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Parenting Lessons from The Lost Son

When we hear the story of the Prodigal Son, or the Lost Son in the Bible, we may not have realized that it is a story rich in parenting principles.

I’ll just like to share a few I have discovered with you.

11 To illustrate the point further, Jesus told them this story: “A man had two sons. 12 The younger son told his father, ‘I want my share of your estate now before you die.’ So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons.


  • Leave Your kids to make their own mistakes. The Father may not have been too comfortable with the demands made by the younger son, but he must have realized at some point that the younger boy needed to learn a lesson. By giving in to his demands, he was allowing him to learn on his own. I know how difficult it is sometimes as parents to watch our kids make their own mistakes, but it is important for us to give our kids the needed space to grow, to learn from their own mistakes. Sometimes, experience is truly the best teacher. For instance, your child doesn’t get his project work done on time [except of course for the younger ones requiring supervision], and he’s in the habit of leaving things till the last minute. What do you do? You help him so he won’t hand in his project late? Maybe you can try allowing him to face the consequences of handing in his project late, that way he’ll learn, and the next time, you won’t have to pick up the pieces after him all the time.

14 About the time his money ran out, a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve. 15 He persuaded a local farmer to hire him, and the man sent him into his fields to feed the pigs. 16 The young man became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him. But no one gave him anything.

  • Model humility and integrity to your child. Who would have thought that the son of a rich man would think of getting a job in a pig sty? After all, he could have taken some more sinister options such as stealing or cheating. I am sure we have heard the stories of certain kids whose parents ran into some financial difficulty, and they just could not imagine themselves not having the ‘good life’ anymore. We find them trying to survive through some illegal means.


17 “When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger! 18 I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, 19 and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.”’

  • Teach your kids that one mistake is not the end of the world. They should know how to pick up the pieces when they make mistakes, and to learn to move on and get over it.


20 “So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. 21 His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. 22 “But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. 23 And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, 24 for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began.

  • Always Leave Room for your kids to retrace their steps. Even when our kids have been left alone to make their own mistakes, always help them to know that they can always come back to you for help. Let them know that in spite of the error of their ways, you love them unconditionally. Keep your arms wide open always.

Just some lessons from The Lost Son,

Oluseye Ashiru

This Story can be found in Luke 15:11-32.

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