It’s a simple framework of seven powerful traits that will help you grow in your parenting journey, and be the most effective parent you can be. As you grow in these seven traits, you can impart these same traits to your kids.
The seven traits of effective parenting are well researched, based on the foundations provided through Scripture, enriched by years of application in family counseling settings, as well as the great research surrounding the authoritative style of parenting.
The best way to get started is to take Focus on the Family’s 7 Traits of Effective Parenting Assessment. The assessment, which takes just 5-8 minutes, will give you an honest look at your unique strengths, plus some areas that could use a little help.
Once you’ve taken the 7 Traits of Effective Parenting Assessment, you’ll have a good idea of what are your strengths as a parent, and what might be areas for growth. Click on one of the traits below to navigate to information on that particular trait.
Adaptability is flexibility of the mind to adjust to emotional and situational demands of day to day living. Instilling accommodating and easygoing characteristics in your children.
Congratulations! Scoring high on this trait means you are able to handle what life throws your way. You have flexibility, which helps you see situations from multiple perspectives. This helps you not get stuck spinning on negativity. I picture adaptability as the secret sauce to resiliency and flexibility as an essential ingredient to relationships. You are able to lead your family through difficulty, adversity, and stress. You are also able to teach your kids how to gain a more accurate perspective when times get difficult.
You are willing to face life, and you do not avoid stress. You see stress as an opportunity to grow and learn. Stress is a given, especially when you became a parent. You help provide your family with a balanced perspective when life gets complicated or out of control.
Your family benefits from your ability to creatively find solutions to problems and new perspectives to difficult circumstances. Do you remember the show MacGyver? MacGyver was known for his ability to adapt to any difficult situation. You are the emotional MacGyver in your home.
Great sports teams adapt to what each opponent brings. You are able to adjust plans according to what is coming against you or your family; however, adaptability relies on all of the other six traits in order for it to work best.
You can share your strength in adaptability by…
Your modeling and teaching of adaptability can help your family become more resilient. Be intentional about imparting these skills to your kids, they will thank you some day.
If you scored low on adaptability you may have difficulty adjusting to change, going on vacations, handling stress, responding to failure and imperfection, and/or having “unexpecteds”. Imagine life being able to handle what life brings your way? What would this be like for you and your family? Does this sound impossible to you?
Abraham Lincoln’s road to the White House included failures, several defeats and a nervous breakdown. As parents we have to constantly be adapting – adapting to different personalities, failures, conflict and unexpected illness and loss. We have to adapt to the ages and stages of children as well as the onslaught of activities, demands, and technology. It is a constant wrestling match with whatever normalcy could be.
According to a recent study conducted by the American Psychological Association, Millennials and Gen Xers report the highest stress levels out of the four generational groups (Milennials, Gen Xers, Boomers, and Matures). Both Milennials and Gen Xers report a lot of stress from work and being angry due to stress.
I recently read an article about police in India finding a twelve year-old girl living in the forest with a group of monkeys. She was running on her hands and feet, eating off the ground, naked and unable to talk. I don’t know who was stressed out more, the girl or the policeman that was attacked by the monkeys as he rescued the girl. We are not saying you need to adapt by literally living with monkeys, just kids. Children are full of energy, mistakes, imperfections, and sinful natures.
Our brains are designed to change when you have kids. Moms’ brains begin to change during pregnancy, and dads’ brains change as they spend more time with their kids. These changes show we were designed to adapt.
Our brains and bodies are incredibly adaptive, but we are sometimes overtaken by stress. Stress, over time, can take a toll on our brains and bodies, and we end up becoming reactive instead of responsive. In other words, stress robs us of our patience and emotional self-control.
If saying “no” is difficult for you and your pace of life is constantly draining you, you will not adapt well and will most likely burn out. Self-care is crucial for the effectiveness of parents. One of the great lessons our kids can learn from us is how to handle adversity, pain, stress, disappointment and uncomfortable feelings through an unrelenting trust in God.
Adaptability is a part of life. Your growth in this area will help you lower your stress level and make it much more pleasant for your family to be with you in times of stress and/or change.
A low score in adaptability most likely means that stress tends to control you. A great way to increase your level of adaptability is to…
Adaptability is not easy, but necessary. It requires wisdom and energy, but will be well worth it. Your family will certainly benefit! What a gift!
Respect recognizes the best in people. It is more than acknowledging accomplishments. Children and teens are worthy of respect because God created them and loves them.
