October 4, 2023

Parent Leadership

By: Jennifer Spruiell

I am busy. We all are.

At times, I find myself spread so thinly that I question my effectiveness. Reading, once a treasured hobby enjoyed during my leisure, is now exclusively reserved for work projects and pursuing a degree. Listening to self-development podcasts in the car allows me to be more productive, caring, and knowledgeable. Recently in my listening, a profound question was posed that made me lean forward and pause: “Are you the adult that you want your child to grow up to be?”


As parents, we are our children’s first and best teacher. Ultimately, we teach our children everything by example. Parenting is our legacy. I strive to parent congruently, to be supportive, to enable my child to grow up with a joy-filled heart and a passion for connecting. I see parenting as an investment; our children are our future leaders.

While going back to college and my career in training and professional development are major priorities, I made it a goal to get involved in my child’s school. I resisted the temptation to play the “busy” card. In serving alongside other parents on a parent partnership board, I have the chance to make a difference in our school and community. While it has afforded me even more opportunities to add to my busy-ness by leading crash courses for parents on “The 7 Habits of Happy Kids” and, most recently, hosting the annual school sock hop, participating has been very rewarding. I haven’t found a better way to demonstrate responsibility, accountability, generosity and teamwork.

It is important that we encourage and model the behaviors we wish to see. If we want our children to be leaders, we have to show them how to do more than follow. If we want them to be passionate about something, we have to support it and guide their role. If we want them to develop and demonstrate character, as hard as it may be, we have to allow them to fail and learn from it. If we want them to gain respect and demonstrate maturity, we have to be willing to stand behind everything we say and do. If we want them to be successful, we have to make every moment count.

For all these reasons, and because I desperately want to be the adult that my child will grow up to be, I choose to be involved – even though I am busy. I choose to lead.



  1. PalmsUp

    There is nothing truer about being a leader, than the points you make in parenting. Keep up the good work, and may God continue to bless you always!

  2. Cindy Rice

    Thanks for modeling good prioritization! You are being who God made you to be, to do what God made you to do. That is just what your child needs to see. I know it is not easy. “We are anointed for hard,” as one of my favorite Bible teachers says. Although the way it works out for each parent will be — and should be — as unique as they are, it is worth the sacrifice to be the adult we want our child to be. Even on the days when we are weak. Even when it doesn’t seem to make a difference. It. So. Matters. I appreciate your encouragement to all of us to parent well! Blessings!

  3. Grace Stanton

    Such a good, quick reminder of who we are as parents. I constantly strive to not play the “too busy” card, but it sure is hard sometimes. Thanks for the encouragement, Jennifer!