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Take Some Advice


“A word to the wise ain’t necessary – it’s the stupid ones that need the advice.”

Bill Cosby

Want to be a better parent? Want to know smart things about parenting your kid in smart ways? Then learn to seek some advice. When the house is on fire, you grab a water hose. When you’re taking a raft trip down the river, you inflate the raft. When you have kids growing up in your house, you find out how to do it effectively.

Read a Book. Period.

Find someone that’s been where you are. There are grey hairs everywhere, and if you buy them lunch or coffee, you’ll discover they have a ton of information to share. You aren’t the first parent to have multiple toddlers in your house, find a sympathetic ear and start reaping the benefits.

Find someone that’s where you want to be. This may be the same person that’s been where you are, but it’s a different conversation. For me, this is the person with adult children that are spiritually mature and generally successful in life. I want to know what they credit for their children’s emotional intelligence.

Observe your peers. Let me preface this by saying that I’m not suggesting you bad mouth people when they aren’t around, but with the privacy provided by your spouse…begin to talk about what you like and don’t like about the parenting styles all around you. Do you agree with how they talked to their kids? Do you like how they handled this problem?

Our children are a sacred gift, given to us for such a short amount of time. Our responsibility isn’t to rule over them like a king, but to lovingly and compassionately train them to know Christ. We only have a few years to shape their spiritual responses that will help lead them throughout their lives. Do all that you can today to learn.


Jonathan Cliff is married to his wife Starr and they together live out their days with two sons and a daughter. Jonathan serves as one of the Pastors at Grace Community Church in Clarksville, Tennessee; where he works with leaders throughout the city to help develop Christian community that leads to deep and meaningful spiritual friendships. His journey has been an adventurous one, having served in the local church for 15 years in family ministry developing leaders, building environments for kids and students to belong, and encouraging parents to take big spiritual steps with their families.