What Makes You A Great Parent?

I want to begin this post by quoting something Dave Ramsey, host of the Dave Ramsey show, said in his latest book, EntreLeadership:

“The fact that you had children doesn’t mean you’re a great parent, it just means you had sex.”

I loved this quote so much that I tweeted it out into the stratosphere the moment I read it. It made me laugh. It made me realize that other people would laugh. But, more importantly, it made me wonder. What does make someone a great parent? What makes me a great parent? What makes you a great parent?

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The answer I came up with was this: choice.

Our choices propel us to great parenting.

The choice to get up in the morning and care for our kids.

The choice to take care of ourselves and ensure we’re healthy so our children can grow up healthy.

The choice to take responsibility for our families.

The choice to love our children toughly when they screw up.

The choice to lead our children even when it’s difficult or we don’t feel like it.

The choice to save our money and build a better future for our children.

The choice to say no to them even when they strongly dislike it.

The choice to fail forward when you fail in your efforts to parent your children the right way.

It all comes down to choice. That’s what makes anyone great at anything. Greatness doesn’t just show up on your doorstep, you have to choose to be great. This is tough for me because, as a human being, my choices betray me at times. Can you identify with that?

I’m not saying that my choices are out of my control or that they are separate from my psyche. Because, they’re not. But I find there are many times where I want to move in a certain direction with my children and for some reason, I just don’t. That doesn’t make very much sense does it?

Perhaps that’s why the Apostle Paul said in the Bible,

“I do what I don’t want to do and then I turn around and don’t do what I want to do.”

It all comes down to choice. You and I have to choose to be a great parent. And along with this choice comes matched behavior. Our behavior must match our choices. It’s completely in our power to do so.

How about you? Has this been easy or hard for you? What else makes someone great at parenting? 

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