Parenting – General Instruction

Mentoring Tips

Make one-to-one mentoring easier by learning what to do and what not to do.  Click to learn more.

Tip#1 – Find your PLACE

  • Pray: simple yet powerful act
  • Listen: people want to feel heard
  • Ask: good questions foster productive dialogue
  • Consider: think slowly and biblically
  • Encourage: uplift rather than beat down
Tip#2 – Avoid the common mistakes

  • Fixing: this is a person, not a project
  • Preaching: walk alongside, don’t talk at or down to them
  • Carrying: show concern but don’t carry too heavy a burden
  • Blaming: no condemnation in Christ Jesus
  • Rescuing: you are not their savior!
    • Tell me about your children. How old are they? What gender? What is unique about each of their personalities?
    • What have you learned so far as a parent? Are there things you’re especially good at? Things you’re weak at?
    • Which child is most like you? Which is most like your spouse?
    • What single-word descriptor would you use for each of your children? Why did you choose that particular word?
    • Think back… What did you like about the way your parents treated you as a child? What would you have liked to change?
    • How has having children changed your marriage relationship?
    • Who besides yourself and your spouse has the greatest impact on the development of your child’s character?
    • Are you involved in a local church for friendship and support?
    • Do you pray with your children regularly?
    • What type of people do you want your children to become?
    • Are you being careful to grow your children in God’s image? How are you going about doing that?
    • In what ways do you believe children benefit if they are raised to love God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength?
Deeper Questions
    • What are your three greatest needs as a parent right now?
    • Are you and your spouse parenting as a team?
    • In what way does your spouse help make you a better parent?
    • What similarities do you see between how you are raising your children and how your parents raised you?
    • In what areas of parenting do you and your spouse agree? In what areas do you differ? How much of barrier does that create between you and your spouse? Is it a balance and strength or a source of conflict?
    • Have you examined yourself to see if there are any inconsistencies between what you say and how you live out your faith?
    • How often do you sit at your table and eat family meals together? What kind of conversations takes place when you do?
    • What do you think it would take to initiate a time of family worship/devotions that everyone could take part in?
    • In what ways are you teaching God’s principles to your children?
    • Do your children know what your boundaries are for them and why those particular boundaries are important?
    • Are you involved in a local Bible-believing church?
    • Do you share with your kids what you’re learning from God’s word?
    • What is one step you can take in the right direction and how can I help you do that?
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  • - Robert Lewis, The New Eve, p. 106

    “I cannot stress enough how important it is for you as a parent to both recognize and honor who your child is and what gifts and abilities he or she possesses. Don’t overlook or play down talents that seem odd or undesirable to you. Play up your child’s gifts!”

  • - Dennis and Barbara Rainey, Growing a Spiritually Strong Family, p. 33

    “We have yet to meet a child (or an adult, for that matter) who feels deeply loved when he is given only occasional bursts of ‘quality time.’”

  • - Stephen Arterburn and Sam Gallucci, Road Warrior, p. 52

    “You might have heard the old adage: it’s not quantity time that matters; it’s quality time. But really, that’s a partial truth. It is quality time that matters, but quality time can only happen when plenty of quantity time is available.”

  • - Tim Kimmel, Grace-Based Parenting, p. 83

    “There is a cause and effect between encouragement and confidence. Kids who hear well-timed and well-placed affirmation from their parents are more easily convinced of the truth the Bible says about their intrinsic worth.”

  • - Dan Allender, How Children Raise Parents, p. 21

    “Beginning with the first day of life outside the womb, every child is asking two core questions: ‘Am I loved?’ and ‘Can I get my own way?’ These two questions mark us throughout life, and the answers we receive set the course for how we live.”

  • - Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free, p. 183

    “The enemy uses two opposite lies to put parents in bondage. The first is that they have no control or influence over how their children have turned out … The second is that they are 100 percent responsible for how their children have turned out—that it is all their fault. They fail to recognize that, regardless of how well or poorly anyone is parented, each individual must assume responsibility for his or her own choices.”

  • - Robert Lewis, The New Eve, p. 103

    “Nothing is more indispensable to a young child than large amounts of time and attention from a loving mother and father. Nothing.”

