Who is a parent? A parent is one who nurtures and raises a child. It might not be a biological parent but
anybody that nurtures and trains a child is a parent. Who is a child? A child is a person between the age
of 0 and 18 according to the United Nations child rights convention, anyone that is between the ages of 0
to 18 is still a child. According to Psalm 127, a child is a heritage.
Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. Ps 127:3(KJV)
What is parenting? Parenting is the process of supporting the physical, emotional, educational, social,
intellectual and spiritual development of a child from infancy to adult hood. You must do all together. It
has to do with the training of the child. Proverbs 22:6
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. (KJV)
As Christian parents we must practice effective and positive parenting. We must adopt a parenting
style that gives glory to god. We must not parent like the unbelievers. Adapt a parenting style that suits/
fits your child. The style one parent uses might not be suitable for another parent; in fact the parenting
style for your first child or your female child might not work with your second or male child. With the
help of the holy spirit you can adopt/adapt a parenting style that will fit your child. For each style, there
is a style you must adopt. For some reasons, our parents actually missed out in some areas. What we
hear in those days is “Remember the son of whom you are.” Our parents spoke in parables, but they did
not give explicit explanation of what is expected of the child. Thank God for this age; if you give a child
the same parable today, he/she will ask what you are talking about. I am your son/daughter; they seek
for clarification. In those days, that was all they told us and we just leave like that. That is why today
we have so much decay, adults who don’t have self control, queue-jumping, and other things, because
their parents did not parent well. A child could not choose in those days. The motto for children was
“You should only be seen and not heard,” whatever the parents say goes, you dared not question their
decisions for you. I come from a home where my parents mixed Democratic parenting with Authoritarian
parenting, so you don’t talk. Let’s say you wanted a blue school bag, but your parents give you a brown
bag; you cannot open your mouth to say you want a blue bag. Only few parents in those days allowed
their children to talk. Today, what do we have? When you want to buy a bag for a child you have to take
into cognisance the cartoon character they love, then the colour matters too. You cannot give a girl child
a blue bag. She will say “I am not a boy”, so it’s either a purple or pink bag.
Children in those days were also not privileged to have the kind of spiritual values we are no giving our
children. As a child I could not pray, I was not allowed to pray and we did not even gather to pray in my
house. But today, if you forget to pray in the morning some of these children will call your attention and
say “We have not prayed.” God will bless our children in the name of Jesus.
There are three types of parents: The Authoritarian Parents, Permissive parent and the Democratic
Authoritarian Parents: These are parents that are very strict. We still have them around. Parents who
are very strict exert power and do not allow their children to talk. In that kind of home setting, the father
does not laugh, he goes out in the morning, comes back at night and is very strict. The children cannot
talk to the father. This kind of parents rule with ‘iron fist’ and it is not advisable. It could make the child
either weak (afraid to offend with every action) or aggressive.
Permissive Parents: These are parents that give control to their children. They allow the children dictate
to them what should be done in the family e.g. having to cook more than one type of food at meal
time just to satisfy the craving of each child. Such parents have lost control. When I was growing up my
mother would tell me “Whatever a mother has is what she will give to her child, so if you cannot eat
it, go to sleep like that.” Sadly, today we have parents that over pamper their children because those
children are ‘special’. Their justification is usually “The kind of suffering I went through, I don’t want my
children to go through same.” The question here is: Did you die from the suffering?
As a parent, you must not be permissive at all times or else you will make your child irresponsible. When
you give control and power to a child, that child will not be responsible and would end up being slothful.
God will not make our children slothful in Jesus name. That was what happened to Eli. He could not
control his children because they were adults. To those that have teenagers, until your child is above
18, that is when that child is free to pick; but if you mange the child well, even when the child is above
twenty, you could still have a hold on the child. The prophet was not able to control his children and they
disgraced him. (1 Samuel 2:22, 3:11-14) God will not allow our children disgrace us in Jesus name.
Democratic Parent: This category of parents is the one between the authoritarian and permissive
parent. They are considerate, allow for dialogue with the child. They help the child to be responsible. For
example, when their child says, “I want to study Law at Covenant University.” The democratic parent
would say “I cannot afford Covenant, could we settle for UNILAG, it is ok.” A democratic parent allows
Bear in mind that there are cases whereby we have to apply the different kinds of parenting, in some
cases you need to be the authoritarian parents and in others the permissive; that is why we need the
Holy Spirit. God will always teach us what to do in the name of Jesus.
