Andy Stanley says that if we parent now the way God would have us to parent, there may be times when our children don’t like us very much. But they will like us later, and “later is longer.”
His parenting series “Future Family” helped me to see raising my children in seasons:
- Discipline Years (Ages 1-5). These are the years to fully address the three D’s: Disobedience, Dishonesty, and Disrespect. (Bless all of you parents with young children immersed now in the discipline years. It gets better!)
- Training Years (Ages 5-12). This is the time to instill habits and routines that set our children on the right course.
- Coaching Years (12-18). During these years we give guidance as necessary and come alongside our children to solve problems together.
- Friendship Years (18+).
All children are different, and it’s important to see parenting as progress towards a goal rather than something going well or not going well. However, we must take notice when the Discipline or Training Years extend into adolescence. Behavior that we don’t adequately address when our children are younger may turn into a major, character-defining issue. Parenting well is difficult to do in the moment, but it will be worth it later, and “later is longer.”
The days are long, but the years are short. I’m so glad to be on this journey together.
Head of School