  • - Dennis Rainey, Parenting Today’s Adolescent, p. 313

    “From early on, we let our children know that God had a special mission for their lives. He had gifted them with abilities, personality, and certain qualities that will help accomplish His plan. We want our children to know that it would be better to be a garbage collector in the will of God than to be on the mission field just to please their parents.”

  • - Stormie Omartian, The Power of a Praying Parent, p. 22

    “The battle for our children’s lives is waged out on our knees. When we don’t pray, it’s like sitting on the sidelines watching our children in a war zone getting shot at from every angle. When we do pray, we’re in the battle alongside them, appropriating God’s power on their behalf.”

  • - Tim Kimmel, Grace-Based Parenting, p. 26

    “As your children see you meeting your need for love, purpose, and hope through your abiding relationship with Christ, your example will put power and authenticity behind your words.”

  • - Tim Kimmel, Grace-Based Parenting, p. 77

    “Children embrace what is modeled far more than what they are told. Our good advice carries clout only when it is consistent with our example.”

  • - Dennis Rainey, The New Building Your Mate’s Self-Esteem, p. 276

    “Children need to see a harmonious marriage modeled by their parents. They need to see two imperfect people, who are vessels of God’s perfect love, keep going after they fail.”

  • - Crawford Loritts, Never Walk Away, p. 150

    “‘No’ can be one of the most positive words in the English language … That also includes the adults saying ‘no’ to some of their desires too. If you expect more discipline from your kids than you are able to show, they will sense it and resent it.”

  • - Shaunti Feldhahn and Lisa A. Rice, For Parents Only, p. 84-85

    “As you have no doubt noticed, our kids will test us to see whether we’ll take charge and enforce boundaries … And sometimes that testing will include dramatic, anger-filled protests, requiring even more determination on our part to remain calm and steadfast.”

  • - Tim Kimmel, Grace-Based Parenting, p. 52

    “It is not in our children’s best interest to give them everything they want, to make life easy for them, to side with them when they are clearly wrong, or to circumvent consequences for their sins … Love is about meeting their actual needs, not their selfish needs.”

  • - Shaunti Feldhahn and Lisa A. Rice, For Parents Only, p. 99

    “It might seem that acting like we ‘know best’ would create security in a kid, but ironically, as the kids get older, we found it’s actually the opposite. We were quite taken aback as we heard that the teens feel more secure when their parents are vulnerable and willing to admit mistakes.”

  • - Dan Allender, How Children Raise Parents, p. 35

    “Along with wise rules, we need appropriate consequences. Otherwise our empty rules are an invitation for the child to mock our authority. The best way to create an anarchist is to burden him with rules that are never consummated in a consequence.”

  • - Tim Kimmel, Grace-Based Parenting, p. 9

    “The proof that any model of parenting is effective is not how the parents and children get along. It isn’t even how well they treat and respect each other after they are all grown up. Even nonreligious families can accomplish this. The real test of a parenting model is how well-equipped the children are to move into adulthood as vital members of the human race.”

Next Steps
    • Encourage them with Scriptures of hope and help
    • Let them know they are not alone, parenting can be frustrating and confusing for many parents
    • Assure them that you care about them and plan to be with them to find solutions together
    • Encourage them to consider forming a parenting HomeBuilders group
    • Encourage moms to connect with other moms on the MomLife Today blog
    • Encourage dads to consider connecting with other men in a Men’s Fraternity group
    • Encourage them to invite God into their conversations through prayer every day
    • Encourage them to pray with their children at all ages
    • Encourage them to model obedience and humility by admitting their own mistakes in parenting
    • Remind them that the relationship they have with their kids is more important than any list of rules
    • Remind them that it is important to develop a vision and strategy for the kind of people you want your children to become
    • Encourage them (along with their spouse) to develop a parenting mission statement to guide parenting decisions
    • Encourage them to take responsibility for the spiritual development of their children and to not leave it up to others
    • Remind them that it is important to model Christian principles in addition to teaching them
    • Encourage them to consider attending a FamilyLife Weekend to Remember marriage getaway to renew their marital oneness
    • Encourage them to look to God’s Word for principles to address problem’s their children face or decisions to be made
    • Encourage them to get involved in a local, bible-believing church for spiritual growth and accountability as parents