I have a disclaimer. Do not rely on the information in this blog as advice from a qualified professional, which I am not. All information presented is subjective and founded on personal experiments performed over a period of 22 years on three unsuspecting individuals.
There are three types of parents. The helicopter parent, the drill sergeant parent and the consultant parent. The helicopter parent hovers over their children and rescues them from the hostile world in which they live. The drill sergeant parent commands and directs the lives of their children. The consultant parent provides guidance and consultation services for their children. My husband and I chose to be consultant parents. We wanted to help our children to understand that they are responsible for their actions. We wanted to allow reasonable, real-world consequences to do the teaching. I am going to share a small portion with you of how we implemented this type of parenting.
We learned about these three types of parents in the book ‘Parenting with Love & Logic.’ Of course, we needed to conduct experiments to see if being a consultant parent was indeed a good type of parent to be. The first experiment was the ‘Light-bulb experiment.’ Our daughters were always leaving the lights on in their bedrooms (and other rooms). We were tired of nagging and threatening them to turn the lights off when they were not in the room. Now we had a fun way to get them to comply. They were informed that every time they left the lights on in their rooms we would remove a light bulb. If they wanted it back they had to pay for it. They didn’t worry about it too much at first because they each had 4 light bulbs. When they got down to that last bulb they began to sweat it. Then it happened; that day when the light switch didn’t illuminate the room. Forking over the money to buy a light bulb was not how they wanted or planned to spend their allowance. Lesson learned. Now they turn lights off behind us.
Not only did we read parenting books, we prayed as well. Leaning on the Lord for guidance was the foundation from which we performed our parenting experiments. According to the Bible, we can be thoroughly equipped for every good work by the lessons we learn from Scriptures. Cheating, lying, laziness, and many other topics can be addressed with the Bible. But how will they apply it? Will they remember to use what they have learned?
That is where the Holy Spirit comes in. I pray for my children to be filled with the Holy Spirit. The Bible tells us that “the mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.” The Holy Spirit is the best conscience that a person could have. You could say that the Holy Spirit is kind of like Jiminy Cricket. Jiminy Cricket said, “A conscience is that still small voice that people won’t listen to.” My prayer for my children is that they will hear Him, that they will remember what they have been taught, and that they would have a heart willing to obey.
Teaching children the right thing to do, how to be considerate of others, and teaching them how to make wise decisions is like purchasing life insurance for them. Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” That’s a promise that I cling to.
I encourage you to put some thought into how you parent your children. Even if your children are grown you can still make a difference in their lives by how you parent because let’s face it, you will never stop being their parent. My husband and I chose consultant parenting because we felt it would lend itself well even into our children’s adult years. What type of parent are you? Will the type of parent you are benefit your children even into their adult years? Remember, our children are the future. Let’s diligently train them for it.
By His Grace,
Favorite parenting books:
Parenting in the 21st century. (2018, February 22). Retrieved from https://ct.counseling.org/2018/02/parenting-21st-century/
Overparenting: Are you a Helicopter Parent, Drill Sergeant or Laissez-faire? – Our Values. (2015, September 08). Retrieved from https://www.readthespirit.com/ourvalues/overparenting-are-you-a-helicopter-parent-drill-sergeant-or-laissez-faire/