Home » 8 Principles for Parenting from Dr. Robert Lewis

8 Principles for Parenting from Dr. Robert Lewis

May 10, 2012 — 5 Comments

Main Session #3 at the Preteen & Parent Retreat was led by Dr. Robert Lewis, author of Raising a Modern Day Knight and founder of Men’s Fraternity. I’m convinced that you could drop Dr. Lewis in any culture to talk about any topic, and he would inspire that audience and leave them wanting more. I know that our parents could have sat for hours discussing the topics that he brought up. Here are notes from his session:

Stay humble and know that to be a good parent you will always have to be in the posture of a learner.

Barna, “most parents assume they know what to do”

Here are some helpful things to remember in parenting:

1. 75% of all great parenting is a good marriage. (Build your marriage!!)

  • 40% of kids don’t have dad at home
  • Single parent homes, poorer health, poorer jobs, sexually active, drugs and alcohol more present
  • Two parent homes with poor marriage will have same characteristics as single parent home.
  • In the 50’s homes were not child-centered.  Today we are child-focused not marriage or home focused
  • Little parenting in the Bible, but a lot on marriage. (ex. Ephesians has 12 verses on marriage and 1 on parenting.)
  • A good marriage leads to good kids

2. Always keep the long-term in view when parenting

  • What is the long view? Where you as a parent’s primary focus is on character and Christ
  • You cannot make their popularity your major view
  • Contrast Tim Tebow vs Tiger Woods
  • Write down what you want them to be (know Jesus, loving, giving, responsible, loyal friend, others focused, etc). Will they be a difference maker or a problem?  Ask God to help you find ways to help instill these character traits.

3. Seek to balance discipline and instruction with love as a parent

  • Four quadrant figure from Men’s Fraternity (permissive, neglectful, authoritative, authoritarian)
  • Authoritative is high discipline and high love.  This is the best parent
  • Number 2 is the permissive which is high love and low discipline
  • Number 3 is neglectful…low discipline and low love
  • Number 4 is authoritarian…high discipline and low love
  • Ephesians 6:4 Fathers do not provoke your children to anger
  • “This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased!!!” 6 times in the Gospels
  • Boys are looking for their Dad to say they are good enough

4. It is smart to sharpen and customize your parenting approach to each child by using objective testing tools

  • You will need help knowing your child.  You are not objective.
  • The more we know about our child’s uniqueness the better we will parent them
  • Today good testing mechanisms: personality, design, aptitude, and intelligence tests
  • First test is personality test. Robert uses melancholy, sanguine, choleric, phlegmatic. by Florence Letour
  • You don’t ever change your personality
  • aptitude test is a must before college (Aims aptitude testing)
  • Design test in High school
  • Intelligence testing will be done in school

5. Real Christianity for a child is caught or lost at home

  • Do not become dependent on the church for your child’s Christianity
  • Paul said follow me as a follow Christ. Should be the model of your home!!
  • Number one thing of families is to be open and honest in communication, especially about your Christianity
  • Don’t pretend and live different from what you say.  Kids will sniff that out and it will inoculate them against Christianity
  • Be authentic!!!

6. Avoid the four horseman of “Too Much”

  • Too much control.  Micromanaging a child 12 to 18 will kill them.  “I will trust you until you prove me wrong”
  • Too much money and stuff spoils and pacifies
  • Too much of high expectations discourages and wounds
  • Too much taking care of. Too much care in sons will steal their masculinity. Moms have to unplug the mom cord when they turn 12 or 13.

7. Spend lots of personal time with your child one on one

  • They will have unbelievable doubts from their friends, and quality time will help them.
  • Date your daughter

8. Provide clear gender vision

  • Focus on sexually, socially, and spiritually
  • Bless them by answering what it means to be a man or what it means to be a woman.
  • Need a Biblical Definition of manhood and womanhood

5 responses to 8 Principles for Parenting from Dr. Robert Lewis

  1. Matt,
    Robert endorsed our book on teaching boys what it means to be a godly man and how that fleshes out in the pre-teen, middle school and high school years. I would love to send you a copy. You can send me an email with your address and I will ship one to you.

    • I have gone through the three programs of Men’s Fraternity. I’ve enjoyed them immensely. I am a single dad and in the early stages of starting a group called “Single Dads United” to help encourage single dads and give them resources to aide in their parenting as well as build them up. This book would be a great help in that endeavor.

      Eric Wagner

      • That is awesome. I’d love to hear more about the group.

        • Thanks Matt,
          Robert Lewis, John Eldredge, Coach McCartney, and many others are doing a fantastic job reaching men about being men of God and dealing with their issues. Great! Being a single parent and a man pose additional challenges that can be overwhelming. People have no idea what it is like to be a single dad. It’s not the same as being a single mom. It’s altogether different because of many societal and cultural factors. Yet, the fastest growing segment in the workforce between 1990 and 2000 was single dads at 65%. In this case “single dads” was defined as dads “having custody of their children”. But as you know, if their is a single mom, there is a single dad unless he is deceased.

          Single Moms have needs and this organization support them 100%. At the same time single dads are invisible to our society. I clicked on a link for an article on “How to Help a Single Parent” and it took me to “How to Help a Single Mom”. In the article the only mention of men was about the lack of paying child support.

          Single Dads United wants to help single dads work through the challenges helping their kids. There are many emotional struggles as well as physical needs. What about serious issues such as pornography, drugs, alcohol addictions. We want to provide single Dads with programs like Men’s Fraternity, Divorce Care, financial coaching, and many others. Provide online resources such as blogs with counselors, lawyers, financial consultants, and other areas that are common areas.

          All of our material will be Biblically based with the ultimate objective of winning souls to Christ through example, support and tough love. They won’t care what we have to say if they don’t see that we genuinely care about them.

          I would be very happy to discuss this in further detail if you are interested. Ultimately, Single Dads United could become an organization with ‘chapters’ across the country. Networking with other groups and individuals such as yourself seems a natural way to touch many people’s lives. Thanks for your inquiry.


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