Respect is one of the main ingredients of effective and connected communication. It involves recognizing the God-given value of every person. It seen through patience and helping others see that you value their opinion, thoughts and presence, even with their imperfections.
You most likely provide your kids a great sense of value, belonging and competence. You provide opportunities for opinions to be shared and discussed through attentive listening. If you use humor, you use it for connection rather than to assert power or create shame. Most importantly, you model God’s instruction. He wants us to pursue wisdom more than riches and power. Through respect, you help by training your kids to become more confident and wise decision-makers.
In a study out of the Journal of Cybertherapy and Rehabilitation, researchers analyzing differences between permissive and harsh parenting styles, found that parents who let kids do whatever they wanted, were slightly more likely to develop bullies than parents using a harsh parenting style.
You provide the helpful and refreshing balance of correction and connection when disciplining and teaching life-skills. You are willing to listen, but are not afraid to set up rules out of respect for limits, authority and each other. You are also not threatened by your kids asking questions regarding rules and expectations. Your kids are learning to advocate, think, and resolve disagreements. These are excellent relationship skills!
You can help your family learn to grow in the area of respect by:
Scoring low on this may mean several different things; however, the fact that you are taking the time to read this is a sign of respect toward your family. You may have grown up in a home that communicated through sarcasm, loudness, or power.
If sarcasm worked well to communicate with you growing up, keep in mind that it may not work well with your child’s personality. Sarcasm is not genuine and can be quite degrading and disrespectful. Make connection your goal, not power and control.
Respect is a central trait to effective communication, resolving conflict and receiving respect in return. You may not have received opportunities to express your own opinions growing up or may not have had great models of respect.
You may have difficulties letting others share their opinions, because you tend to have a more opinionated (inflexible) personality. This may be especially difficult if your children’s opinions oppose your opinions.
Children and teens that I have met with in my counseling practice over the past 18 years have consistently valued and respected their parents when they were given the opportunity to be heard and to express their point of view. Being able to express their point of view and be heard gave them the skills to develop a true sense of identity and respect. It also helped them grow into young adults ready to tackle adversity.
Here are six things you can consider working on as you work on “respect” as a parent”:
Recognizing Your Son’s Need for Respect Video Series Raising boys is not easy. And as a mom, you desire to see your son grow into
Author and speaker Dr. Emerson Eggerichs shares stories from his childhood and parenting journey to paint a vivid picture of just how vital love and respect are to a family as a whole. (Part 1 of 2)
How do I give my teenager the respect he deserves? I’ll admit that we butt heads pretty often – he’s the type that requires a lot of correction and guidance, and as a result ours isn’t the most peaceful household on the block. But I honestly don’t believe that I’ve ever done anything to denigrate him as a person. In spite of this, he’s forever telling me that I don’t “respect” him as I should. What does it mean for a parent to “respect” a child? I can’t just let him have his own way all the time – can I?
Intentionality is to be present with the purposes of guiding, teaching and influencing their child toward personal growth and healthy relationships.
It is fantastic that you are dependable, involved and focused on helping your kids grow. Your ability to plan, think ahead, prepare, learn, and emotionally invest yourself is a great gift to your family. Daniel in the Old Testament was intentional with his prayer life, and he continued despite adversity. He was committed to God with all his heart.
Keep in mind that true intentionality has relationship at its core. Since you are intentional, you are most likely willing to talk about difficult topics with your kids. Your goal is to prepare them for the next stages, situations, and relationships they will be facing.
I never grow tired of hearing a dad or mom tell me that they write encouraging notes on paper or over text to their family. It is a simple and beautiful way to connect with others. The ability to think and write is a miracle in itself, but to write or draw something that speaks into another person’s world with impact and blessing is truly awesome!
Intentionality also means that you are willing to do the hard work of parenting. You learn about technology to be able to truly parent your child in a world surrounded with technology. You are more likely to have monitoring and/or filtering software on all or most technology devices.
You are more likely to have family contracts and lists that help clarify boundaries and expectations. You are also more likely to take time off of work to spend time with your family. Parenting takes time, sacrifice, and hard work, which is why intentionality is crucial when the pace of life for parents tends zoom by. You can help your family become more focused and relational by:
Intentionality takes a lot of energy and effort, but helps keep your family close to a consistent path. As you model and teach this trait, you will gain respect especially if it is done with love and grace.
I picture these men taking the necessary time to pause, see and connect. Pausing takes awareness and effort. It doesn’t require perfection or even adequacy. The Scoring low on intentionality may mean several different things including that you may be quite busy and/or disorganized. Regardless of the reason, the fact that you are reading this article means that you are being intentional! Changing takes time, effort, and commitment. You are beginning all three!
