There is a great model for nurturing parenting available at  It is part of a larger training that parents can take from someone officially trained, and there are local providers who are trained.  On the website are also hand out sheets that people can look at.  Once such handout has this at the bottom.  I share it here because it is good for all of us to remember, and even though I have been through the training, and reviewed it, it still socks me in the gut to read it again.  Though it is straight-forward, it is not easy.

Always be bigger, stronger, wiser and kind.


That’s it.  I tell myself and other parents this often……who’s the grown up here?  Not the child having a hard time, but me, you.  When my child or my spouse or my friend is having a hard time and feeling weak, it is my job to be stronger……when my kiddo makes a bad choice it is my job to be wiser…..and above all else, it is my calling….to be kind.  Be bigger, stronger, wiser and kind.

I think that even when bigger and stronger and wiser aren’t working…….being kind still works.  Saying sorry for exploding, or complaining, or running away is kind.  Offering a smile, a hug, a comment of praise is kind.  Not keeping score of who owes who what, and who got whose way how many times, and who is really in charge…….letting go of keeping score is kind.


I want to have fridge magnets and bumper stickers made with this phrase on it because it is never not the right thing.  I want to see it and remember it every hour of every day.


When I think of Father God…….He is all of these things.  He is bigger for sure.  He is so big that He can be everywhere all the time.  The mountains will bow before Him, that’s how big He is.  He is so strong that He can raise the dead, heal the sick, and cause demons to tremble at His Holy Name.  He can start bushes on fire and send floods to destroy the world.  He is wiser, so much wiser, that any mortal man.  He can give 10 commandments to teach us to live…….and then give us His Son as a savior when He knows we cannot do enough on our own.  He is wise enough to challenge and convict us but still reassure us of His unconditional love.  He is so wise…..and first and last and every moment in between, our Father God is kind.  Kind enough to recognize the God-size hole in us and allow us time to seek Him….first.  Kind enough to be Father to the fatherless, rescuer to the lost, and best friend if we let Him.  He is, above all, Kind.  Kind in how He smiles on us in our weakness, holds us close in our smallness, accepts us when we are not very smart and forgives us when we are mean…….


May we always lean on Him as we try to do this great thing of raising our children to be big, strong, wise and kind people in the world……amen.