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Is it Possible to Change My Parenting Style?

Whether your child is 3 or 13, it’s not too late to change the way you parent! Here’s how to adapt so you can keep being the best parent you can be.

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From the moment you found out you were going to become a parent, you probably started planning everything – how the delivery of your baby would go, what their room would look like, what they’d eat, where they’d go to school, and more. Every parenting decision feels like a make-or-break, life-and-death situation, and you cannot pivot once you’ve made your choices. 

While every decision you make as a parent is indeed important and deserving of lots of thought and prayer, you might find yourself at a point where something needs to change. But instead of a diet or a school district, what do you do when the thing that might need to change is you? 

Is it possible to change your parenting style? 

Not only is change possible as a parent, sometimes it’s crucial. You may discover your kids need something different from you than what you’re currently giving them. Here are some steps to follow to pivot your parenting style toward what’s going to serve your kids and set them up for a strong future: 

Start with “I’m sorry.” 

If you’re questioning a shift in parenting style, you’ve probably recognized that what you’re currently doing isn’t working. Acknowledging your missteps is the first step toward positive change.  

The Bible encourages us to be humble and seek forgiveness – and modeling this as a parent can set a powerful example. Proverbs 28:13 reminds us that "People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy."  

Apologizing to your kids for the ways you've gotten it wrong as a parent can foster a healthy parent-child relationship built on honesty and trust. It also teaches your kids that it’s okay to make mistakes and be open when you make them. Most of all, it sets the foundation for a stronger parenting style that will better serve your kids. 

Establish open communication 

Having an open dialogue with your kids can go a long way in building a strong parent-child relationship. Instead of issuing commands, for example, initiate conversations with your children. Help them understand why you want them to do certain things or avoid others, and take their questions and perspectives seriously. Do everything you can to make sure they feel validated and understood. 

Proverbs 18:2 reminds us, "Fools have no interest in understanding; they only want to air their own opinions." Don’t let your parenting style make you look like a fool in this sense! 

Set and enforce (fair) rules 

Ephesians 6:4 gives indispensable advice to parents: "Do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord." Kids thrive in environments with clear expectations and consistent boundaries. Consistency in the way you discipline demonstrates love and provides stability for your kids as they navigate the challenges of growing up. 

However, don’t forget fairness! It’s essential to keep your emotions in check when disciplining your kids and setting boundaries with consequences that fit the offense. Going overboard can frustrate your children and overshadow the important lessons they can learn about the consequences of their actions. 

Don’t parent on an island 

Parenting isn’t meant to be done solo, but it’s easy to feel isolated and fall victim to the lie that you need to figure everything out on your own. Proverbs 15:22 affirms this, saying, "Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success." A supportive community can offer valuable insights and encouragement as you strive to improve your parenting style. 

There are other people who are important in your kids’ lives, whether it’s your spouse, a family member, or a trusted friend. Lean into your support system! Seeking guidance from a counselor, pastor, or mentor is wise, too. You may also want to consider coming alongside other parents you can learn from and grow with in a Group

Pray about everything 

As a parent, you can’t pray too much. James 1:5 encourages us to seek God's guidance, saying, "If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking." And let’s be real – who as a parent couldn’t use more wisdom? 

Praying regularly can give you patience in challenging moments, discernment for the complexities of parenthood, and grace for yourself along the way.  

You’re already doing great 

Don’t be too hard on yourself. The fact that you’ve even read this article is proof that you’re a good parent. You care about your kids’ upbringing and the experiences that will shape them, and you’re seeking out ways to grow as a parent. 

Changing your parenting style is possible and can benefit your kids and your entire family. Remember, parenting is a journey, and with dedication, grace, and a lot of trust in God, you can care well for your kids and prepare them well for what’s ahead in life. 


We had a great conversation with Gary Chapman, creator of The 5 Love Languages. Hear more from him and discover his wisdom for parenting and strengthening your family on the Live Changed Podcast

And remember, parenting isn’t just for while your kids are young. The decisions you make impact how your child will grow up. Here’s some advice on parenting kids with adulthood in mind


The Live Changed Podcast is produced by LCBC Church. LCBC stands for Lives Changed By Christ. We are one church in multiple locations across Pennsylvania. Subscribe to the Live Changed Podcast wherever you listen to podcasts! 

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