The word parent comes from the Latin word parere which means to bring fourth. That is to give birth to a child. But being a parent is more than giving birth. Sydney J Harris once said “The Commonest fallacy among women [or men] is that simply having children makes them a mother
which is as absurd as believing that having a piano makes you a musician.” Simply having children does not make you a parent. With this in mind, I want to address what it entails being a parent. The word PARENT describes six things that constitute parenting.
Provide. Providing for the family is the key aspect of parenting. In a family God has arranged it that parent should provide for the basic needs of their children. The apostle Paul wrote: “If anyone fails to provide for his relatives, and especially for those of his own family, he has disowned the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” (1Timothy 5:8)
Parents must be very good providers, but be careful not to be consumed by the pursuit of income. Providing for your family is important, but you should not throw yourself into work at the expense of time at home. This can cause your relationships with your children to wither away.
Adore. To adore means to love intensely. This is not that mare love, but it is to love deeply, to love wholeheartedly. It is your duty as a parent to love your children as you are raising them. I have come to understand that we all have the desire to be loved. And this is very important to the children. David Popenoe a family sociologist notes that the most basic emotional need for children is to be genuinely loved.
There is something in our children which cries out to be loved by another. This is why isolation is the most devastating to our children. At the heart of children’s existence is the desire to be loved by parents. A family is designed to meet that need for love.
Raise. There is no substitute for parents raising children. Most children profit greatly from living with both their parents who takes a very active part in their lives. Let me emphasis here that it is parents’ responsibility to raise their own children. In fact it is a God given responsibility to parents.
Raising your own children is also rewarding. As a family sociologist David Popenoe observes parenthood is one of the most deeply satisfying and meaningful of life endeavor; it helps men and women to see what is important and enables them to feel part of others in a close relationship across generations.
Equip: This is other important task for parents. When I think of equipping children for growth what comes into my mind is this proverb “Give a man fish and he eats fish for a day. Teach a man to fish and he eats fish for a life”. In other words I am saying that if you want to help your children don’t give them a fish, but give them a fishing rod. What I mean is that you and I can’t grow our children no matter how we love them, but we can give them tools for them to grow. Our responsibility as parents is supply to our children necessary tools for them to become responsible and independent adults.
Nurture: The word nurture means to rear and encourage development. Nurturing your children involves taking care of your children’s basic needs, such as food, shelter, clothing and medical care, as well as giving love, attention, understanding, acceptance, time, and support.
You need to make time for your kids, show an interest in them and their activities. Know what they like and encourage them to pursue their passions. Don’t impose on them your passion. Through your words and actions, you communicate to your children that they are loved and accepted.
Teach. God has given parents the responsibility of training their children in His way. And one of the best training tools is example. I have come to learn that teaching by example can accomplish for you what years of instructions cannot. Demonstrating the virtues you want your children to imbibe is more powerful than teaching them. Your examples are what stick with them, not the volume of words you speak. After all your points are forgotten, your examples will remain.
Parents who know what it entails to be a parent will bring up their children well. Children greatly benefit from them. A child having good parenting, hardly ever fail in life. Parenting is the key factor in success of many people.