The Most Essential Parenting Advice Of All

It was one of those moments that I will never forget.

She was seated in a discipleship class I was teaching, and she always had so much wit and wisdom to add to the discussion.

As a precious retired missionary, this woman was filled with great insights — which she graciously shared with the group.

However, on this particular day, we were discussing unanswered prayer.

I posed this question:

How long have you been praying for an unanswered prayer request?


Around the group, answers were called out:

6 months         1 year              2 years           A few weeks.


Then, this dear woman raised her hand and said,

“I’ve been praying for my son to come back to the Lord for 30 years.

And, I will continue to pray until he does!”


30 Years!

She had prayed for a wayward child for 30 years. And, she wasn’t planning to stop praying until that boy returned!

The Most Essential Parenting Advice Of All -- Melanie Redd


To be a successful parent — to really win and keep their hearts – you must practice this final strategy:

Key to it all… Never stop LOVING them and encouraging them. Click To Tweet

Keep on keeping on no matter what happens!

Do not give up!


Consider the very wise words of 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 with a few phrases changed:

“Loving parents are patient and kind.

Loving parents are not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.

Loving parents do not demand their own way.

Loving parents are not irritable, and keep no record of being wronged.

Loving parents do not rejoice about injustice but rejoice whenever the truth wins out.

Loving parents never give up. Click To Tweet

Loving parents never lose faith.

Loving parents are always hopeful.

Loving parents endure through every circumstance.”


Parenting is a marathon!

It is not a sprint, and there are no shortcuts.

The Goal – is to make it through — not unscathed — but still attached and connected to each other.

Think of it as river rapids – bumpy, but survivable.


And, you as a parent have a choice:

You can be right all the time, be pushy, be controlling, lecture constantly, bark like mad, and lose the hearts of the kids.


Or, you can try these strategies:

1] Win their HEARTS as little children and keep their hearts through their growing years.

When they are grown up, they will still like you and want to be around you because you never lost their HEARTS.


2] Make a HUGE DEAL out of prayer in your home!

~ Maybe you already make prayer a priority – make it an even bigger deal.

~ Maybe you haven’t been praying much in your home.  It’s not too late to start.

~ Possibly you have never been a praying family. You can begin today.

1 Thessalonians 5:17 instructs us to, “Pray without ceasing.” 


3] Learn, learn, learn all that you can!

To win and keep our children’s hearts from birth until our last day on this earth, we need to gain as much great insight into our kids and how to connect with them as possible.

The Most Essential Parenting Advice Of All -- Melanie Redd

4] Seek out some OLDER, wiser friends who can give you insight and perspective.

There is so much you can gain and learn from those who have walked a little further down the road of life – and survived.

  • Men need older men to talk to.
  • Women need older women.
  • Couples can learn from more mature couples.


5] Quit Barking at Your Kids!

People don’t want to have their faults pointed out–especially when done loudly & without grace.

Adults don’t like to be barked at.

Kids don’t like to be barked.

Our children don’t want to be barked at either — especially not by us!


6] TEACH Your Children When They Are Most Teachable.

We cram and push and lecture when we should be serving, inviting, sharing and discussing.

For years, wise school teachers have known about a little thing called, “Teachable Moments.”

In fact… It’s the Best Little Teaching Secret of Seasoned Teachers!

Teachable Moments are the moments in which students are most open and receptive to learning.


7] Choose your BATTLES wisely!

Not everything necessitates a fight.

  • Carefully select what you want to make a BIG deal out of with your kids.
  • Say, “YES” as often as you can.
  • Say “NO” when you must.
  • But don’t say “NO” to every single thing!


8] As parents — and especially as Christian parents — we need to continue to allow and enjoy humor, wit, fun, and laughter in our lives.

We need to keep our senses of humor into the middle school and young adult years.

It is SO easy to become serious, sad, unhappy, somber, and sober with our children.

But, they also need to see and hear us laugh.

They need to see us smile, enjoy life, and be playful too.


9] Key to it all… Never stop LOVING them and encouraging them.

As a parent, keep on keeping on no matter what happens! Click To Tweet

Do not give up on them – ever!

