Friday, September 30, 2011

Parenting Tips: How to Positively Influence Your Child

Inspired by our recent trip to a pottery farm, I remember a beautiful poem I first encountered in a parenting seminar.  Likened to a potter, parents have the influence to mold a young child’s innocent and yielding heart like a piece of living clay.  And the poem goes…

A Parent’s Influence

I took a piece of plastic clay
And idly fashioned it one day;
And as my fingers pressed it still,
It moved and yielded at my will.

I came again when days were past,
The form I gave it still it bore,
And as my fingers pressed it still,
I could change that form no more.

I took a piece of living clay,
And gently formed it day by day,
And molded with my power and art,
A young child's soft and yielding heart.
I came again when days were gone;
It was a man I looked upon,
He still that early impress bore,
And I could change it never more.
- Author Unknown

As I reflect on this poem, it reminded me that indeed all parents have the power to influence their young children.  But the question is – are we influencing our children positively or negatively?  In addition, parents have the greatest opportunity to mold their children’s life while they are still young.  But once they are all grown up, like clay or white cement that dries up and eventually becomes hard, we can no longer change them; more so, help mold them into the kind of persons we want them to become.

So while they are still young and yielding, like in the poem, let us strive to help mold our children’s hearts with our power and art.  And as I learned in a parenting seminar I attended a few years ago, here are some ways we can draw close to our children in order to positively influence them.

1.   Good Modeling – Modeling is the most powerful way of teaching; yet it is also the most challenging because, like I said earlier, children can copy their parents either positively or negatively.  Modeling is “lifestyle teaching”.  As parents, we must “walk our talk”.  And the best way to model to our child is to follow the biblical role of husband and wife (Ephesians 5:22-33), and not how society plays it nowadays.

2.  Good Relationship – The closer the relationship, the greater the influence.  The closer children are to their parents, the less they are influenced by their peers and vice-versa.  Children will imbibe our values if they like us and respect us.

3.   Time – The more time you spend with your child, the greater is your influence on him or her.  As parents, we must view time as an investment.  It is not just spending “quality” time with our child, but “quantity” also makes a lot of difference.  Remember, to a child, LOVE is spelled “T-I-M-E”! 

4.  Listening – The more you listen to your child, the more you understand him or her; and the more you understand him or her, the more you can influence him or her.  Listening opens up the door of open communication.

5.   Positive Words – Remember, words impact lives.  Affirm your child with positive words.  Speak words that build up and not tear down.  Correct positively by encouraging the child towards positive change and not to punish.  Compliment good character by developing a detective’s eye for good behavior in your child.

6. Unconditional Love – Unconditional love encourages positive change.  It is a commitment to an imperfect person for his highest good which often requires sacrifice.  We must accept our child as he or she is and appreciate his or her uniqueness.  Unconditional love is showing acceptance through verbal affirmation.  Do not compare your child with others; do not label him or her negatively; instead, generously compliment his or her good traits.  Lastly, show unconditional love through physical affection or touch.  Touch makes our child feel our love.  It gives our child a sense of security and closeness.

7.   Expect the Best – Children live up to our expectation.  Do not just see a child as he or she is today, but see him or her as what he or she can become in Christ.  It is best to communicate positive expectation with your child.

As parents, I believe it is not by our own power and strength to mold our children.  We must allow our Own Potter to be in control of our lives and of our children.  As good stewards, we must yield to Our Potter’s Hand by allowing Him to freely mold and shape us and be His vital instrument in molding and shaping His children according to His will.

Sharing these parenting tips with


  1. love your post! :D

    thanks for joining :)

  2. Such a beautiful poem. Thanks for sharing it to us! Check out my entry:

  3. A very inspiring poem, honestly i even copied it!

    I agree with all your tips especially regarding loving them unconditionally..and that love to them is equivalent to time.

    i hope you can also take a look at my parenting tip

  4. very nice poem! our unconditional love to our child is the best qualities that we can give to them.

  5. this is such a beautiful post. Thanks for sharing :)

  6. nice poem and tips! just like the clay, parents mold their children and take due diligence in guiding them so they will grow as good children of God..

  7. Parents are entrusted by God to mold their children's lives, and we should always set good examples for our kids to follow. Happy MM! I hope you can visit my entry:

  8. that was a very beautiful poem.. thanks so much for sharing..

    by the way, do you mind checking out on Bye Mom! Bye Dad! See You When I Grow Up?


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