As your child gets older, you are gradually preparing them for the adult world. So you should be gradually increasing responsibility and should be giving them signs that you respect them as individuals. If you do not accomplish these things and instead control, belittle, criticize, or otherwise abuse your child, you cannot expect your child to be ready for adulthood when the time comes. Moreover, these actions will most likely break your child’s spirit and drive them into dysfunctional behaviors. I've known parents over the years that used such tactics, reasoning that they were making their child tough and strong, claiming that it's a dog-eat-dog world, so you have to prepare them for that by giving them a little taste of it at home. This is the reasoning of the enemy. Such methods used on a child when they are tender and innocent can wound them deeply, making them weaker by far, hobbling them for life rather than strengthening them.
Parenting is not easy. If you want to do it right, you must be willing to do the hard work to get it right. The amount of effort, thought, and time that you put into your parenting responsibilities will speak volumes about the quality of your love for your child. And getting it right requires a lot of time in prayer, Scripture meditation, and meditation about God and His Ways, Mind, Heart, and Character. Or you can seek advice from older Christian parents who have raised their children successfully and still have meaningful relationships with their children. Of course, there is one other way to approach parenting. You can go “rogue” and try to do it without God’s help, but there are so many ways to mess up your responsibilities as a parent, possibly hobbling your poor, defenseless, innocent, and unschooled child for life. Thankfully, if you do all things in love with the best intent, “love will cover a multitude of sins” as your children will realize, in time, that you are not perfect, but that you most definitely love them and want what’s best for them. Spending that time in those spiritual activities, I learned a lot about parenting from God as He took advantage of these times when I was with Him or thinking about Him or Scripture, etc., to implant much of His Wisdom in me about all things, including wisdom about parenting.
And He did so in a timely manner, giving me bits and pieces of His Wisdom at the very time when I needed them to apply to the training, discipline, spiritual teaching, loving interactions, or mentorship of my children. He was always faithful to give me what I needed to be a good parent – not a perfect one, mind you, but a good one. A “perfect” parent is a myth that some fool themselves into believing based on their very limited moral reasoning, boundaries, and choice of rules. In fact, an imperfect parent is better because they can produce many teaching opportunities for their children if they are humble enough to admit their mistakes and courageous enough to set right the wrongs they have done. In doing so, they can teach their children two important lessons: (1) that everyone makes mistakes,this being a common experience, so it is not the “end of the world” as they say, and (2) that mistakes must be confessed and set right. If you try to be a perfect parent and hide your faults from your children or deny that you have faults out of pride, you will inadvertently teach your children about deception and manipulation of others. You will also teach them that the rules don’t matter or that the rules are situational or relative and unstable (with certain privileged people like yourself being given carte blanche to ignore the rules). Moreover, you will teach them that one must be perfect or at least appear to be (a legalistic, limited morality that is not Scriptural nor pleasing to God), that one must always be in control of all things all the time (which, of course, is an illusion), that one should never stoop to humility, always keeping the prideful image propped up, and that the deeper things of the heart (which God is really after) are not that important.
More on this tomorrow. May you have a blessed day filled with God's love and blessings.