My husband Isaac talks on leadership frequently in business. He has talked about the concept of proactive vs. reactive leadership. Making changes and doing things today to train, not because they are needed today, but because they are important and will be needed some day. In parenting this concept proves to be equally effective in training our children to be prepared for their futures as well as actually avoiding specific kinds of situations and issues entirely.
Proactive Parenting is Preventative by means of educating and equipping.
For example, talking to your children about puberty, sexual intimacy, and body image (in age appropriate verbiage) before they are experiencing the hormonal changes and dealing with questions makes the transition into this season of life with you growing children much easier. Creating openness and “normal” (non- weird) thinking towards these issues that are usually very immaturely dealt with by children and youth, helps them to have a more mature and accurate perspective on these changes. It also creates a more open relationship of being able to talk about such intimate and potentially nervous issues. We don’t want that. We want our children to be comfortable talking with us about issues like this … but creating an environment where they feel comfortable talking about these kinds of issues doesn’t just happen. It takes proactive conversations between parent and child.
Another example would be teaching our children ahead of time the reasons why we have the rules we have as a family… rules about sleep overs, rules about talking on the phone, internet rules, etc… Teaching them ahead of time the WHY behind the rules. Discussing the reasons and ensuring them that we have their best interests at heart, that we love them, and we are protecting them because that is our responsibility; that we will be held accountable for before God. As they get older we need to teach them about dangers; teaching them how to make wise choices. Teaching them the power of wise decision-making means we have to educate our children so they can use discernment and wisdom. We can teach and educate our children about dangers and sins while still keeping their innocence.
Innocense in my mind is not naivety, but rather purity. We can educate, prepare and train our child making them as wise as serpents and as gentle as doves, protecting their purity while still educating. We as parents have to use wisdom to discern at what time each individual child is ready to talk through certain issues, it is not going to be the same for every child.
As parents thinking proactively about the futures of our children, choosing to engage the topic openly and honestly from a perspective of training and equipping is essential.
Proactive parents focus on equipping their children for tomorrow.
This goes for actually training them for the purposes we as Christians are all called to.
As a believer, I have always felt one of my responsibilities and privileges as a mother was to equip my children for whatever calling and purposes the Lord has in store for them. I believe He chose me to
be their mother for a reason, so that being said, if I am remaining in Him and focused on His Word and the callings I see evident for every believer (go forth and make disciples, serve, love, forgive, lead a lost world, shine our lights),
my job is to equip and prepare my children for those things and whatever passions the Lord impresses upon their individual hearts.
Proactive parenting is preventative, not reactive, but it is also equipping and empowering for the future. What skill sets should we as parents be equipping our children with? What habits and disciplines
should we as parents be modeling and helping our children to develop?
Join me on Tuesday as we talk about a few of these…
May God Bless you and Your Family as you serve,