Types of Parents

Mom and babyAs any parent can tell you, parenting requires giving: giving our time, our sleep, our money, our space, our attention, and ourselves. Parents give their children many different gifts. (Some gifts we might rather not give them, like our bad habits; but most gifts we choose to “bring to the party.”)

Gifts can tell you a lot about the parent who gives them. Some parents operate with a survival mentality; they give their child “whatever” just to make it through the child-rearing years. Some parents operate with a default mentality; they give their child what is popular without considering whether it will be the most helpful. Our desire as parents should be to operate deliberately and purposefully, giving our children what is useful after carefully thinking through what would be most beneficial to them. That kind of parent is an intentional parent.

Types of Parents
  The Motive The Goal The Method The Gifts
Survival Parents “If I can just make it through the child-rearing years, I can get my life back.” “Getting the kids out of the house.” “Doing whatever is easiest for me.”
  • Bribes
  • Threats
  • TV as a babysitter
Default Parents “I don’t want my child to miss out on what all the other kids have.” “Making my child happy.” “Giving my child whatever is popular.”
  • Hectic activities schedule
  • Indecent fashions
  • Inappropriate media
Intentional Parents “I want to give my child what will be best and most helpful for him.”
  • “Preparing my child for life as a productive adult.”
  • “Developing my child’s God-given mind and abilities.”
  • “Protecting my child’s heart.”
“Purposely spending time with the child and building a relationship so he will learn by watching and interacting with me.”
  • The Bible
  • Enjoyable pastimes
  • Academics
  • Character
  • Home skills