Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Good parenting v responsible parenting


twixt downs and sea 2012 danger

When my eldest became a teenager, some friends and I went on a parenting course. We’d done ok with the preteen bit but were having problems knowing how far to shift the boundaries.

The first lesson we learnt was the difference between good and responsible parenting. Good and loving parents will do everything for their children. It’s not bad parenting to make their lunch, do their laundry, check they’ve done their homework and so forth. But, the more responsible way to parent, especially as they get older is to trust them to make their own way and give them ownership of what is theirs.

Things your teenager could have ownership of

  • carrying their own school bag and lunch box. How many parents do you see loaded down with two or more bags, boxes and coats while junior runs off laughing with his mates?
  • making their own lunch – or even making everyone’s lunch. Cooking one night a week?
  • getting themselves up in the morning. I used to do that thing where you have to go back 3 times to get them up, getting more and more irate, (even resorting to the wet flannel) but no more. One alarm clock each – job done.
  • putting themselves to bed. I discovered ‘flexible bedtime’ on that course, but that’s another post in itself.

And we have such a great model of parenting to follow. Something Christians are often asked is why doesn’t God do everything for us. Why isn’t our way made easy? He gives us ownership of our lives, a chance to choose the right way. And equips us with everything we need and the right tools. With love, a family and an example to follow.

I  recently followed a link from Tsh to read a brilliant post about this by Alameda Patch. God doesn’t lift us to the top of the slide. His word lights the way and he will catch us if we fall.


  1. "And we have such a great model of parenting to follow." We do indeed, yet we always need to lean heavy on His Grace, Mercy and Strength in the everyday...

    1. That's so true - we can't do it in our own strength.



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