Greatness in most things like music, sports, and art require hours and hours of hard work and diligence. How much more effort and time do great marriages and great parenting require? A lot!! In reality, we will never be perfect spouses or parents no matter how much time and effort we invest into our families. However, through intentionality, we can pursue growth and connectedness in our families.
Intentionality really is about what we pay attention to throughout the day. The latin root for intentionality is intentio, which means “directed at”. Let’s be real – we are inundated with distractions, some louder than others. In order to work on intentionality, we need to learn how to become more laser focused.
You can become more focused by…
Intentionality doesn’t have to be complicated. Keep it simple, but be focused. We all pay attention to something, we just have to figure out what that is and why. Do we want to be focused on what we are focusing on or are there better things to focus on? This is a great opportunity to shift and take action.
Paying the right kinds of attention to your children is easier when you become more aware of each child’s personality and temperament.
Rhett H. Wilson gives parents five ways to guide kids to become devoted Christ-followers.
Steadfast love is foundational to the other traits. It begins with provision, and creates the foundation for boundaries. Those three create the opportunity for teaching and developing a sense of mission/vision in our children, which leads to an identity as a child of God.
Excellent news for your family! You scored high on the foundational trait “love”. Steadfast love is an important trait because it is a building block for the other traits. You have an important ingredient for your home. It’s not always easy to sacrifice, pay attention or find energy to interact, connect or correct, especially when most of us are juggling busy schedules and depleted energy levels. You provide “emotional glue” for your family. There is a lot of messiness, self-sacrifice, flexibility, and energy that goes into building relationships in families.
I have seen a few moms and dads, even though they are exhausted, take the time to pause, laugh and play with their kids. Kids over time remember these moments and feel a sense of connection that they are unable to clearly explain. You most likely bring lightheartedness and sincerity to your home, which are awesome gifts for your family!
Love is also filled with learning how to live with others despite their imperfections. This flexibility only grows over time, because there is a constant need to adjust, learn, and respond to the differences between each other. You bring a refreshing flexibility, so that disagreements and negativity don’t get stuck spinning.
Because you scored high on love, you are also more likely to tell others in your family that you “love them” in various ways (i.e., time, gifts, encouraging words, and other creative ways). Family members are more likely to feel a sense of belonging, worth, and competence when they are around you because of this.
Ultimately, you help your family experience connection and bonding. What is incredibly exciting is that God is love, so you are also providing a picture of one of God’s core characteristics. Here are five practical ways you can help “pass-on” this great parenting trait:
Great work coming to this page. This is the first step toward being a more loving parent. Being a loving parent is not easy, but great for your kids. Scoring low on this does not make you a non-loving parent. It just means that what you may think is “loving” may not be the connecting love your family could have from you.
There are many reasons why you may have scored low on the “Love” trait. Regardless, the exciting part is that there is plenty you can do about it. Love is more than just an emotion. It is a discipline with lots of decisions along the way that are learned and refined over time. A portion of love (emotional) comes much more easily and natural for some than others. I have seen moms and dads that are just naturally “loving” people. This is seen through their words (compliments and encouragement) and actions (serving, giving of their time, and affection). I have also seen parents try to be loving by doing things for their children so that their children will not feel sad, hurt, upset or in any way feel bad. They do this with great intentions. Some other parents are more task-focused and seem to love through providing order and security in the child’s surroundings rather than connection.
It is important to understand that love does not mean hovering or “helicoptering”. Helicopter parenting involves rescuing kids whenever there is any type of adversity. There have been several parents over the years that I have seen turn on teachers because their kids were getting bad grades. This is not love, this is crippling! These kids don’t get to learn how to resolve problems or work harder when things get tough. Instead, they are being rescued in the guise of love. In a study by Kathleen Haughney out of Florida State University, they found that helicopter parents actually prevent kids from growing up and learning how to handle life. They essentially stunt their development, without the intention to do so.
Being loving is about so much more than just buffering and protecting. For some, being an emotionally connected person comes very easily, but the other side of love, which involves limits, correction, and being able to say necessary “no’s”, may not come as easily for some. You may have been hurt by someone or may have missed out on being loved and connected growing up. Either way, you now have the opportunity to turn the tables by learning how to love. We all have the capacity to be loving parents. The main ingredient here is a solid understanding of God’s love and a close relationship with God. Beyond that, it is up to you. First, are you naturally a very task-focused person? Because if you are, there is a good chance that you see tasks before you see people, including your kids. Kids are like lego pieces waiting to connect wherever they can. They are forgiving and adaptable.