In parenting, the father and the mother must be involved. That is the way God designed it, but we often
find out that the work load is left for the mother. It ought not to be so. Most children feel that it is their
mother that does everything; “it is my mummy that paid school fees, it is my mummy that bought this
dress, mummy bought the shoe, etc.” The only thing they ascribe to daddy is house rent; meanwhile it
might not be so. As a father, once in a while, you are supposed to buy a gift for your child and give it to
the child directly, so that the child would bear it in mind that “Yes, my father buys things for me.” Don’t
leave the responsibility to the mother alone, let the father figure be seen and felt. No parent is 100%
perfect! That is the truth, but I know that the Holy Spirit will help us in the name of Jesus.
How should we parent? We should parent spiritually. What are you offering your children spiritually? Is
it just bringing them to church? This is a question I ask myself all the time. Just bringing them to church
for Sunday and weekly service will only make them churchy. The important question is: Do they have
spiritual values? If you ask them some spiritual questions, would they be able to answer such questions?
It may not be so in your own situation but for those of us that come regularly to the church, if you are
not careful, the children will just see the church as a social ground where they get to see their friends,
especially the Teens Church. Buying beautiful Bibles and story books is not enough for children. You
must teach them about heaven, let them know the picture of heaven. There was a little girl whose
mother bought her a story book that has the picture of the twelve disciples, and this led to the following
discussion: Girl “Have you seen the disciples before? Mom: No, I was not around when the twelve
disciples were here. Girl: That means I will need the story book when I get to heaven. Mom: What do you
mean by that? Girl: When I get to heaven I want to be able to recognise and point out the disciples. Now
that is a child that has the picture of heaven. However, you find out that what our children talk about
most is hell e.g. All liars go to hell... that is the only picture they have. We should endeavour to teach
them about heaven; it goes further than telling them liars go to hell.
We should lay a solid spiritual foundation for our children. A child forms by age seven, so whatever you
teach your child between the ages of 0 to 7 is what the child will take. Once the child is seven, the child
begins to have a mind of his own. Those of us who still have children bellow seven, let us mould them to
the image of Christ, for those of us whose children are teenagers already, you just use the Holy Spirit to
support them, because there is nothing you can do, teenagers usually do not want to listen.
We should raise Godly and righteous children. Godly children do not turnout by accident; they are
products of the committed efforts of Godly parents. As a parent, you should have spiritual hold on your
child to a certain extent, to eighteen years. If you are a parent and your child refuses to go to church with
you and that child is below eighteen, then something is wrong. Till a child is eighteen, you should be able
to carry that child and say “Come to church with me.” God will help us in Jesus name. 1 Samuel, 2:21 says
“And the child Samuel grew before the Lord.” I pray that our children will grow before the lord in Jesus
name. 1Samuel 2:18 says “Samuel ministered before the Lord.” He ministered even as a child, so we
should allow our children to minister in whatever way the Holy Spirit has directed us in Jesus name. We
Parenting morally; this is one aspect of parenting that most parents have taken for granted. Yes we are
in the jet age but you cannot compromise when it comes to morals. Your child needs the ‘needful basics
of life’ e.g. your child needs to be thought to greet, (don’t go pushing the child to great in front of the
visitor), how to be obedient, how to respect authority, respect the opinion of others, how to tolerate
others so that when they grow up, they will have self control. Etiquette, teach your children how to sit
down, eat, drink from the bottle. I have a friend who went for a job interview which she failed but was
offered the job because of her carriage and comportment. Mothers, teach your daughters how to sit and
Do not leave soiled diapers on a child for too long or else the child will develop a funny walk.
Teach your children rules, e.g. bed time, time to watch TV, etc. Do not allow the TV to parent your child,
because you will not be there always to monitor what is showing. Maintain discipline and don’t settle for
less. When you discipline a teenager, please do not humiliate the child; don’t discipline the child in the
presence of other people. When you need to cane, please cane; Proverbs 13:34 talks about the rod, but
this doesn’t have to be a cane. There are so many rods of discipline that we can use. For some children,
when you talk to them, it hits them more than the cane; some are affected when you withdraw some
privileges from them. When you cane all the time, you will discover that it no longer has an effect on the
child. There are parents who do not discipline their children because they feel the children will hate them,
but I tell you, for those of us that have gone through serious discipline, (we had a prison in my house
where you are locked for three days), today we thank God for it, though we didn’t like it then. Some
children it is on their wedding day that they thank their parents for the discipline, some appreciate better
when they start having their own children. Discipline your child so that in your old age, you will not cry.
