30 Imperatives

The 30 Imperatives of Parenting #1


#1- The Motivational “Why”

The first thing that we need to do as we look at the 30 things that we must train our children in before they go out the door, is check our motivations as parents.  Where do our priorities truly lie?  If our priority is our job or solely providing for our family, then we will spend all of our time, energy and ultimately ourselves on that.  When we get home our spouse and children will get the “leftovers”.  We need to make the choice, daily sometimes, what our priority is.  Our priorities need to be first and foremost our relationship with God, next our marriage, and thirdly our children.  Of course we need to provide for our family but that cannot ensnare all of our time and energies.

As you drive home or get up in the morning, pray and make the choice of what your priority is.  That way you go into your time with your family intentionally.  There is no way to train your children in these thirty areas if we are not intentional and treat training as a priority.   Choose, through your relationship with God, to make your relationship with your spouse and children your first priority!



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The 30 Imperatives of Parenting # 2


#2 – The Foundation Of Life

One of the things that is extremely important to how secure a building is, is its foundation.  If there is a crack or it is not a secure foundation then the building will not stand.  The first major storm or winds and it will shift or crumble.  It is the same with our children.  What we lay as the foundation for living is equally important.  That needs to be our relationship with God.

We want our children’s faith to stand the tests and the temptations when they leave our home.  The number of youth group kids that leave church after they graduate high school is staggering, research shows it is anywhere from 65-94%.  Why? Because there is not a firm foundation built.  Church becomes just a way of life or something to do, they miss that a relationship with God is something that the entirety of life is built on.  Make sure that you as a family are making that a priority in your home.  Check out the series that we did recently about how to cultivate your child’s relationship with God, by clicking here.

Take the time to set your child’s life up on a firm foundation!



The 30 Imperatives of Parenting # 22018-01-18T11:23:00-04:00

The 30 Imperatives of Parenting #3


#3 – The Walls- The Power of No

When we train our children that our “no” means “no” everytime, no exeption,  we place boundaries around them.  It gives them a sense of security that there is a constant.  If we are not consistent with no or they are able to negotiate their way out of “no”. If this is the case this ultimately can cause a sense of frustration in our children.  Think about how many times at various sports games how frustrating it is when the referee or official is inconsistent in their calls.  Then the rules of the game don’t really matter.  It is the same in our homes.

Check out our whole series on “The Power of No” by clicking here.



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The 30 Imperatives of Parenting #4


#4- Potential Cracks In The Wall- Impulse Control

One thing that can cause a life to not be secure is a lack of self-control.  Not being able to control ones impulses has vast consequences from affairs to self-inflicted financial problems.  This is why from an early age it is imperative that we teach our children how to control their impulses.  The slogan “you want it, you got it” is not a very wise way to live life.  For more on this very important topic check out our week long series “Teaching Impulse Control” by clicking here.


The 30 Imperatives of Parenting #42018-09-27T14:04:36-04:00

The 30 Imperatives of Parenting #5


#5- Potential Cracks In The Walls- Understand That Every Child Is Different

One thing that is important for every parent to grasp is the fact that every child is different.  Every child will have a different personality, energy level as well as what motivates them.  Even gender plays a big part in children’s differences.  In order to create a successful parenting, especially discipline, plan it is important to understand these things about your child.  There are things about children in general that can be approached with all children in a similar fashion, such as a schedule and consistency, but there are also things that we cannot take a cookie cutter approach too.

Rewards seem like one of these issues.  For example, in the residential homes at Sheridan House if a resident does perfectly on their school report for five days in a row they earn a lunch out off campus.  This is something that is applicable and enjoyed by both genders.  On the girls campus a reward for hitting a certain points level is getting to go and get a manicure.  This is obviously not something that would be as exciting for the boys so they have a reward that applies to them.

Make sure to take the time to process through your children’s differences, some children are more motivated by the consequence for bad behavior and some are more motivated by the reward for good behavior.  The “pleaser” child for example is devastated by doing the wrong thing and can be more motivated by the consequence.  The “barbarian” child can see the consequence almost as a challenge  to be tested and may be more motivated by the reward for doing the right thing.




The 30 Imperatives of Parenting #52018-01-18T11:25:59-04:00

The 30 Imperatives of Parenting #6


#6 The Potential Cracks In The Walls – Don’t Get Derailed By Childish Outbursts

There are a few things that can make a parent feel guilty and even give in at times to their child’s behavior/desires.  The first is temper tantrums.  When a toddler is told no or doesn’t get their way and throws a fit, it is very tempting as a parent to give in and allow the child to have what they want.  It seems so much easier short term to give in and attempt to preserve peace and not have to deal with the temper on top of saying no.  However, this is detrimental in the long run and you are actually training your toddler to throw a tantrum to get their way.

