6 Mistakes Christian Parents Often Make - Imperfect Homemaker

6 Mistakes Christian Parents Often Make

“We're done, mom!”  Three children stand beaming at me from their version of a clean kitchen.

One glance around the room tells me they are far from done.

Now I have a choice.  Do I berate them for being lazy and doing a sloppy job?  Or do I calmly and kindly say, “Well,  I can tell you all have been working hard, but mommy's going to show you a few things that can make the kitchen even cleaner, okay?  First, you want to make sure you squeeze the water out of the cloth really hard so there won't be water dripping all over the table when you wipe it…”

I think we would all agree that it is only fair to remember that little children must be taught how to do things before they should be expected to do them the right way.

And yet, so often, we as parents forget that children are learning so many new things every day, and we could stand to cut them a little more slack.  (Read: The Thing Most Parents Forget About Their Kids)

I have noticed some additional deficiencies in Christian parenting skills that most of us could stand to improve (myself included for sure!)



1. Laziness

We've all done it.  We call our child and they don't come, so we call them again.  They still don't come.  We call a couple more times, more loudly each time, until finally they hear, “GET IN HERE, NOW!!!!”

This is often a result of our own laziness as parents. Why should our children always hold the responsibility of stopping what they're doing to come to us? Why can't we show the same respect for their time and their interests that we would show to anyone else? Would we call our spouse from across the house, expecting them to drop what they're doing to come to us immediately? Would we like it if our spouse did that to us, or would we appreciate their consideration that we might be in the middle of something?

Instead of calling for our children from across the house, expecting them to immediately stop what they're doing and come running, we can stop what we're doing and go talk to them.

This is not to say that there won't be a time and a place to call our children, just like there are times we will need to call our spouse from across the house. But we can do it in a way that treats them the way we want to be treated. Our children are not our servants.

We can have a respectful conversation when we do need to call them. “Can you come here please? I need your help with something.”

When we treat our children respectfully, showing them that their time is just as valuable as ours, they'll be less likely to buck against us when we do ask them to come help us with something.

Other ways that parents can be lazy:

-Not taking the time to proactively teach our children, then getting frustrated when we feel we are constantly having to correct them

-Not taking the time to supervise children properly, then getting irritated when they make a mess or neglect their responsibilites

-Punishing children in hopes of getting a desired result rather than connecting with them and motivating them


2. Lack of Thoughtfulness

Ephesians 6 tells children to obey their parents, but Ephesians 6 does not instruct parents to bark orders at their children.

In fact, the admonition given to parents (fathers, specifially) is to not provoke them, and to nurture them and teach them the ways of the Lord.

What tone of voice do you use when speaking to your children?  Would you speak to another adult that way?

Does “Be ye kind one to another” apply only to other adults?

Yes, we need to teach our children to obey.  But we must remember that we have other jobs besides teaching – nurturing, comforting, helping.  When too much focus is placed upon obedience, it's easy for things to get out of balance.


3. Lack of clarity

Many times as parents we expect our children to know exactly what we mean when we haven't really taught them how to do something properly.

This piggybacks on point number one, where our own laziness causes unnecessary problems in our relationship with our kids.

We tell them to clean their room, but haven't ever worked side by side with them to show them exactly what “clean your room” means. Kids are kids. They need instruction and guidance.



4. Lack of Follow-through – Ouch!  This is the area where I have the hardest time.

I tell the kids to clean their room and later see them playing.  “Did you clean your room?” I ask.  (Of course they answer yes!)  At bedtime, when I see that their room is not thoroughly clean, I get irritated because their room is a mess, but I don't want them to stay up any later to clean it.  I should have gone to check it immediately when they were finished.

When we give our kids instructions, there are 2 sides to the responsibility.  The child has a responsibility to report to complete what they've been asked to do, and the parent has the responsibility to follow-through with making sure the job is done and done correctly.


5. Forgetting that kids are kids

Sometimes we parents just plain expect too much out of kids. It is much harder to be a kid than we realize sometimes.

On the flip side, kids are pretty smart too!

We need wisdom to find that sweet spot between expecting too much or expecting too little from them.


6. Praise for a job well done

I don't know about you, but I love it when someone acknowledges my hard work, whether it was something I was supposed to do or not.

It's so nice when people notice and appreciate your hard work, and it provides motivation and energy.

Our children have emotions just like us, and we can provide so much encouragement to do right just by giving them some positive reinforcement.




It is my desire that I would become more and more acquainted with God's unconditional love for me. And as I do, I pray that his graciousness and gentleness would spill over onto my children.







Share this post

Comments are closed