Let your child know their social status. Ensure that your status goes with the school you take your child
to, do not enrol your child in a school where everybody goes abroad every summer, while you cannot
afford that. Let your social status match the school you send your child to or else that child will develop a
It is vital for you to observe your child, especially the teenagers. A mother to a teenage girl checked her
bag and saw a note from the girl’s friend asking if she had a boyfriend because she (the friend) now has
one. The mother almost fainted, but she came to us and we advised her on how to handle the situation
because if you are too hard on them, they get out of hand.
Let your children know the true faces of life; the good the bad and the ugly. Even if you are comfortable,
let them experience the other parts of life. I don’t give my children meat all the time, so when it is not
available or they go where they cannot get any, they would not complain. A friend of mine went to pick
up her children one day and she didn’t want to use the air conditioner on that day. When the children got
into the car, the son asked the driver to put on the AC that he was not feeling comfortable. The mom said
no and took them to Obalende where they saw children walking home under the son and she asked her
children “Are these not children walking home, are you better than them?” Once in a while, reduce the
comfort you give your children, let them taste the other side of life so they will appreciate what God has
Parenting academically: Give your children academic attention. Don’t just pay school fees, and pay
lesson teachers then think there is no more problem; monitor in school and follow up on home work.
Most lesson teachers come over to rest after a hard day’s work, so when you get one, ensure you
monitor them, follow up in school and follow their class performance.
Encourage your child where you know he/she has strength. When choosing a school or carrier, you have
to consider the interests of the child. You do not have to force a child to become a doctor, lawyer etc just
because that is your profession or desire for the child. Examine their strength; when helping them choose
a carrier so they don’t struggle through school or come out with a third class degree.
When choosing a primary or secondary school for your child, consider the owners of the school. Ensure
that it is owned and run by seasoned educationists who have good goals, vision and the passion for
building young minds. Do not enrol your child in a school run or owned by a business man/woman. You
could ask a professional for advice before you make a decision. When you get to the school ask every
question you want to ask. Don’t take your child to a school where there are so many social and often
times unacceptable distractions e.g. celebration of Halloween, Harry Porter’s day, tea parties, etc.
Women, don’t follow the crowd, do not send your child to a high brow school just because your friends
children have been enrolled there. Ensure that the school you enrol your child in goes with his or her
temperament. Some children do not like a crowded school, or they would be lost, you could manage in
primary school but for secondary school, you have to be careful. Your child must not attend your alma
How far is your child’s school from home? Some parents drive two hours from the main land to the
island to drop children in school just because of class. If a child travels to get to school, that child will not
perform well. You see children leaving school at 5:30am.
How fast your child finishes school should not be your focus. It is not how fast but how well, that is what
matters. Parents take their children out of school at year five (primary five); a child that is not yet eleven
is no supposed to be in secondary school. Don’t rush the child into school so early due to your own selfish
interest, when they are matured, they perform better.
Academic weakness: Parents, when your child is weak academically, please don’t hide it; see the people
that can give you attention so that the child could be helped. There are children that are dyslexic; the
impaired ability to understand written language: a learning disorder marked by a severe difficulty in
recognizing and understanding written language, leading to spelling and writing problems.
Sadly we do not have the facilities to train these kinds of children in our society. So many people have
this problem and have excelled in spite of it e.g. Richard Branson, the owner of Virgin Atlantic. When you
see a challenge in your child don’t hide it of brand it as an attack from the village. Seek professional help
Pregnant women: Please when you have prolonged labour please for the benefit of the child, if you
have to do a caesarean section, please do it. Prolonged labour damages the brain of the child; so many
children who have challenges in school were children whose labour was prolonged. Pregnant women
please eat well and take all that you need because whatever you do or don’t do affects the child.
For our elders, grandmothers and grand fathers; please don’t say this discussion has nothing to do with
you. One thing you owe your children is to pray and prophesy into their lives. The prayer of parents
whether believers or unbelievers would be established forever.
God bless us and grant us the grace to raise godly children.╦
You are welcome to your month of “UNCOMMON FAVOUR” ╦