To work on love, you can begin by working on these five practical and easy to implement exercises:
In a discussion based on his book The Two Sides of Love, Dr. John Trent explains the differences between the “hard side” and the “soft side” of love and how they may manifest themselves in your marriage. He offers advice for how you and your spouse can strike a healthy balance between the two sides by developing qualities that you may be lacking.
Boundaries in parenting are first defined as parental self-care, to have the necessary margins to nurture, respond to and care for the family. Then providing proper limits to help children learn balance and self-control.
Congratulations! This means you are friends with the word “no”. Your goal is not your children’s happiness, but rather their growth. You are willing to go through the difficulty of training your kids to respect boundaries and limits This takes consistency and intentionality. Two traits that are crucial for the long-term success of boundaries are love and respect. Keep in mind that if you are low on either or both of these traits it could lead to resentment, rebellion, and big-time confrontation in your home.
If you scored low on either of those, make sure you work really hard on those before you get too excited about throwing down and enforcing more boundaries!
If you’re providing your family with the wonderful trifecta of love, respect, and boundaries, you are a gem to your family! Even if there is conflict, your kids will gain security in your home. They will learn to love, respect, admire, and thank you someday. You are truly providing a great initial foundation for your kids to learn about what it means to be an adult.
We were created to thrive by obeying God, living with His truth in our hearts and minds and by listening to Him to gain much needed wisdom. Psalm 119 provides a wonderful example of the benefits to loving God’s commandments.
There are many things in life that need boundaries – our time, our relationships, technology, media, our selfishness, our conversations, and everything around us – including our homes, communities, countries, world and universe. Boundaries are everywhere.
Technology use among children continues to rise and the average age of people using technology daily continues to skew younger. Technology requires boundaries and limits. You are more likely to place the necessary boundaries that will help your children use technology safely and with balance. This can take a lot of energy and effort on your part as a parent, but since you’re good at this, your family needs your skills.
Since there are many demands on time, you’re ability to say “no” is important to your sanity and to your family’s sanity. There are so many good things to get involved with; you help your family sift toward the “great” things to get involved in.
You also, most likely, help your family set clear limits on what media is consumed. This is important because of the impact of media on our children’s minds and souls. Media influences belief systems, beliefs influence thoughts, thoughts and emotions influence one another resulting in actions. In other words, media has the potential of influencing our children’s beliefs and actions. There may be necessary conflict in this area and just realize that you are investing your energy and time on a very important area of your children’s life. Plugged In helps sift through the barrage of media in our culture today to provide you with the best information possible as you develop boundaries in media for your home.
‘Since you scored high in boundaries, you are able to help your family by…
Boundaries help things work well, even if our emotions don’t always like them. You know, it’s a good thing that emotions don’t always run society because it would be constant chaos, fluctuation, and conflict. Wait! That sounds too familiar. You are thankfully able to let emotions do what they need to do while you set necessary boundaries with wisdom, love and respect. Your family and society will thank you.
Scoring low on boundaries could mean that you are exhausted, disorganized, a conflict avoider, and/or you may have a more playful and aloof personality. There may be various other reasons why you scored low, the fact is your family and society need your growth in this area.
Boundaries take a lot of energy, time, focus, relationship, balance and communication. It is not easy to face conflict and uncomfortable emotions when kids don’t like your boundaries or when people don’t like your “no”.
In a study from the University College London, researchers discovered that we tend to pursue the path of least resistance. We tend to go toward the option that requires the least amount of effort, which reinforces two things: the need for intentionality and the need for focused attention. Intentionality requires planning and energy and helps with setting, defining and reinforcing boundaries. Focus requires disciplined attention and helps with establishing and pursuing goals no matter what.
I’m sure you already know this, but other people’s love and approval are for them to give when and how they want to. Also, other people’s happiness is up to them, including your kids’ happiness. I, like I’m sure most parents have, had at least a momentary lapse into the whirlwind of trying to make my children happy. That is a never ending road that will be exhausting and a losing proposition. We all love approval and love; it’s just how we get them that makes a difference. Boundaries provide freedom when done right. David through his writing of the Psalms shows his love of God’s commandments and rules. He says they keep him safe.
