public. But not just anywhere—it happened at a wedding.
Learning how to be a great parent—it kind of feels like that. You feel like you’re prepared but there’s always something that catches you by surprise. As the years pass by, you end up relying on the “you’ll figure it out” parenting method.
The “You’ll Figure It Out” Parenting Method
We’ve all heard it said and we’ve probably said it ourselves at one time or another; “Oh! Don’t worry, you’ll figure it out.” On the surface, this parenting mantra has some truth to it and is comforting. But the problem is, that while we’re leaning heavily on “we’ll just figure it out” we inevitably let life just happen.
Meanwhile, the things we value and desire for our children, family, and ourselves gets lost somewhere along the way. Maybe that’s you? You woke up this morning and wondered, “Where did time go?”. You had dreams and things you wanted for your kids to have or know before they left “the nest” so to speak. I assure you, it’s never too late to start, even if your kids are now adults. There is a way to be a great parent using everything that you already have. You just need to know what to do. (p.s. I’ll be referring specifically to moms in the rest of the post, but it applies to dads too!)
The secret to being a great parent is actually a simple acronym for the Christian mom to live by, but often there is one thing that stands in your way. Here’s a brief story to describe what I mean.
How To Be a Great Parent
There’s a common mistake that moms make every day in their parenting—they neglect to do what they love. As a mom you juggle tasks, schedules, relationships, activities, and there’s an endless list of things to do. Meanwhile the very thing that gives you energy for the day, confidence, and excitement for life is left last or completely off your must–do list.
It’s really easy to let life happen—let our kids’ schedules dictate our lives in the day to day. But being a great parent doesn’t just happen. Scripture actually is pretty clear that, “Without a plan the nations crumble”—and the same is true for you sweet mom (Proverbs 11;14).
Without a plan you will have a tendency to get overwhelmed, stressed, burned out as a mom and feel like you’re losing yourself in the process. It’s reasonable to feel and act this way simply because there is so much to consider—and to be honest it takes time to have a plan.
So, how do you make a plan without overwhelming yourself in the process? It’s simple really. All you have to do is use the RIGHT plan.
What is the RIGHT plan for being a great parent to your child?
The RIGHT plan gives you a solid biblical foundation for your life and home. It’s building your life on the rock, not the sand like the foolish man as mentioned in Mathew 7:24–27.
The right foundation begins with seeking God first and being intentional to take care of yourself—so that you can love and care for your family. Believe me, your kids and husband will take notice.
Here is the basic overview of the simple easy–to-remember acronym for the RIGHT plan:
R – Relationship with God that is growing daily.
I – In control of your thoughts
G – Get inspired for life (dream it)
H – Happen to life (plan it, live it)
T – Thrive on the phrase, “This too shall pass” (persevere in all circumstances).
The alternative to the RIGHT plan is…you end up feeling like life is running you and to be honest—it is. If you want a copy of the RIGHT framework, make sure you grab the FREE 5 Things Great Moms Get RIGHT Guide here.
Now that we’ve talked about the RIGHT plan, now what?
Model and teach your kids how to do the same—the RIGHT plan.
Even before I became a mom, I had several mentors, seasoned Christian mothers, who used the RIGHT plan as their firm biblical foundation for life and parenting. Using the RIGHT plan as their starting point for everything they do, they naturally began teaching biblical principles in practical ways to their children—and me.
Like it says in Deuteronomy 6:6-9, these are the things we should be teaching our kids every day—when we wake up, sit down, and walk by the road.
Not quite sure what I mean?
Here are a few practical ways you can model the RIGHT plan as a parent:
- Initiate courage and bravery in your children. This can be in the everyday and in the big stuff—like trying something new or helping them to see they can do something! Help your child see that they are made in the image of God—He is the One who created them with purpose and intentionality. This helps kids practice being in control of their self identity and self–talk as God sees them, not the world. (This is the I in the RIGHT plan.)
- Help your kids see and enjoy things that they love. Help your children by noticing the ways that your kids are naturally gifted by God. Encourage them to do those things on a regular basis. (This is a combination of the G – get inspired and the H – happen to life in the RIGHT plan.)
- Enjoy time together and time apart from one another. You aren’t the perfect parent or perfect mom—and you shouldn’t have to be, to be The Best Mom. You are good at a lot of things—lean on those other mom friends who are great at doing something that you might not be so great at. (This is a combination of I – in control of your thoughts, the G – get inspired, and the H – happen to life in the RIGHT plan.)
For example, I am not real fun mom when it comes to taking my son to parades and kids expos—but my friend Vanessa is awesome at it! This past summer Vanessa took my son to our local kids expo and he loved it! I was able to do a couple other things and my friend was able to shine at one of the things she does best.
Using the RIGHT Plan Doesn’t Mean Parenting Is Easy
Being a good parent to your child—still means it will be challenging. Sometimes the best advice is to continue to persevere in all circumstances (This is the T in the RIGHT plan).
Gloria was a great mom, friend and mentor to me and daily she modeled the RIGHT plan in her life. She sought to grow her relationship with God and she fiercely battled her thoughts with scripture while pursuing a positive outlook on life.
Often I would hear her say the phrase, “What’s the worst that can happen?”
One of Gloria’s daughters, Rebekah, really rebelled in her teenage years. She got pregnant, had a miscarriage and then continued to live a life that she felt was true to herself. Although her life definitely was immersed in choices that were not good.
During these years, Gloria’s relationship with her daughter was tense and quite a challenge. Yet, she persisted.
At age 23, Rebekah decided it was time for her to start following the RIGHT plan also. All along she had watched her parents—and she decided, if it was good enough for them, it was going to be good for her too.
The Great Parent is a Learner
Rebekah made her own decisions and her parents lovingly held her responsible for those choices. Part of their RIGHT plan for Rebekah was for her to be a godly responsible adult. They chose to use those challenging times as a time to learn—not to consider it a parenting failure. (This is the I part of the RIGHT plan).
One thing Rebekah has said regarding those early rebellious years, is that she was grateful her parents were truthful and yet still loving by holding her responsible for her choices.
God’s Promise That You Are a Great Parent to Your Child
Being a great parent is being confident that God chose you to be a parent and He has given you everything you need to be a good parent to your children.
So let me leave you with this closing promise from the best parenting resource we all have at our fingertips—the Bible.
For His divine power has bestowed on us [absolutely] everything necessary for [a dynamic spiritual] life and godliness, through true and personal knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. 2 Peter 1:3 (AMP)
My prayer is that you’ve been encouraged in some new ways today, that have inspired you to be a great parent to your child with God’s help.