I’d like to pass on a really helpful overview of the parenting process that I learnt from a parenting course called ‘Growing Kids God’s Way.’
Parents need to make subtle changes to their parenting style as their children grow so as not to frustrate them (remember Ephesians 6:4). The age designations below are just a guide, and there is often significant overlap from one role to the other. Here are four stages of parenting:
1. Disciplinarian (ages 0-7): Children are born sinful. They need to have godly morality taught and reinforced by discipline. This is the most critical stage of parenting.
2. Teacher (ages 7-12): at this age children are often most open to instruction from parents. Make the most of it.
3. Coach (ages 13-18): if the truths have been taught, parents now need to increasingly trust their children to make wise choices and cheer them on correcting where necessary.
4. Friend (ages 19-): if all goes well, this is the true blessing of parenting. The big mistake many parents make is trying to be their toddler’s best friend. That is neither what your toddler wants or needs. Play the long game, and have the end in view because you’re growing a person.