Before we started having children we were pretty clear about how we wanted to raise our children. Admittedly some things have changed as we have grown and learnt more about parenting. However after a few months of having our first child I noticed a stark difference in the way we parented and the way other people parented. It didn’t take me long to put my finger on the difference. Either we were over parenting or they were under parenting. Yes I am sure we were over parenting but I have no regrets about that and if I could go back I most likely wouldn’t change much.

Having had many conversations about parenting before we had children we knew exactly what was expected of our children and we were very intentional about it. Many people would have said we were over parenting but we were very intentional about what we were doing. The foundations that we set for our children’s lives will be the foundations they build their house upon. If we set the wrong foundations then the building is always going to have problems.

Proverbs 22:6 says: “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.”

I firmly believe that the foundations we set for our children are set in the first few years of their lives. Our intention was always to be hard on our children when they are younger and slowly let go knowing that at any time if we gave them too much freedom it would be easy to pull them back. This was our Parenting on Purpose model.

I noticed many parents who parent by mistake. It appears as they are trying to give their children the freedom they want because they are ‘just children’. However later on when they need to give them boundaries and rules it is extremely difficult and the children don’t respond at all or respond in the opposite direction to which the parents where hoping.

I had no evidence on our parenting approach and didn’t have the words to explain it that well, until recently.

I watched a parent seminar buy Andy and Sandra Stanley called “4 stages of parenting”

I can’t explain it as well as they can so here is a short clip, watch it before finishing reading:

When I was watching this our oldest child was about 5 years old and busy moving into the Training years and we were still trying to Discipline her. As soon as we changed our approach to Training her, her response completely change.

Our middle child was 3 years old at the time and was still very much in the Disciple years. One of the most difficult things has been switching between Disciple and Training.

I hope this can help you as you parent your children and approach them with an intentional mindset. Parent on Purpose!

I’ll end this post with another Andy Stanley quote:

“Your approach determines people’s response to what you have to say.”


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