• On May 9, 2024

~Christine Bassett, LMFT~

For this wife and mom of four great (not perfect) kids and counselor for more than two decades, this topic of parenting feels like an important one. For those of us who have the joys and challenges of parenting, I want to provide a parenting resource for you that is helpful for those with kids of many ages, to increase your awareness of your strengths and help you shore up areas of your interactions and modeling for your child in places where you notice your weakness.

My husband and I recently had the opportunity to take our daughter to a ministry event held at CSU. I introduced her to a friend and colleague in our community, who we were having dinner with. Later, my daughter said, “I didn’t know you were part of that, Mom” speaking of a board member role I have. It
made me think that there are ways that I thought I was modeling community service for her, but she didn’t know anything about it. How often is that the case
— that we think that we’re showing (or hiding) something from our kids, but we’re actually not.

Likewise, as we have intentionally connected with our extended family and made that a priority for our crew, we know the message to our children is that family relationships are important. It takes time, and it’s so worth it to invest in our relationships! As we celebrated the life of a beloved aunt, alongside their grandparents and cousins from near and far, with all their siblings present, the message of a life well-lived hopefully shined through. With laughs and tears, shared memories and photos of generations past, we hope that our children see the deep importance of relationships.

From this counselor’s perspective, when a new client begins counseling, we start with their history… What are the big moments in your life?
What has shaped your journey? What matters to you? Who have been the biggest players in your life? As counselors, we hear the best and the worst of times — and sort through it to help our clients find health and healing with what they’re navigating. As our clients tell their stories, their relationships with their families of origin are almost always part of their story.

If there’s anything we as parents can do for our kids, it’s this: Our investment in our own mental health, and learning how to have solid, connected and meaningful relationships with our kids at all ages and stages, matters!

The basis for this information is a parenting assessment, offered by Focus on the Family. If you’d like to have an objective check-in to find out how you’re doing, these are the areas that are covered.

Adaptability: Adaptability is being able to adjust to unexpected changes, different personalities, and endless demands in parenting. Parents strong in this trait help their child learn healthy ways to manage relational difference and life stress. These parents bring patience, awareness, and flexibility to parenting moments — seeking God’s peacefulness in the midst of chaos.

Respect: Parents who are strong in this trait are self-controlled, self-aware, and life-giving (in words and actions). They have a strong belief that you first give and model what you expect. The Fruit of the Spirit is evident when practicing this trait.

Intentionality: Intentionality means to be present as a guide in the day-today and big moments of a child’s life. Parents who are strong in this trait show devotion to the relationship, resulting in connection and growth. They use their ongoing relationship with Christ to guide with wisdom each day.

Love: Steadfast love is the foundation for any strong parent-child relationship. Parents who are strong in this trait express love freely, unconditionally, and often. It’s the bedrock of a child’s relationships and development. It also helps point your child to the love of Christ.

Boundaries: Boundaries are a vital part of healthy parent-child relationships. Parents who are strong in this trait have an innate desire for balance and self-control. They draw lines using discernment to help their kids find the same and learn to follow Jesus.

Grace & Forgiveness: Grace & Forgiveness are intrinsically connected, because when a child makes a mistake, it’s not enough to be gracious, but to wipe the slate clean. Parents who are strong in this trait recognize being approachable is key to instruction. Modeling this trait is essential for the health of the home and for understanding Jesus’ ministry.

Gratitude: Gratitude is a posture of the mind rooted in perspective. Parents who are strong in this trait can cut through negative thoughts and find a thankful attitude and outlook centered on Christ. This outlook gives them an adaptive mind ready for communication and conflict resolution with their child. This trait helps model a steadfast faith and hope in Christ.

As always, if there are things you’d like to work on in your own mental health, or if there are relationships that have been on rocky roads, Lighthouse Christian
Counseling is here to help. Our team of counselors has been here since 2020, with many more years of experience, and loves to help families, individuals and
kids of all ages heal. Give us a call (970) 413-8998 or check out our website: