Two weeks ago, in one of my sermons in the series on parenting, I noted the need for a parent to be proactive. My point was simple, yet not so simple; if you are going to be raising your children as a Christian you must “bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). That means you must have a plan.
The command, “bring up,” is a present imperative. It is not something you relegate to others, but rather; as the parent you take upon yourself. It is your responsibility. To shift that blame to others is simply to show that you had no real plan or goal in your parenting.
I came across an article a few weeks ago that I thought was helpful toward this need to be proactive. It is a secular piece but it is a good one. It speaks to how one couple began to examine their goal, which was to eat dinner with their children — something that was not actually happening despite good intentions.
To resolve this they began to ask “Five Whys” and the end result was consistent dinners! They began by identifying the problem, not eating with the kids. Then they began to ask why. Here are the Five Whys:
- Why that [the problem] was true.
- Why are we getting home so late?
- Why had we ignored all those tasks?
- Why were we arriving at work right before our first meetings, rather than earlier in the day?
- Why were we leaving the house later than we planned?
The key was the first question. Then all they had to do was be honest and ask the next four questions.
Now to you, the parent. What are the areas that you are seeing deficiencies in the training and disciplining your children? Write each problem down and then, over coffee or whatever, start to ask the whys. You will quickly begin to see where things need to be adjusted and just as quickly you will be able to develop a plan. Try it!
You can read the whole article here.