The Most Essential Parenting Advice Of All -- Melanie Redd

Whether you are expecting your first baby or sending your baby off to college, these strategies apply and can work for you!

As I shared when we began this series… we have not done everything perfectly.

However, we have two children in college who both live at home with us.

And, we still have their hearts.


Those wonderful women who taught me these principles so long ago — Debbie and Christie — still enjoy wonderful relationships with their children and grandchildren.

You can win and keep your children's hearts through even the darkest of days! Click To Tweet

It is possible!

And, it is possible for you and your children!


I pray that God will bless you and your home.

May He fill your halls, rooms, walls, doorways, yards, porches, and tables with much joy, laughter, connection, sweetness, and conversation.

I pray He will give you the hearts of your children beginning today, and grant you the grace to hold onto them!


The Most Essential Parenting Advice Of All -- Melanie Redd

**And, would you do me a favor — if this article has helped you today — would you share it with someone else? 

~ I regularly link to these AMAZING SITES~

© Melanie Redd and Ministry of Hope, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Melanie Redd and Ministry of Hope with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

New Graphic

We respect your email privacy


Blessed wife of Randy for over 25 years, mom to two great college students, blogger, women's ministry coach, speaker and author who is amazed by God's grace-

30 thoughts on “The Most Essential Parenting Advice Of All

  1. This has been a very practical and encouraging series! Thank you for the time and research you put into these posts. Thank you for today’s post on not giving up as a parent!

  2. The opening story left me wiping away tears. I can’t imagine. 30 years. What a testimony.

    You are so amazing at offering hope to parents mixed with practical strategies. Your lists always leave me thinking and wondering if younger parents might want to print them out for regular reference :-). They are just that good. That thoughtful. That biblically-based.

    I’ll be sharing this dynamite package of hope!

  3. Spot-on advice Melanie! Never stop praying–even when things seem to be going well–those prayers and the knowledge that they are being prayed for are a real boost for one’s kids!

  4. This is all encouraging, helpful advice, Melanie. What I especially needed to be reminded of was the part about parenting being a marathon rather than a sprint. With some runners in the house, I can appreciate that analogy . . . marathoners can hit a bottoming out point that they have to push through . . . one step at a time until the energy and will return. I can’t quit when parenting gets hard and every next step is painful . . . just keep being faithful to what God has called me and trust Him to bring the work to completion. Thank you for passing on the lessons you learned.

    1. Hey Abi,

      Thanks for stopping by to leave a good word today! I really appreciate you and your encouraging message.

      And, parenting is a really like a long, slow walk. Just take one step and one situation at a time. There will be sweet days and not so sweet days. But, you are going to get through this!

      You are a wonderful mom! Just keep your eyes on Jesus and your focus on the hearts of those kids!

      I pray God will bless you today and fill your home with much JOY!

  5. What a wonderful blog I’ve discovered this Sunday evening. Keep up the good work. It’s been my experience that prayer usually changes me more than it does the world I live in. I imagine that 30 years of praying FOR her son made her the best mom she could be. What a blessing.

    1. Thank you! I really appreciate you stopping by and leaving such an encouraging word!

      And, I so agree with you! Prayer does seem to change me more than anyone I am praying for. God does work in some mysterious ways, doesn’t He!

      You have blessed me with your words. I look forward to connecting again!

      I pray you will have a great Monday~

  6. Great tips, Melanie. Agree with all of them. We cannot cram God or anything else down their throats, and we must always use humor and lighten the daily load! And YES to saying “yes” frequently and “no” only when we have to! And always learning and seeking and asking older, wiser moms.
    The story at the beginning rings true for a lot of mamas out there, and even though it’s sad, it’s encouraging to other moms out there who are waiting, hoping, and praying for their child to come to Christ.
    Sharing this!

    1. Hey Ruthie,

      Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a kind word today. I appreciate your encouragement!

      And, there are a lot of those hurting moms out there. Makes me want to pray for them to not lose hope! Kids do come back.

      You’ve blessed me today by your visit!
      I hope you have a great day~

  7. 30 years, that’s incredible. I love her perseverance. I hope at some point in her son’s life, he will see the value in that and be moved to come back to the Lord.

    I was blessed and encouraged with this series! Thank you for your wisdom!

