“…Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit….” (Mathew 1:20)
Christmas: A Co-parenting Act with a Mission
The Christmas season has been around the corner and for those who are Christians, we know what the season was about. Christmas came about with two people accepting the full responsibilities of co-parenting for the good of humanity and for the salvation of the world. First, it began with Elizabeth and Zachariah co-parenting John, the forerunner of Jesus Christ:
“But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elizabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb. And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” (Luke 1:13-17).
And today we see the number of people and nations that follow the message brought through the co-parenting acts of Mary and Joseph, as laid out in the Bible.
“Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins’” (Mathew 1:18-21).
Every Child Has A Vision
The birth of John and Jesus shows us that every child is born with a mission and a vision known to God. The mission for John was, “And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord”. Then the mission for baby Jesus was, “for he will save his people from their sins’”.
You too must not lose sight of the mission that the child under your care is meant to accomplish, whether you know what this mission is or not. It is with your co-parenting act, well-fulfilled that eventually helps the child know what his or her mission and vision is.
It is through your co-parenting choices and actions, well executed with a high sense of responsibility, knowledge and understanding, together with the wisdom of God, that you can help build that important foundation of bringing that mission and vision to fulfilment in the child’s life. Yes, our choices can be that impactful across generations. Your influence as a co-parent can develop children who will have a great impact on the world. Then, let this impact be for the good.
Co-Parenting Is Intentional
Life can be full of excuses and blame games, and we have all likely had a taste of that. In the midst of excuses, blame games, and lots of reasons to grumble and complain, our responsibilities around co-parenting must be intentional.
1. Develop the skills that will help you become a good parent
2. Be Present and available: Absentee fathers and mothers are causing much damage to their kids. The kids you bring into the world need to be truly part of your life and the things you do daily. Being present and available to them needs to be part of your daily schedule, not just the tired and sleepy part of you.
3. Be clear about the practical values, principles, disciple, morals and religious training you want to pass on to the children and endeavour to be an example of this yourself.
4. Be open to learning and becoming a better parent as you grow along with the children.
5. Allow the playful part of you come to bear so you can have fun with the kids.
6. Pray for wisdom to know where to be flexible, when to be firm, and when to say yes or no.
7. Be in good relations and in good communication with your co-parent, be it your husband, wife or partner. This will help both parties to be on the same page as regards how to train and guide the children along the right path.
According to Daniel Wong, here are 12 parenting skills you must have to be a good parent:
1. Focus more on your children’s positive behaviour than negative behaviour.
2. Teach your children to focus on the needs of others.
3. Don’t shout at your children.
4. Give your children responsibilities around the house.
5. Build a strong relationship with your spouse.
6. Teach your children to view challenges positively.
7. Don’t do things for your children that your children should do themselves.
8. Help your children develop social skills: Sharing, making eye contact, giving feedbacks, accepting differences, respecting other’s property and feelings, managing negative emotions, being polite, asking for help, not interrupting, and disagreeing respectfully.
9. Guide your children without controlling or micromanaging them.
10. Give your children a sense of security: Show affection, appreciate them, keep promises, be approachable and dependable, acknowledge their feeling, and treat them with respect.
11. Help your children to develop resilience and perseverance.
12. Manage your own stress effectively.