Top 10 parenting tips
by Rommel Fernandes
(Benaulim, Goa, India)
Here are 10 tips I learned from my parents practically:
- 1. Show compassion towards your children when they fail:
Our parents never put pressure on us to compete with other students or to perform. If we didn't win prizes at the Annual Sports Day, they didn't put us down with their words. They realized that God had given us other talents. I remember I once failed in a school exam. Dad's response was, "This is not end of the world, son. In life there will be a lot of tests you'll need to face. You'll pass some and fail in others. When you fail, try again. Come let's go out to have some ice-cream."
- 2. Practice what you preach and your children probably will do the same:
Dad never tried to tell us to do what he did not practice himself first. When we were in our teens and he told us about the dangers of peer influence to get drunk with alcohol (in our society getting drunk was common). He did not drink, so showed us by example.
- 3. Pass on the principles you've learned in life:
We were forewarned about the pitfalls in life by examples from the lives of our parents which they narrated to us. For example we were told about the damage that premarital sex could do so we remained virgins till the day we were married.
- 4. Teach your children the fear of God:
This was one of the most important lessons in our family. Family devotions were a twice-a-day activity in our house. We were encouraged to read the Bible every day and to obey it.
- 5. Teach your children to respect all human beings:
Dad did not make a difference between a rich man and a poor man. He treated everybody with respect. We learned from him that all the people of this world are God's children even though the color of their skin may be different.
- 6. Don't provoke your children to anger:
Dad always believed in reasoning with us and telling us lovingly and nicely why we couldn't do certain things so we didn't get a chance to be mad at him.
- 7. Don't spare the rod when it's needed to be used:
When we disobeyed, Mom and Dad didn't hesitate to use the rod. That taught us what needed to be avoided.
- 8. Teach them to be grateful:
We were told to be grateful to all those who had helped us.
- 9. Show love to your children by words and actions:
Mom and Dad demonstrated their love for one another and for us by saying it in words and by their actions.
- 10. Learn to appreciate and not complain:
We had financial problems as Dad being a born again Christian and did not take bribes at work. Mom had to struggle to make ends meet. They taught us to praise God in all circumstances (whether we had enough or little). We were told to look at people who were less fortunate than us instead of comparing ourselves with those who had more than us which could have led to covetousness and discontent.