A lack of boundaries on others many times means a lack of boundaries on our selves. Many parents struggle with boundaries on themselves when it comes to technology. I was counseling a father and his son. The father worked in the computer industry and loved video games. We were working on helping his teen son resolve his addiction playing online video games. It was difficult, because the boy’s father was unwilling to let go of video games. It took some time, but his father worked on mustering up enough energy to put limits on himself and on his son. It was transformative to both of them.
Learning to consistently model limits on yourself with technology, food, media, time or anything else where your child may ask why you get to do it and they don’t, will help improve your relationships with your children. What limits can you place on your phone or computer use? Time watching TV, junk food, work, and video games?
A lack of boundaries can create exhaustion, confusion, frustration, and a loss of respect. Jesus led a life of balance and still faced persecution, tiredness, betrayal, and suffering. He held strong to His boundaries even if people were unhappy. He displayed this well when dealing with the Pharisees and any opposition he faced. He was not concerned about making people happy. He was concerned about their souls and relationship.
You can work on boundaries by…
Your family will love the results of you working on this trait. It will have long lasting impacts on you and your family. In fact, it will increase your level of self-confidence as a parent and will increase the level of trust from your spouse and children.
Author Joanne Kraft explains how and why parents should set healthy boundaries in the lives of their children in a discussion based on her book The Mean Mom’s Guide to Raising Great Kids. (Part 1 of 2)
Grace and forgiveness are gifts of freedom that helps us experience God's deep love. They encourage healthy interactions within the family.
This is incredible for your family. It means they have a peacemaker in leadership providing a great example of God’s ministry of reconciliation. You are the glue for your family, so that they can learn how to handle differences, disagreements, imperfections, and possible betrayals.
You bring God’s love directly into the home. Grace and forgiveness is an antidote to anger, frustration, and disappointment. It allows you to be free enough to be present in the here-and-now moments.
You bring patience and compassion that requires self-control and true maturity. You bring calmness to stress, and you know firsthand that neither you nor anyone besides Jesus is perfect. Jesus provided us with an amazing and powerful example when He yelled out while in excruciating pain and humiliation, “forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.”
Grace and forgiveness come with a cost. The good news is that you are rich enough in God’s love to freely give it. Your family will benefit from the relational benefits this brings to your family on a daily basis. You help your children know that they can make mistakes, find grace and continue growing while they seek their identity in Christ. Here are five ways you can help your family through grace and forgiveness:
I’m excited that you get to work on such a transformative trait! This process can change the lenses of how you see people and the world around you. As you reflect on your past wounds, I wonder what life would be like for you if you allowed yourself to put that heavy baggage aside for a while?
Bob, a middle aged man, came to see me for counseling. He told me he hated his dad and couldn’t forgive what his dad had done. He had come to see me because he frequently yelled at his family, slammed doors at home, screamed at drivers, was short with co-workers, and was struggling to maintain his second marriage. Bob couldn’t lie to rest memories of his father’s absence, screaming, yelling, hitting, and eventual abandonment of his home. He was a wounded man and was readily wounding others around him. Bob said he feared becoming his dad even though that is exactly what was happening.
In parenting, this trait is essential for the love of God to shine into your kids’ lives. It is the glue for your family to be able to repair when imperfections inevitably run into each other. Research published in the Frontier of Human Neuroscience journal, forgiveness helps our brain develop empathy and to be able to see the positive in the negative. The researchers found that forgiveness helps train the brain to make sense of what the other person may be thinking and provided the ability to create a more rational perspective on what the other person was doing. So, in the context of parenting, developing this trait will help you understand that what your kids are doing is not personal to you. They have imperfections and their brains are still learning and developing. They need patient and understanding guidance and forgiveness.
It is also a way to break free from things in our past, so that we can be in the present. Grace and forgiveness help us be in the “now” moments with emotional security, balance, and control to be able to respond. The following are some ways you can begin working on grace and forgiveness in your life:
Grace and Forgiveness will help you develop humility and foster love in your home. It is worth the hard work!
Seeking to parent our children the way God parents us can dramatically change the atmosphere of our home.
An attitude that leads to thankfulness and appreciation. A gift of a healthy and positive perspective.
Thankful people are kind people. Since you scored high on the trait of gratitude, you see the true value of relationship and tend to value what is around you. Your perspective is essential for your family. You are able to see the “bright” side of things. Gratitude is the antidote to entitlement and the secret sauce for positivity.
