World’s best parenting advice

Jenny Warns

Jenny Warns

Birmingham Campus Discipleship Director

We’ve all scoured Google for the “world’s best parenting advice,” surfed countless bookshelves for the answer, and taken any and all advice—often unsolicited—from friends, family and even strangers. Why? It must have something to do with the finite time we have with our children under our roof. In fact, the average child has 936 weeks from the time they’re born until they graduate high school. Any parent inside or outside of those 936 weeks will tell you they can’t believe how quickly their kids have grown. We can get more of anything else in this world, but not time. So, the million-dollar question is how do we make the most of it when our backs are against the clock? How can we be intentional parents?

My husband and I have three girls: ages 7, 4 and 1. I don’t claim to have this parenting thing figured out, but there are a few things that God has shown me in the last eight years that have helped me stay sane and even feel like we might be winning at this whole parenting thing sometimes. Here’s my advice.

Lean into Jesus

I can’t stress enough how important it is to keep your own relationship with Jesus the top priority. Kids are like tiny mirrors. Becoming a mom has made me much more aware of my own shortcomings. But God has used parenting to refine me as a Christ-follower, drawing me into deeper levels of trust and dependence in Him. When I prioritize time with Jesus, I come out refreshed and better armed for the day. I find my levels of patience, grace, and selflessness are exponentially increased. When Jesus is my source of strength, I am less easily swayed by tantrums and defiance. When I am rooted in Christ’s love for me, I am less tempted to find my identity in my children’s behavior or performance. A spiritually healthy YOU will make you a better parent.

Embrace the phase

Instead of “just getting through” your child’s current phase, try to find the joy that is unique to their current age. For example, the often dreaded “not sleeping through the night” phase is also the chapter when your child will show you the most physical affection. Embrace it! You’ll miss it when they’re teenagers who stay far away from physical affection. If you’re looking for ideas on how to intentionally embrace each phase, these books are some of my new favorite resources.

Ask for help

This one took me a little longer (as it seems to be with those of us who are stubborn and I’ll-do-it-myself types). I don’t know why it took me so long to say “yes” when people offered help. Perhaps I thought I could do this on my own or I simply had too much pride. Either way, I’ve learned that healthy people voice what they need, and healthy people ask for help. Parenting isn’t meant to be done alone! Take advantage of your local church by making a point of getting to know your child’s leader, taking a parenting course, or joining a parenting small group.

In addition, having a trusted source of wisdom and experience can change everything. Find one or two parents you admire to ask questions, spend time with, and learn from.

Weigh your words

I read recently that the inner voice our kids hear is actually our voice until they hit 9 or 10 years old. Our words have the power to build up or to destroy. Knowing this, catch your kids doing things right! Praise their efforts and hard work and affirm their kindness and strong character. What gets celebrated gets repeated.

Do one thing a year to intentionally grow as a parent

We all work to be better at our jobs, and if we have kids, parenting is the most important job we’ll have in this lifetime. Last year I read a fantastic book, and this year I’m walking through a course called “Intentional Parenting” with other parents at Kensington Church. One thing a year is manageable, and it actually allows us enough time to try and implement some of what we learn.

Have fun!

On any given night of the week, if you dropped in at our house, you may fall witness to one of the following: dance party, homemade ninja warrior course, soccer (inside and out), card and board games, and ice cream nights. Having fun with your kids shows them you actually like them.

God is not a God of striving, but I do believe His design for parenting is to grow us as much as it is to grow our kids. The world’s best parenting advice is in the love of our Heavenly Father. The world’s best parenting advice is to listen to Jesus and let Him be your guide.

Whether you attend Kensington or not, I’d like to personally welcome you to our Intentional Parenting workshops. Meeting at the Troy, Orion, Clinton Township, Birmingham and Shelby campuses, this six-week study covers the 10 principles to navigate beyond survival mode and move toward becoming an intentional parent. Learn more and register here.

Jenny’s favorite parenting resources:
Parenting With Love & Logic” by Foster Cline & Jim Fay
Are My Kids on Track? The 12 Emotional, Social, and Spiritual Milestones Your Child Needs to Reach” by David Thomas & Sissy Goff
Playing for Keeps: 6 Things Every Kid Needs” – Reggie Joiner & Kristen Ivy
Praying Circles Around Your Kids” – Mark Batterson
Parenting Beyond Your Capacity” – Reggie Joiner & Carey Nieuwhof
Parent Cue App
Parent Cue Blog
http://justaphase.com/phase-project/


-Jenny Warns, Birmingham Campus Discipleship Director | Jenny has been married to Justin for ten years. They have three daughters: Serena (7), Gabby (4), and Alyssa (1). Jenny is the Discipleship Director at Kensington’s Birmingham campus, and she has been on staff for 9 years. She loves good food, good coffee, and good books.

Share this post

You Might Like...
narcissm
Chris Zarbaugh

Do I think about myself too much?

Everyone has that moment where they answer the inevitable question: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” To be completely honest, I never really had dreams of making an impact of any

boring
Dave Wilson

Church can be boring.

It’s truly amazing to me that I am a pastor at a church, considering my journey getting here. I grew up being dragged to church by my single mom whether I wanted to go or

Never miss another blog post.
Subscribe to be notified when new posts are published.

pagination_prv_arrow
EnglishPortuguese

Learning Labs

Experience a closer connection with God and His presence in your life while meeting others who are pursing the same.  Explore rhythms and practices that can help us abide in the love, grace and hope of God.

