Shepherds for our Children

We are excited to share this recap of a recent Parent Workshop we hosted, led by the Shepherds of Men! Shepherds of Men started 2 years ago with the idea that “if we get the MEN right, we get the world right”.

The importance of your work ethic, being an example for your children, and being your child’s parent, not their best friend cannot be understated. Some parents fall into the mindset of being their child’s best friend vs being a parent, which is difficult to do because you want your kids to like/love you. But if that is the only thing you’re after, you will fail at preparing them for the life of challenges that they will endure. Let them experience failure and coach them through getting better to win and to achieve their goals. They are not always going to win or excel at everything that they do, so help them understand how to learn and rise up through those challenging times. It will serve them well in the years to come.

As parents, it is our responsibility to connect with our kids and figure out the best way to parent them individually. No one child is the same. Surrounding yourself with other good parents and learning from them will help you become a better parent. Raising good kids requires you to be intentional with your time. Do things that will stretch them to bring the best out of them. 

Always praise the work ethic vs the reward. Being the example of what hard work looks like will foster a drive in them that other kids do not have. Encourage them to assist you with the day-to-day chores, the yard work, or other things that they can be involved with. Be conscious of how much time you are spending on your devices or watching TV. Create adventures and encourage the boo-boos in life. They become talking points later in life and possibly some good laughs. 

‘Mindset’ by Carol S. Dweck is a great book to read to help you understand the difference between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset. Some people believe if they have to work at it then they are not meant to pursue it ( a “Fixed Mindset)” – but those who are successful in life know that it takes work to master your craft -(a “Growth Mindset”.)

Your kids will follow your example, and it doesn’t matter what you say; they will follow what you do. You are their world, and the environment is up to you to create. It takes dedication to lead by example for your kids, and it’s an all-the-time thing not just a sometimes thing. Being a parent means you have to change the old you and become a more responsible you. If you are still chasing your old life like you were in your teens, you are missing it. If you want to be a good parent it takes, focus, dedication, a strong mental attitude, and setting the right example. 

Start turning the mirror on yourself, take ownership and realize that, in many ways, your kids are the way they are because you are the way you are. It starts to cut a little deeper. At the end of the day, you need to be real with your kids, and stop putting on a facade. If you never argue with your spouse your kids will think that is normal, and when they get into arguments they will not know how to handle it. Show them how to get through those tough conversations by dealing with disagreements, and make up at the end.

If you are a single person raising kids, it is vitally important to get them around positive role models of the same sex to show them examples that you might not be able to. For example, if you’re a single mom with a boy, find a good male role model for them and vice versa. If you are married, the most important thing to remember is that your spouse comes first before your children, and that your life shouldn’t revolve around your children. When they leave the house and you are an empty-nester if all you did was focus on your kids, what kind of marriage or relationship will you have left with your spouse? 

Parenting is tough work and a full time job. But with the right tools and mindset, we can raise strong, kind, successful children.

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