A second thing that can derail a parent is  the “that’s not fair” comment.  Again if you are not careful you can allow that comment to cause you to question your decision.  If you are consistent in your parenting and are giving out consequences consistently for behaviors then you have no reason to question.  The old parenting adage must apply, “say what you mean and mean what you say.”  If you are not being consistent in your consequences then it isn’t fair to your children because they don’t know what to expect.

Always keep in mind that we are raising children, not mini adults, we should have the expectation that they will act like children!


The 30 Imperatives of Parenting #62018-01-18T11:26:53-04:00

The 30 Imperatives of Parenting #7


#7 The Potential Cracks In The Walls- Don’t Become The Consequence

It is very easy to get frustrated in parenting, maybe we are stressed, over tired or have just given the same consequence for the same behavior seemingly 1000 times. When we allow ourselves to be frustrated we can also allow ourselves to become the consequence. This can also be the case when we haven’t taken the time to come up with a parenting plan and just react to a situation.  Check out the week long series that we did on this topic called “Separate the Relationship from the Discipline” by clicking here.Listen to today’s podcast as well for more insight on this topic.

Listen to today’s podcast as well for more insight on this topic.

The 30 Imperatives of Parenting #72018-03-15T16:57:53-04:00

The 30 Imperatives of Parenting #8


#8 The Potential Cracks In The Walls- Get Out of The Way So They Can Learn

It is so tempting at times to step in and do things for our children. From cleaning their room when they are little to doing their science projects for them as they get older.  We have to let our children learn to do things for themselves.  This means that we have to take the time to, sometimes painstakingly, train them how to do things and then back off and allow them to do it.  This may mean that they (gulp) fail.   That’s ok.  We then applaud the effort and continue the training process.

This process begins when a child is very small.  We can begin with teaching our children how to clean up after themselves.  It then moves to a child learning how to clean up their room.  They will then graduate to learning how to do full blown house hold chores.  If we are consistently doing these things for them they will never learn how to effectively do them for themselves.

It is the same with school work.  We can help, and should, our children with their homework.  This can be a painstaking process and sometimes is much faster to just give a child the answer instead of teaching them how to look it up for themselves. We are not doing our child any favors if we take this approach because they will never figure out how to do the math problem or how to research the answer to that history question.

Make sure to take the time to train your child how to do things but then back off and allow them to learn through the process.





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The 30 Imperatives of Parenting #9


#9 The Potential Cracks in The Walls- Raising Responsible Children By Giving Them Responsibility.

We cannot hope to raise a child who is responsible unless we are giving them areas of responsibility.  Two areas that are easy to teach a child to be responsible is money and chores. This again is something that can start when they are younger. With chores as we talked yesterday can even start teaching your toddler to clean up after themselves or put their dirty clothes in the hamper and move up from there.  Chores not only teach a child how to do basic household tasks but they also teach time management as they learn how to work chores into their schedule. In do so it ultimately teaches responsibility, “I can’t take the time to play the video game right now because I have to finish this chore.” Keep in mind that we are raising children and not mini adults so this will take consistent training, coaching and encouragement.

The second area where we can give a child responsibility is with money.  We can teach them good money habits or how to be responsible with their money, using allowance.  Using yesterday’s topic as a spring board, we have to make sure that in these areas we are training our kids and then stepping back and allowing them areas of responsibility so they can learn.



The 30 Imperatives of Parenting #92018-03-15T16:58:11-04:00

The 30 Imperatives of Parenting #10


#10- You Can’t Do Everything

One valuable lesson to teach our children is the lesson of moderation.  This is one of the areas in the power of no.  There will always be time where we have to say no to things for the sake of family, rest or even our own sanity.  Part of teaching your children how to manage a schedule is by giving them the freedom to turn down the superfluous things, and sometimes even the things that may seem important, for the things that are the MOST important.

Putting family first is a lesson that we have to role model.  They must see us turn down things in our lives for the most important things such as a date night with our spouse or a family night.  If this is not something that you do naturally, or you are a people pleaser and have a hard time saying no, it is worth the effort to make a change to role model this for your children.  The other thing that you can do is by helping older teens balance their schedule by setting up family times that “cannot be missed”.  Teens today seem to be running around like chickens with their heads cut off with all the school and extra activities.  We need to step in and help them learn to balance!


The 30 Imperatives of Parenting #102018-01-18T11:33:01-04:00