Parenting Insight: Pushy Parenting – Is It a Strength?

Insights are short, biblical truths to equip you to lead from your strengths.

Any parent knows that raising a child presents a series of problems to solve. Each step in parenting presents different challenges.

A young woman praying with her hands together on white backgroundWhen it comes to solving problems, one size does not fit all.

That is why God has specifically wired you to solve problems in a way that can help your child.

Here’s an Insight

God can use your Aggressive approach to help you parent from your strengths.

You know you’re an Aggressive problem solver if you face challenges forcefully and decisively. “Direct” and “Head On” are your middle names.

Maybe you’ve even been told that as a parent you are too “pushy” or too “assertive.” On your better days, you are called persistent or insistent.

Sure, there are times when you may need to allow your inner softie to rule. But the truth is that when it comes to parenting, your assertive problem solving style can be a strength.

The key is to use this strength coupled with a strong dose of respect.

One Mother’s Problem-Solving Style

One New Testament parent gives an example of using Aggressive strengths in a way that both honored God and helped her child. It happened when Jesus traveled to the coast, evidently seeking some time in private. A woman – and a Gentile, at that – discovered He was there and sought Him out to share her problem: her daughter was possessed by a demon (see Mark 7 and Matthew 15).

The mother begged Jesus to heal her daughter. At first, Jesus did not speak to her. Then He refused healing. But the mother asserted herself and persisted, even presenting a creative argument to Jesus.

Her approach paid off. Jesus healed the woman’s daughter.

How Aggressive was this woman? Very.

Consider this: in Bible times, women rarely initiated speech to men, particularly men who were not family members or who held positions of authority. Further, Jesus was Jewish; this mother was a Gentile. The gender gap and cultural divide between the two were considerable.

Yet this mother was so driven that she sought out help from a stranger who was in quasi-hiding. Her Aggressive approach to solving problems gave her an audience with Jesus and propelled her to faith that He could help her. She remained persistent in the face of rejection. In a situation of desperate need, this mother’s Aggressiveness opened the door for her daughter’s healing.

Pushy? Yes. But through it all, she was respectful. She did not get in Jesus’ face. Instead, she addressed Him deferentially. She knelt before Him.

Like her, you may face parenting moments when your Aggressive approach to solving problems will be just what your child needs.

Your persistence is a gift from God. Use it.

Just do so with respect.

Now How Should I Live?

  • Read the story of Jesus’ encounter with the Syro-Phoenician mother in Mark 7:24-30 and Matthew 15:21-28.
  • Identify the mother’s parenting problem.
  • How did she solve her problem?
  • How did God use this mother’s strengths in parenting?


Take the profiles: Family Insight Profiles help families learn to lead from their strengths.

Learn more in Parenting From Your Strengths by John Trent, Rodney Cox, and Eric Tooker

More on Parenting From Your Strengths

Parenting From Your Strengths, Part 1: How a GPS Can Help You Be a Better Parent

Parenting From Your Strengths, Part 2: How a Parent Finds “True North”

Parenting From Your Strengths, Part 3: Will You Bury, Boast, or Build on Your Parenting Strengths?

Parenting From Your Strengths, Part 4: The Benefits to Knowing Your Child’s Strengths