Parenting has always been hard. Peaceful parenting has been a goal for generations of parents. Reading classical literature, watching old movies, and reading the Bible all show us this. Every generation of parents has faced their own unique struggles and trials.
Parenting in the Internet age raises an entirely new set of struggles. We have access to parenting advice and information we’d never have encountered otherwise. We also have the comparison game and more info to navigate than our brains can process.
The goal of parenting is to work yourself out of a job… to send young adults out into the world who are prepared to live as God’s children. – Paul David Tripp
The world feels topsy-turvy in this era for many of us. We desire to raise children who follow God, trust in God’s love, and launch them into the world in that peace and truth. We’ve heard it said, “peaceful parent, happy kids,” but we’re not always sure what a peaceful parent looks like.
It’s easy to fall into a comparison trap and wonder if we’re “doing it right” as we raise our children. In this article let’s take a look at what it looks like to be a peaceful parent. We’ll also look at peaceful parenting Bible verses and quotes from others to help us in our journey.
The peaceful parent looks like the following:
- Slow to anger
- Models empathy
- Keeps adult responsibilities and concerns between parents
- Seeks after God’s desire for their child’s future
- Is one who disciplines with a gentle spirit
- Tries to keep a calm voice and not yell
- Gives full attention when the child is speaking, especially if the child is in distress
- Provides a space for children to express and explore emotions
- Teaches emotional awareness and coping skills for negative emotions
- Models a relationship with God and trust in God
- Looks to build their children’s strengths rather than focus in on weaknesses
- Offers words of affirmation instead of words of shame or condemnation
- Is open to new opportunities for their child
- Does not shame children when helping to correct behavior
- Is a model for emotional expression and development
- Dialogues with their children as a valuable member of the family
- Doesn’t speak down to their children
- Provides positive physical contact (only with the child’s full consent)
- Reminds children about their identity in Christ and how it informs their life
- Keeps respect as a key tenant for the family
- Seeks healing for their childhood wounds and destructive cycles
- Demonstrates healthy self-care and good boundaries
- Not perfect.
- Takes ownership and offers sincere apologies for moments they fall short.
- Still entirely human – they can, and will, fall short and that’s ok! The grace of God gives them the freedom to start over again.
Go back and read the last three again.
Peaceful parenting doesn’t look like perfection. It’s never going to look like perfection. Those picture-perfect Instagram parents you see fall short. They get frustrated and yell sometimes. Their humanity takes over and they say something they regret and have to apologize for later on.
You will too. That’s ok. God doesn’t expect perfection from us. Only that we do our best and never stop being willing to grow into the person God wants us to be. God wants us to reflect God’s love to our children as a peaceful, gentle and loving parent.
Remember that God is also a parent who allows logical consequences to happen when his children sin. We’re meant to be a reflection of God on Earth and we’re meant to show that grace to our children. Our children also have the opportunity to show God’s grace to us when we fall short of the parents we want to be.
Bible verses to encourage you in your parenting journey-
We are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. – Ephesians 2:10
If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has gone, the new has come. – 2 Corinthians 5:17
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God ll be with you wherever you go. – Joshua 1:9
For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to him. Therefore I have lent him to the Lord. As long as he lives, he is lent to the Lord. – 1 Samual 1:27-28a
And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. – Deuteronomy 6:6-9
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. – Proverbs 22:6
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. – Colossians 3:13
Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city. – Proverbs 16:32
Quotes for Peaceful Parenting
Affirming words from moms and dads are like light switches. Speak a word of affirmation at the right moment in a child’s life and it’s like lighting up a whole roomful of possibilities. – Gary Smalley
When I think of home, I think of a place where there is love overflowing. – “Home” from The Wiz
Please love your child unconditionally and give him a super-abundance of eye contact, physical contact, and focused attention. – Dr. Ross Campbell, How to Really Love Your Child
The goal of parenting is to create self-sufficient virtues in children. Applying external pressure and punishments tends to teach them fear-based compliance rather than the internalization of moral standards. – Stefan Molyneux
Remember, no matter the problem, kindness is always the right response. When your child is having a problem, stop, listen, then respond to the need, not the behavior. The behavior can be addressed later, after the need has been met, because only then is the door to effective communication truly open. – L.R. Knost, Whispers Through Time: Communication Through the Ages and Stages of Childhood
We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth. – Virginia Satir
What matters most: Stay connected and never withdraw your love, even for a moment. The deepest reason kids cooperate is that they love you and want to please you. Above all, safeguard your relationship with your child. That’s your only leverage to have any influence on your child. It’s what your child needs most. And that closeness is what makes all the sacrifices of parenting worth it. – Laura Markham, Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting
Children are our most valuable resource. – Herbert Hoover
Christian Family Counseling
If you’d like help establishing peaceful parenting in your home, I invite you to contact me or one of the other counselors in the counselor directory to schedule an appointment.
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