017: How To Be Successful Parents At Every Level – Todd Stocker.com

successful parent.001Your parents and my parents did some things great in raising us. Other things may have scarred us for life. How do you become successful parents as your children mature through the four stages of childhood?

Show Notes:

One of the struggles of parenting — especially if you have more than one child — is that you can parent them basically the same in the earlier years.

Even though we always wear the moniker ‘Parent,’  how that title plays out needs to change as our children develop from birth through school and on into the world.  I talk to many parents whose biggest struggle with raising their kids centers on their inability to transition from stage to stage.   Like it or not, children grow up.  So understanding our role as parent’ from stage to stage is critical in the healthy emotional development of our children.

Here are the four stages through which parents must transition.  The educational ages stated here are obviously a generalization but they can provide a guide for you as you learn to grow through each wonderful stage:

“The Nurturer”:  Birth through pre-school.  At this stage, we are the main source of everything for our child.  Their basics of survival completely depend on our ability to nurture and provide for their every need.  Parents make decisions for them you are their brain.

“The Parent”:  1st – 6th grades:  This stage is called the “Classic Parenting” stage.  We begin to help them learn the basics of being a developing child; enrolling and guiding them through their first real educational experiences and teaching them what it means to be a human being.  At this point, we are truly neck deep in action of parenting – having main control over their daily lives.  But as they progress through these stages, you have to begin transferring ownership of their life from you to them.

“The Coach”:  7th – 10th grades:  The greatest holistic changes happen during these years  in our child and as such, so does our role.  We now need to begin transitioning  from having main control over their lives – as in “The Parent” stage – to allow them to make some of their own choices, fail and learn.  We “Coach” them by helping them think through the consequences of their actions and providing clear and age appropriate expectations of their behavior.  The tactics of this stage actually start earlier, but this is when you really need to let them fail and learn.

  • Questions for them:  “I think this is the best but what do you think?  Does that sound good to you?”
“The Mentor”:  11th – 12th grades and beyond:  Assuming that your young man or woman will be leaving the nest after this stage,  this is a wonderful experience of being a resource for their decision making and a mirror to share our own personal experiences of success and failure.  Our job is to continue to prepare them for the world ‘out there’.
  • Questions for them:  “Wow that’s a good question (or situation or predicament).  What do you think you should do?”

Very Important:  When do you suppose are the most troubling times for parents and kids?  In the transitions.

Who has the most struggle generally between men and women?  Generally women.  Studies show women are more apt to want to keep children safe.

Being a parent is a heavy responsibility.  It is not static. It is not a one-size-fits-all.  But if you are willing and able to transition as your child grows, the job of parenting can be a wonderful and fulfilling adventure.




Now, I’m probably going to offend some of you but what Kellie and I saw made me sick. We watched the recent news report on Karen Klein, a 68-year-old grandmother of eight who was verbally bullied by 7th grade kids. The verbal feces that spewed from the forked tongues of these hellions was simply shocking. The whole scene caused me to ask “What has caused our society to allow our children to treat someone so horrifically?”

(Her Story)

I believe it comes down to a few things.

We’ve sent God a-packin. We have pushed God right out the door of our institutional systems. Government, Education and the private sector decided it was easier to succumb to the petty whining of the few rather than stand up and declare the truth that our nation was founded on God’s principles.

We’ve crucified the traditional parent. Why is it that the media outlets seem to think that it’s ok to make fun of and minimize Dads and Moms? Why is it ok to show and lift up non-traditional family situations as ‘normal’ when statistics reveal traditional family situations as being the healthiest in which to raise children?

We’ve devalued LIFE. If we can kill babies and call it ‘health-care’, why not bully our elders and call it ‘fun’? If we can blowup people in our movies, TV shows and games and call it ‘entertainment’, why not round up the elderly, herd them into gas-chambers and call it ‘population cleansing’?

We’ve allowed our kids to be our Kings. If you’re reading this last one and you’re a parent, I want you to repeat after me. “I am their PARENT, not their FRIEND.” If you give Johnny and Susie whatever they want because they cry for it, you are not their parent, you are their vending machine and they will take over. Please, please, please! Discipline your kids! My advise – be strong and courageous. That’s what your kids want and need from you.

Question: What can you do to help your kids see that people matter? Write a comment below …


A Different Father’s Day

The best kids in the world

The best kids in the world

This is a different Father’s Day.  In years past, Father’s Day meant cut-out, hand-made cards, breakfast in bed and long morning hugs from my three children.  This year is different.  My kids have outgrown the handmade card artistry, I am awake long before they are wiping the sleep from their  eyes, and the hugs will be a few less. 

As I write this, I can’t embrace what I’m feeling.  (Frankly, I can barely put two sentences together).  Like in a dance, the sense of loss and joy are twirling about the stage.  I literally hurt, wanting to see my little Makenzie again and hear her shout “Happy Father’s Day, Daddy!” like she had done every year since she could talk.  I am so grateful that she gave me, and only me, those words. 

I am so happy that God allows me the daily priveledge of seeing Nathan grow into an incredible man.  I am truly honored that God would give me an incredibly fun young girl in Maddie.  Any dad would call himself blessed to have these two.

This is a different Father’s Day.  I won’t get the kisses from Makenzie.  I wont see her  loving smile as she jumps on me to wake me from my sleep.  And most of you have no idea how desparately I want one more squeeze from her.  But I am reasurred knowing that Makenzie is in the arms of her real daddy.  (BTW — If God slept, she’d be planning to pounce on Him even as I write this). 

Dad’s — hug your kids  extra tight today.  I won’t get to hug Makenzie again for a long time. 


Makenzie’s Celebration Service – Click Here

An 8-track Parent is published!

My new book, “An 8-track Parent In An Mp3 World,” is availableClick here for more information.


“This book should be in every parent’s/doctor’s/educator’s resource box. If you are like me you might take “listening to music” for granted and never really thought about how you can help yourself and your child make good choices–not limited choices–when it comes to selecting from the many different styles of music that are available to them. I found the book to:

1. be an easy, quick (2 hours,), entertaining read packed with valuable info and insights.
2. be appropriately written for Christians and non-Christians alike; i.e., not preachy.
3. contain several valuable resources I was unaware of and can make use of with ease.
4. provide clear, concise steps to evaluate music with your child. And, the identified “benefits” of doing so with your child were “spot” on!
5. get your young listener’s attention with the snippets provided by his 13-year old son titled Nathan’s Notes.”

My New Book Coming Soon


My 13 year old son called me from a music store asking if he could buy a CD.  I was thinking he was choosing between Audio Adreneline or The Newsboys; good Christian bands.  But then he said, “Dad, which is better.  Van Halen or Deff Leopard?”  I knew at that moment, we had to come up with some guidelines on choosing appropriate music for our family. 

 I wrote these guidelines in book form which should be availalbe on Amazon within the next few weeks.  If you have a pre-teen or teenager, these guideline will help you foster good conversations about music and help keep the peace in your household.  Keep Watching.