Loving by Leading: Why Should Parents Lead?

As we continue this series based upon the book, Loving By Leading, you might ask the question, “Why do parents need to lead their children? Don’t they need the freedom to make decisions and grow?” Dr. Trumbull answers, “Most children do not know what is best for them and, when given the opportunity, will make unhealthy choices based on selfish intentions. The ideal goal of parenting is character-building and good health; these can only come when parents lead and children follow.” 

Yes, children need guidance (leadership) from their parents, especially at younger ages. They generally want it as well, even though it’s not always obvious and may occasionally lead to a battle of wills. For example:

  • 6-month-old Amy doesn’t know that waking at night for a bottle is unnecessary.
  • 9-month-old Sally doesn’t know she needs two naps a day for good health.
  • 12-month-old Ricky doesn’t know that biting hurts others.
  • 18-month-old Emily doesn’t know that watching video on Mom’s phone is unhealthy for the developing mind.
  • 2-year-old Henry doesn’t know that running wildly in a parking lot is dangerous.

Each of these situations are opportunities to lead your child. By leading your children to better life habits, you are not only improving their health but more importantly, you are equipping them to be self-controlled and to be more thoughtful in their actions and choices. These skills are foundational to success in life. 


Trumbull, DA. Loving by Leading: A Parent’s Guide to Raising Healthy and Responsible Children. 2018; pp 9. ISBN 9781732659810


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2 Responses to “Loving by Leading: Why Should Parents Lead?”

  1. Dan November 1, 2019 at 8:45 am #

    I saw a valuable resource called Lead Your Child to Good Health on the ACPeds.org website: https://www.acpeds.org/parents/lead-your-child-to-good-health?highlight=lead%20your%20child%20to%20goo. The poster that’s available to purchase is brightly colored and a good reminder to all parents to stay on track.

  2. Randolph matthws November 19, 2019 at 8:47 am #

    We need more emphasis on building character in children. These blogs and the book are a godsend

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