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Parenting 101

If you are a Mom of little ones (0-5), you may not even have time to read this blog but heard of it from another tired mom-friend. We understand! You need a “time-out” and it’s not because you threw cheerios at someone (or did you?). You just need the break! Come tomorrow to Mom to Mom Outreach (M2O) and get the refreshing you need to continue caring well for your family!

For our blog this week, let’s hear one mom share what she’s learned from the 0-5 years raising her daughter, maybe there’s something that will help you in your season too!

One Mom’s Heart – by Stephanie Hayes

I ran into Heather yesterday at a local coffee shop, and as women do, we started real talk. You know what I’m talking about, how things are “really” going. I was sharing with her about parenting (I have a 6 year old daughter), and how I’m learning in this Parenting 101. What poured out too was really a passion to encourage parents to be active parents, something I’ve been learning myself.

When I found out I was pregnant with my daughter, I was at ETSU and decided that if it had to do with children, I was taking that class! Here recently I’ve asked God for a heart that is like His own heart, a heart that grieves and rejoices for what He grieves over and makes Him rejoice. In the context of parenting, He has helped me see ways I can grow with my child and want to invite other parents to grow with their children too. So, though I by no means suggest I’m some expert, I just wanted to share some parenting principles we (yes, my daughter and I both apply the same principles) live by:

1. Know and live the “family rules”. We have five simple rules that we go by and must filter everything through. Most parents don’t state house rules or just make them complicated. I wanted to use biblical concepts so when she reads them in the Bible she would understand the meaning and could apply it to her everyday decisions (maybe I can share with you another time more about these!):

    a. Use wisdom (in decisions)
    b. Be obedient
    c. Be respectful
    d. Do it right the first time
    e. Practice and grant the grace you want to receive.

2. Practice the ministry of silence! We sometimes are too busy to hear our children and we kill communication. Let the Holy Spirit move you to let you know when to stop and say, ‘Hey honey, how are you?’ And listen to what they say, it is amazing what we learn with a little eye contact when we actively listen and engage our children.

3. Be consistent. I understand that everyone has different ways of correcting children. As often as I can, I treat correction more like pressing a reset button. We stop, reset, and do-over.

4. Live as you say and model by what you do. Even when my daughter is not around I live by our family rules. If I want her to have integrity and follow the rules when I am not around, I should be doing the same thing as well.

5. Stop trying to raise “Godly children”. I am not saying do not teach your child about God, but be clear, we cannot make or choose salvation for our children. That is an individual choice and we can only pray, model and encourage. I do believe we are called to become Godly women, and the relationship we have with Christ will overflow into all other relationships. When we are actively living with Christ in front of our children, it will encourage them to seek a personal relationship with Christ too.

6. You are not the only one! I had to learn that I will have rough days as a parent. I am guilty of falling asleep on my daughter while watching a movie. Guilty of planning too much to do and not getting anything done. I at times feel as if I am just down right awful. But my daughter grants me grace. She knows what it is like to mess up and therefore she lets me know she forgives me and we move on.

7. Do not internalize failure, but internalize God’s forgiveness and grace! He never called us to be perfect, and when we try to be, we remove the power of the cross from our lives.

8. Write! Whenever I feel like I need encouragement I write down who I am in Christ. I have a free app called OI Notepad and I write in it and re-read to encourage myself on the journey.

9. Pray! I pray for wisdom and that the fruits of the Sprit will be my state-of-mind. We all could use gentleness and self-control when dealing with a whiny child!

10. Laugh! We believe in humor in this house and often laugh, just because. Plus it is medicine to the soul and allows you not to be so serious all the time.

These are just some of my “helps” with parenting. I hope it brings you encouragement and more peace to your home, as it has brought me. It doesn’t come from me, but God, prayer and Proverbs!

Stephanie Hayes


Stephanie Hayes is originally from Chattanooga and is passionate about parenting and outreach. One of her favorite things to do is to hang out with her daughter, and has “girl’s day” one day a week. If you’ve met her, you’ve met her smile too!

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