Learning more about how God parents his children can help is set the pattern for our own parenting.
If we examine and study his attributes and methods, we will learn these important qualities:
Our Father in Heaven is available to us anytime, anyplace through prayer. He has answers he wants to give us and does not interrupt our pleadings. Rather, he waits for us to complete our thoughts. Likewise, we need to be available to listen without interruption to our children.
When he answers us, it is not with shouting or name-calling, but with perfect mildness and love unfeigned. He genuinely loves us unconditionally. We must love our children the same way and provide them with answers in mildness.
God’s rules and counsel do not change. That provides us with security because we always know how things should run. It just makes sense that we should provide our children with the same sort of consistency in our guidelines and counsel. Changing the rules willy-nilly leaves children insecure.
Heavenly Father loves each of his children without limit. When we know and accept that fact, we are never alone. We must help our children know the same. I know of children who believe that their parents’ love is conditional upon their good performance. I have had to explain to my own children that it doesn’t matter whether they rob banks or discover the cure for cancer; whether they collect garbage or run the country. Nothing, absolutely nothing, will ever change the fact that I love them. Nothing they can do will ever make me stop. In a world where people will often let them down, it is critical they know that someone will love them no matter what.
Reach them on their level
God reaches our reaching. This means that when we have done all we can do, he will reach down and pull us the rest of the way up. Likewise, we need to reach our children’s reaching. We need to let them try as hard as they can. But when they have done that, we need to reach out to them and pull them along. I received wise counsel once when I was a young mother: “Never do anything for a child he can do for himself.” This is good, but it is also critical to see when children are reaching their limits and ready to throw in the towel.
Be full of hope
God believes in us and our potential. He doesn’t label us weak or losers or incapable. He gives us hope when the rest of the world had given up on us. He is in our corner and will not stop cheering us on in our endeavor to be the best selves we can be. Be in your kids’ corner. Cheer them on. Never give up hope. Continuously tell them how proud you are of them.
Let them suffer consequences of their choices
One way that Heavenly Father teaches us is by letting us suffer the consequences for our actions. He never punishes. I know people who believe that he punishes them, but I don’t. I believe he lets us be accountable for what we do. That’s a much different thing. We need to let our children suffer and be held accountable for their actions. Nothing punitive, only natural consequences.
The perfect patterns are set for us. If we read and study our scriptures, pray continuously to be righteous parents, and follow the examples we’ve been given, we will not fail as parents. Our children may or may not follow the paths they should. But if we have done and continue to do all we can to be goodly parents, they will know that they can always turn to us for unconditional love. There isn’t anything more important we can give them.