Please email with any questions.

Clarkston

Orion

Birmingham Campus

We are offering a time for our congregation to gather after the 10am service for prayer in the Groves Auditorium, 20500 W 13 Mile Rd, Beverly Hills, MI 48025.

On Sunday evening, Dec 5, parents of high school and middle school students are invited to the second half of our Edge gathering at Genesis Church, 309 N Main St, Royal Oak, MI 48067, at 6:15pm. We will have a breakout to equip parents in caring for themselves and processing pain with their children in times of tragedy.

Parents & Student Resources

Parents – self care is critical. It’s important to do your own processing with another adult so that you can be more present as your child processes. Here are tools that you can use to get you started.

Podcast

Helpful Blogs

Other Materials

Counselors Are Needed After Tragedy

“The aftermath of the Oxford shooting tragedy will undoubtedly result in traumatic symptoms and experiences across our communities for quite some time. Healing the brain through evidence-based therapies is absolutely possible with clinical guidance. There is a valuable village of Trauma Therapists with collective resources standing by for Oxford, for both direct and secondary survivors to engage in therapy. Until then, we honorably hold a sacred space, as students, families, staff and school partners continue to mourn.” -Laura Azoni, LMSW, Founder of Sanctuary Services

Orion Campus

We believe that unity at this time is more important than ever. Several churches in the area are partnering together to offer space for students to begin the process of healing.

We will have several grief and trauma specialists on site this Sunday evening at our Orion Campus (4640 S Lapeer Rd Lake Orion, MI 48359) from 5-6:30pm and will have a night of prayer, worship and an opportunity for students to process with each other.

Tate Myre Funeral:
Monday, 12.6 Visitation 1 to 8pm
Tuesday, 12.7 Visitation 10-12pm and funeral at Noon

Clinton Township Campus

We will be offering a time for our congregation to gather after each service for a time of corporate prayer in the Greatroom. Prayer will be offered at 10:15 am and 12:15 pm. (25000 Hall Rd, Charter Twp of Clinton, MI 48036)

This Sunday at 3:30 pm as a community we want to gather, pray and mourn together. We are all looking for answers and wondering why tragedy happens but we can find hope and peace in Jesus. 

Troy Campus

Join us Sunday night, December 5th for a Community Prayer Vigil at Kensington Church at 6:00 pm. Invite friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers to come together for a time of hope and prayer. 

Following the Vigil, at 7:00 pm, there will be breakouts for students and for parents to process and be equipped in caring for themselves and those around in times of tragedy.

Marriage Classes

What grows marriages? Focusing on the two of you and being in community!
The Marriage Course includes seven sessions, designed to help couples invest in their relationship and build a strong marriage. Some couples do the course to intentionally invest in their relationship, others are looking to address more specific challenges. Either way, the course offers essential tools and practical ideas to help you build a relationship that lasts a lifetime. The Marriage Course is based on Christian principles but designed for all couples with or without a church background.

Please email with any questions.

Financial Peace University (FPU)

Financial Peace University (FPU) is a catalyst to help people live in financial freedom and enable them to have a posture of openhandedness. We have witnessed numerous Kensington families experience life change as a result of applying Biblical truths to their personal finances. The real blessing is seeing people create lives of margin that allow them to hear and respond to the Lord’s calling on their lives.

Please email with any questions.

Bible Basics

Whether you are brand new to the Bible or have been reading it for decades, Bible Basics is a course that will help you understand the overall flow of the Bible. Over the course of several weeks, learn how the Bible came from the original writers to the English versions we have today. We’ll look at the big-picture story of the Bible and how all the individual books add to the whole. We’ll even learn a little about the history of the Jewish nation. But most of all, we’ll grow in our awe of the amazing author of this amazing book!

Please email  with any questions.

Birmingham

Clinton Township

Orion

Troy

Alpha

What is my purpose? What value does the Bible have in my life? How do I pray? How can I grow in confidence to share my faith? These are the big questions that are at the heart of what it means to have a relationship with God. Alpha is a space to explore life’s big questions, to say what you think and to hear other people’s points of view. Over ten-weeks you will explore and discover while listening to weekly topics, participating in table discussion, and developing community. Alpha courses meeting in-person gather around a meal.

You don’t have to come for the whole series—just check it out for the first session and see what you think. No pressure.

Please email with any questions.

Troy

easter Tickets

No tickets needed for Good Friday

GROUP LEADER DEVELOPMENT

Together Again

updated June 23, 2021

It’s been life-giving to be in-person for our weekend services since last July when we reopened. If you haven’t yet, we invite you to join us in person sometime soon.

Reservations and ticketing have been discontinued at all our campuses.

Masks are optional at all services, events, and ministry gatherings for kids, students, and adults. We know that everyone needs to make the right health decisions for themselves and their family, so if you feel comfortable removing your mask, you may. And if you’d like to continue wearing a mask or face covering, you may do that as well. This is a personal choice that only you can decide what is best for yourself when attending in person at Kensington.

If you are sick, are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, or have possibly been exposed to COVID-19, please plan to stay home and participate in our services via our many online streaming options.

At the start of the pandemic, Kensington’s Executive Team commissioned a group of staff members as a COVID Task Force to establish protocols and procedures for the safety of our church community. Thanks for sticking with us throughout all the changes and adjustments over the past 15 months.

We’re grateful to be together again!