You are more likely to bring peacefulness wherever you go. Gratitude is a sign of Christian maturity and requires a perspective focused on freedom. Positivity and calmness follow you. What a great gift you bring to those around you through your strength in gratitude. Your kids most likely feel they are valuable to you. They know that you are thankful to have them as your children, if they are full of imperfections. I love, every once in a while, telling my son and daughter, “I am thankful to have you as my son/daughter!” This usually gets a response from them in which they say they are thankful to have me as their dad. This is a great exercise to help us stop and say this to each other. I assume that they don’t know this. I want them to always remember that I’m thankful for them, even when I’m busy, stressed, tired, or cranky.
Some of the kindest and happiest people I’ve ever met have this key ingredient in their lives. I recall in college being hired by an elderly woman from our church to do some landscaping for her. She was kind, genuine, and loving. While I worked on her yard, she would come out and check on me to make sure I was doing ok. She would invite me to have lunch with her. One day, she made us tasty tuna sandwiches. I sat with her at her kitchen table, dirty and smelly. She shared memories about many things and talked about things and people she was thankful for. She loved talking about how God was good to her. She showed a lot of peacefulness in her life.
Neuroscientists have discovered that the brain is changed by gratitude. Prathik Kini led a group of researchers from Indiana University to look at the effects of gratitude on the brain. They found that the more a person practices gratitude, the more their brain naturally responds with gratitude. It’s almost like working out. The areas of the brain that help with being grateful grow and develop long lasting connections. The brain develops resiliency in response to disappointment, adversity, and loss. This is brain growth that can happen at any time in life.
You can help your family become more grateful or just benefit from your strength in gratitude by…
Paul takes gratitude to a ninja-like level. He says in Romans 5:3-5 (ESV) that, “we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
Gratitude is not just for Thanksgiving. It is for all year round and in everything, including our sufferings. Gratitude in you will help your family find peacefulness and help them truly see what has been done for them, including the sacrifice of Jesus’s death on the cross for their sins.
Gratitude is the foundation to so many things. If you scored low on this, you have been missing out on a lot. It may be that you are a very task focused let’s-get-life-by-the-throat kind of person or someone that has not grown up with an example of pausing and truly noticing what you have.
Pausing and noticing the value of the little things gives you the push toward kindness. Interestingly, kindness synergistically also increases gratitude.
In two studies done by Antonio Damasio from the Neuroimaging Institute at USC and neurology and psychology professor at USC – Dornsife College, he found that true gratitude inspires a “pay it forward” attitude. In other words, when someone does something for you, gratitude causes you to want to do the same for someone else. This can be transformative to a culture.
My wife and I took our two kids and a niece to go skiing on a beautiful spring break day. We did not leave as early as I had wanted to leave. We stopped at a great ski rental shop. In fact, my son said, “that was the best ski rental shop we have ever visited!” The owner was kind, friendly, and grateful for life. He was living with enough emotional freedom to see others, which helped us feel cared about and important.
We arrived at the ski resort about an hour and a half later than what I had hoped. It was still a beautiful day, and I was reminded of the privilege to get to so skiing. I have to admit that I was a little nervous that I would not get as much time with my family, because I was going to teach my niece how to ski. She had never skied before. I needed to get my focus in the right place.
As I approached the ticket window, a man asked, “Are you going to buy ski passes?” I looked at him with a little confusion since I was walking toward the ticket window. Usually people don’t approach the ticket window for other things. I said, “yes”. He said, “Don’t buy any.” I looked at him a little puzzled and said, “Well, we want to go skiing.” He started to dig through his bag and said, “I have a pass I can give you.” I was suddenly intrigued and said, “What do you mean?” He ended up giving us five passes and said with a big smile, “Merry Christmas, pass it forward!” I was standing there in disbelief! That saved us a lot of money. He was a man that understood the concept of pass it forward. He had been given five passes with his season pass and wanted to give them away. What a gift.
In Scripture, God repeatedly reminds us through Paul to be thankful. He mentions it as an anchor to the new self. It helps the other Christian virtues work and shine. You family will love that you’re working on gratitude, because it naturally makes you a kinder person. It will also help you become a “noticer” of things and people around you. You’ll also bring an energizing peacefulness to your home. You can work on gratitude by…
Gratitude will not only transform you, it will transform your relationships. It will help you find peacefulness and to see God’s fingerprints all over your life and surroundings. You will know He is truly with you wherever you go.
Are your children truly grateful for what they have? Here are ways parents can create a lasting attitude of gratitude in children.
Dive deep into the 7 Traits of Effective Parenting with the book by Daniel Huerta, MSW, LCSW, Vice President of Parenting at Focus on the Family. This practical, accessible book provides an in-depth chapter on each trait, filled with helpful counsel and ideas on how to grow in each of these areas.
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