Four Principles of Good Parenting

principles of good parenting seoThese four principles of good parenting can help organize one’s parenting style into a mindset that leads to the kind of sensitive, intentional parenting that produces secure, healthy children. In Why You Do the Things You Do, Dr. Tim Clinton and Dr. Gary Sibcy discuss why having a principle-based parenting style helps keep parents on track and allows them to understand the “why” so it becomes easier to do the “how.”


1. Vision

“Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18).

That concept applies to parenting as well. What is your goal as a parent? What is your vision for your children? Without that vision, you cannot be intentional in directing your children toward specific goals. What elements of character, what values, and what kind of worldview do you want your children to have as they grow?

How do you want your children to remember you when you’re gone? As someone who was always at work, always yelling, or too busy to spend time with them? Or do you want them to remember you as being there for them through thick and thin, as someone they could always rely on to be honest and fair with them?

Are you looking for a family devotional? Have a look at God’s Word for Families.

2. Training Your Child in the Way of Love

Effective, intentional parenting helps prepare children to follow the two most important of God’s commandments found in Matthew 22:37–40.

Intentional parents help their children learn how to love God and love their neighbors.

Intentional parents help their children learn how to love God and love their neighbors.

Children must learn that:

  • They are worthy of both God’s love and yours.
  • Relationships should be warm, satisfying, and safe.
  • They can trust others to respond in appropriate and prompt ways to their needs.
  • They can learn to regulate and manage their negative emotions.
  • They can live within limits.
  • They can learn to deal with frustration, loss, and failures, even growing stronger because of those experiences.
  • They can speak up and solve relational problems effectively without becoming aggressive or withdrawing.

3. Emotional Learning

If we only teach our children on an intellectual level about different life concepts and how to behave, they will still not yet know how to implement those concepts during times of emotional stress. It’s during the emotional upheavals that parents have the greatest opportunity to help their children actually implement behaviorally what they have learned intellectually.

Parents cannot become reactive in those crisis or emotional moments and still be effective in helping their children learn how to implement what they have been teaching them. Once children are in an emotional state, parents also need to be there to help them walk through an appropriate way to handle their frustration.

4. Sensitivity

Sensitive, intentional parents are tuned in to their children’s actual needs and can respond promptly and effectively to help them know how to meet those needs. If parents can’t easily discern those needs, they will take the time and energy necessary to find out and to understand from their children’s perspective.

Sensitive parents help their children learn to calm themselves down when they are upset.

Sensitive parents help their children learn to calm themselves down when they are upset. If children fail to learn this, they often become very susceptible to negative moods as they grow older and tend to see themselves and others negatively.

Sensitive parenting does not mean indulgent parenting. The key is to find the proper balance between the support and challenge necessary for children to learn, grow, and become secure, stable adults who are able to give and receive love in their relationships with others and with God.

Sylvia Clemons is a licensed professional counselor and a licensed chemical dependency counselor who operates a private counseling practice in San Antonio, Texas. She also is an ordained UPCI minister who serves on the administrative staff at Hope Center Church.

Resources and Links

God’s Word for Families is not your average devotional. With 365 ten-minute devotional activities designed around a variety of learning styles, each week’s devotions will reinforce what your family is learning at church. This wholly Apostolic discipleship tool will help you engage your family members in God’s Word every day of the week. By exploring a biblical passage from Sunday to Saturday with simple, fun activities, God’s Word for Families will bring parents and kids closer to God.