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Responsive vs Reactive Parenting

“But while his brothers were jealous of Joseph, his father wondered what the dreams meant.”Genesis‬ ‭37:11‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Sometimes as parents we are known to react too quickly. Jacob first reacted to Joseph’s dream. Then wondered. By the time he wondered, he had already scolded and condoned the indignation and disrespect of Joseph’s brother.

I wonder what would have happened if he paused first to listen and wondered; considered the source and the intent(revelation)?

As parents it is important to be aware of the impact of our reactions as well as the source from which our emotions are coming. Reactive parenting has an effect on the relationship.

We want to respond not react. Remember our children are learning from us how to interact with and respect others including, you and I.

So let us use wisdom:

Think first. Consider will these next words or actions be helpful or hurtful in the long run?

How we respond matters. Be aware and focus on the emotion not the intent by which you are trying to get your point across.

Be humble. Apologize when your react verse respond. This may prevent seeds of discontent from settling in their heart and disrespect from settling in their minds.

Practice awareness. Be fully aware that our words and actions produce seeds which in turn produce fruit.

Take responsibility. One thing I’ve learned over the years is that my responds and reaction also create the environment in which the seeds of God’s Word grow in my children’s live.

If you're caught off guard and don’t know how to respond/ react, DON’T. It will not mean that you condone or condemn anything. It does means your child(ren) will see an example of self-discipline. Self-discipline is a very vital element to becoming the respectful, responsible and respectable individuals we ultimately desire them to become.

Author Note
Terri S. Wills Bryant Unveiled Woman
Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to
Terri Wills Bryant at

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