Why is it that “How to be a Good Parent” is not taught in high school or college? What about those of us who really want to know the secret, but just don’t know where to turn or who to ask? If we’re fortunate, we may know a family that has a track record of raising great kids who become productive adults that in turn raise great kids. I’ve been fortunate to have met such a family. Dr. Ted and Johnnie Seago have raised 8 kids and are mentoring countless others. They have left a legacy for their grandchildren and are teaching parents everywhere some of the “Secrets” to successful parenting.
10 Keys and Be’s of Parenting by Dr. Ted Seago
Last week I received a call from a dad who lives in Austin who asked, “What are the five most important keys to parenting?” He had been working with my son John and was really asking, “What’s the blueprint that will produce that kind of young man?” Well, there is certainly no success formula, for parenting is very much customized for each child God gives us. However, there are some key principles that I have found helpful in my thirty years of parenting.
1. Build a spiritual foundation in your home and in the lives of your children
- Consider the discipleship systems available to you; in home, at church, in community
- Family discipleship plan, Bible Studies, Book studies, catechism, memory work
- See your children as in a state of “become,” not arrived
2. Establish structure and boundaries
- Teach the “Rules of this House”
- Establish and post a weekly Family Schedule
- Teach the importance of organization; your room, house, car, life
3. Study your children and know their hearts and habits
- Is he/she a morning or night personality? When do they do their best work, most attentive, more grumpy?
- Which situations do they thrive in and which do they struggle with?
- Where are they spiritually?
- What habits are they forming that need to be addressed or re-directed??
4. Create an environment that nurtures communication
- Create environment where concerns, dislikes, feelings can be share appropriately
- Parents must be in control of their attitude, tone and demeanor, for it sets the standard
- Work on not over-reacting, making generalizations, piling on past sin. Have a policeman mentality.
5. Consider the impact of living space
- When possible, organize your living areas where individuals have space
- Many bathrooms are always good
- Consider the most effective cleaning and storage system for your house
6. Set an example of a godliness
- As a couple, watch the words you say to each other
- As parents; there are words that kill and destroy
- In your career; they will notice your work ethic, they also notice “workaholics”
- In all areas of life; sports, on the phone, etc.
7. Protect your home from outside enemies
- Negative family influences; relationships; neighborhood, community groups
- Technology and over-use of devices that tear down communication
8. Teach your children to be a servant
- Have chore assignments, kitchen duty, etc where they are serving other siblings
- Seek outside the home projects where your child will serve
- Serve at your church as a family
- Serve in local ministries, PACs, etc.
9. Know the seasons of parenting
There are not many “cookie cutter” kids, most need customized plans.
- Know when to begin giving more freedom based upon bank of trust deposits
- Know when to save them from making a bad decision
10. Build toward “adult child” relationship
- For us, the biggest reward of growing older is not just grandkids (which are an unbelievable joy and blessing), but having adult children.
- Set the vision, talk about, dream about with your children what it be like when they are married and coming back to visit
- Scripturally, you will always be the matriarch or patriarch of your family
“Be’s for Parents
- Be the Adult
- Be Consistent
- Be Fair and Aware
- Be Happy
- Be Available
- Be Current
- Be Encouraging
- Be in the moment
- Be Firm but Fun
- Be spontaneous
Dr. Ted Seago is the Pastor of Grace Community Church of Magnolia, Tx
Father to 8 and Grandfather to ten and counting! Check out his Blog