Preventative Maintenance Parenting by Keeley Schafer

“Kevin, this is your neighbor, Dee Dee. I’m at the Honda dealership’s repair shop and they are saying I need a new motor. I bought the car new last year. How can this be? Do you think they’re telling me the truth?”

“Well, Dee Dee,” Kevin remarked, “Have you changed your oil since you bought it?”

After a long pause, she said, “I think so.”

It turned out that Dee Dee had not changed her oil and after several thousand miles over the time when she should have, her engine gave out.

As owners of an auto repair shop, my husband and I have seen good, hardworking people who failed to put preventative maintenance on their radars and ended up facing daunting repair bills that could have been effortlessly avoided.

When it comes to parenting, preventative maintenance is just as important. There are several things we can do to help avoid breakdowns in our children’s lives and give them a fighting chance.

Bring your kids to church – Bringing our children to church is akin to nurturing the roots of a flourishing tree. It’s where iron sharpens iron, where they build life-altering friendships, find mentors, grow into leaders, and experience spiritual growth. Psalm 92:13 resonates as a truth we must embrace: “Those who are planted in the House of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of their God.” To give our kids the opportunity to thrive in life, we must firmly root them in our church communities.

Pray for your kids – Nurturing children to become intelligent, accountable, mature, self-reliant, and successful leaders isn’t a matter of chance or random fate. It involves the intentional focus of our prayers and a keen awareness of the Holy Spirit’s guidance when He alerts us to the harmful snares the enemy may have laid out for them. We can link arms with God and pray out His perfect will for our kid’s lives.

Guard their hearts – The entry points into our children’s hearts are their ear-gates and eye-gates. Watching and hearing violence, profanity, and sexual images can mold and shape our kid’s outlook of the world and program them to what is “normal” behavior.  It can greatly influence the course of their lives. Just like we’d never let a child eat junk food all day, we have to protect them from heart-altering junk.

Regrettably, the most declined services in our auto repair shop are preventative maintenance tasks. Many customers don’t see the importance of changing transmission, brake, and coolant fluids until disaster strikes. They’d rather keep their money in their pockets and hope for the best.

But hoping for the best is a risky strategy, whether it’s about maintaining your car or raising your children. Don’t leave it to chance. Preventative maintenance parenting can make a monumental difference in your child’s life. It’s a plan that promises a brighter future for them and peace of mind for you. 

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