Saturday, April 20, 2024

Crazy Cool Family: Be a Parenting Learner

Unfortunately for my beautiful bride Suzanne, I am not very good at home repairs or home improvement projects. First, I don’t have the experience and second, I don’t have the tools. I have not invested in either so any task or project is frustrating for me – and her – at best and impossible at its worst.

So I hire the contractor. I have a little wimpy drill that is not charged. He has a drill that will go through Mount Rushmore. He has three different levels. My level is on my phone. You get the picture. Because he has the tools and the experience, he is a master craftsman. He can fix things and bring life to things at my house.

Is there a lesson for us in parenting here? As a parent, do you feel like a master craftsman – or woman (do we call it a master craftsperson now?) – or do you feel more like me with my uncharged wimpy drill? As we talk to parents all over the country in our Crazy Cool Family ministry, we find most parents definitely feel more like me than the master craftsman.

How do we change that? How do we become a master craftsman at parenting? We certainly love our kids and want to fix things and bring life into our house. I rarely talk to a parent who is proud of their parenting issues and perceived failures.

We become a master craftsman in parenting the same way the contractor does it. We invest in tools – in this case, parenting content – and then we go practice with those tools so we become more experienced in the best ways to parent. We take the time to learn from others ahead of us because their mistakes are cheaper. We make it a habit in our lives to be parenting learners.

We also work on ourselves – if not for ourselves, for the sake of our children – because the best thing we can do for our family is to present them the healthiest version of ourselves. We set aside time for mental, physical, and spiritual health so we can be the best for ourselves and our kids.

So often today parents just want to hire a contractor for their kids. We can’t fix our kids so let’s get outside help to make them better. We appreciate the many resources we have today to counsel our children, but raising kids is not like home construction. We can’t just hire it out. Those people – schools, church, counselors, etc. – can help but studies keep on showing the parents are the most important influence in our child’s lives.

Can I give you some encouragement? It doesn’t take a lot of time to learn to be a parent master craftsman. Set aside one hour a week – just one hour a week – to read or listen to parenting material. And then go practice what you learn. Over weeks and months and years you will be amazed at how the course of your parenting changes with just a little input each week.

Feel like you have missed the boat because your kids are older? No worries. You will parent those kids for the rest of your life. I promise you. So start now getting better at reaching the heart of your kids.

Don’t know where to start? We have some resources for you at At one point in my parenting journey I said, “I wish someone would make learning to parent easier and more efficient.” In our materials, we try to do just that.

We believe every parent with a desire to do so can become a parent master craftsman. We hope you will believe it too!

Don & Suzanne Manning
Don & Suzanne Manning
Don & Suzanne Manning of Argyle have 30+ years’ experience parenting 7 kids. Their mission is to inspire and equip you to build your best family. Learn more at

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