Too often a parent minimalizes a son or daughter’s poor choices by saying, “Boys will be boys,” or, “She’s going through a teenage phase.” The parent might even find the incident funny and laugh it off. Childhood is a precious time, but is it really beneficial to only see children through the lens of childhood? Probably not. From the time a baby is born, their days are moving on a timeline toward adulthood. Every experience they go through, all the words they absorb, the examples they see set by adults close to them, over a period of 18 years contributes to who they will be as an adult. It is very important for parents to firmly grab the baton of preparing their children for a grown up life rather than turning them lose to find their own adult self after high school graduation.
Look at parenting as a relay race. The baton you hold will one day be handed off to your children. That fact adds a heightened responsibility to parenting today. Parenting with love means that tough love [not abusive] is part of real love, too. Tough love sets healthy boundaries for curfews, and honors those boundaries. It emphasizes truth over lies and so much more. Love takes time, communication, encouragement, patience and follow through with appropriate consequences when needed.
Sometimes parents forget to make allowance for their child to mess up. Even grown ups can blow it. Keep in mind that messing up is okay, and it’s bound to happen, as long as it becomes a teaching time. Lessons should be learned, and forgiveness given, that don’t allow the messing up to continue over-and-over again. These teaching times create good foundational character traits that contribute to a responsible grown up life.
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 1 Corinthians 13:11 NIV