    1. Thanks, Ana!

      I really appreciate you stopping by to leave a comment today!

      And, I pray too that her son will come back to the Lord! She is a precious saint.

      Your words have encouraged my heart today.

      Hope you have a blessed day~

  8. My parents have been praying for 11 years for my brother and my in-laws have been praying 20 years for my BIL. They have yet to stop loving or encouraging them. Thank you for these great words of advice!

    1. What a great testimony of faithful praying year after year! 11 years, 20 years – amazing faithfulness! I pray that God will answer those prayers!

      Appreciate you stopping by today to leave a good word!

      Hope you have a blessed day~

  9. Wonderful post Melanie. As I see the next generatio rising in our family I can’t help to remember so many things we did that took so much work for their hearts. It paid off. Thanks for sharing on Tuesday Talk.

    1. Thanks, Michelle!

      Isn’t it fun to look back and see that the hard work to win their hearts has paid off! I love knowing that your girls like and enjoy you enough that they will come back home to live with their families. What a great testimony to you and your husband!

      Thanks for the kind words!
      Hope you have a great day~

  10. That’s the prime example of unconditional love, Melanie. To continue to love our children despite their faults, despite them being loss (for 30 years or otherwise) is a true testament to the strength of a parent. Your tips are empowering and so helpful. I especially like the one about choosing battles–say yes as often as you can, and no when you must–so simple, but tremendously helpful. I never thought of it that way.

    Thanks for joining us on #Shinebloghop today! Have a good rest of your Thursday!

    1. Hey Maria,

      Thanks for stopping by today! I really appreciate you and your visit.

      And, my sweet friend does display such a great testimony of unconditional love, doesn’t she!

      I’m enjoying meeting new friends through the Shine blog hop. Thanks for helping to host it!


  11. Melanie, great points! I love that my parents have always encouraged me and loved me, even when I started to step out on my own. Now that I am a mom, I often remind myself that my parents were always there loving me, even as I had to start trying things on my own. They weren’t afraid to let me try and fail, yet they were always there when I needed the push to try again.

    Thanks for the message!



    1. Hey Marissa,

      Sure appreciate you stopping by today. And, thanks for sharing about your family. You are most blessed! What a gift!

      I pray that we will all be like your parents – filled with love and grace!

      Hope you have a blessed day~

  12. There are so many nuggets of truth in here Melanie! You inspired me to want to pray with my children more, to laugh with them and nurture their hearts. Thank you for sharing your wisdom here at #100HappyDays!

    1. Thanks, Valerie!

      I do encourage your babies more, pray with them more, and laugh, laugh, laugh! Every moment you pour into their lives will pay off later! I’m reaping some of those rewards!

      And, I know you are a GREAT mom! Just keep on keeping on~

      Enjoyed linking up with 100 days. Thanks for the invite~

  13. That bit right there…”Quit barking at your children”…I so need to do that! I try so hard to be the calm and collected mum but having just hit the age of three he is pushing all the buttons that he can and can be a ruddy nightmare. I tell myself all of the time that I need to stop moaning at him but it can be sooooo hard. But he is so young and so impressionable I have to stop. Thanks so much for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

    1. Hey Lisa,

      Thanks for stopping by this afternoon. I really appreciate you and your visit.

      And, those three year olds can “Push” your buttons! They have special skills at this! The best news is that they do grow older!!

      I started this thing where I would stop and very quietly count to 10. I would breathe deeply and calm myself down. My kids are in college now, but I still do this sometimes just to tease them.

      You are going to make it through this stage! Keep going!

      Thanks for hosting Twinkly Tuesdays. I’m enjoying making some friends “across the pond.”

  14. My Dad says after 30 years, he doesn’t stop worrying about me and my siblings, all who are married and are parents themselves now. Praying for your friend and that her son may return to the Lord. It is awesome to see the love we have for our children as parents, and how much greater the Lord loves us as His children. Thanks for sharing with #SocialButterflySunday! Hope to see you link up again this week 🙂

    1. Thank you! I’m really enjoying connecting at Social Butterfly. I’ve met some really nice friends!

      And, don’t you love knowing that your father still worries about you as an adult. I love knowing that my parents still pray for me!

      Hope you have a great day~

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *