One of the practices we picked up at Family Camp at Pine Cove a couple of years ago was taking a character trait where we thought each person of the family needed development and asking God to shape that in them. I know as a parent I cannot impart character into my children. I can model it. I can teach it. I can show the importance of it. I can create an environment for it. But I cannot build it into them. God has to do that by His Spirit. So we pray.
Last year, we prayed for humility, obedience, servanthood, discipline, and security. This year's list includes authenticity, wisdom, empathy, responsibility, and confidence. Those are all things we all need for sure, but taking a year to focus on specific traits for specific people seemed like a good plan when we heard it, and it has borne fruit.
We talk about it with our kids. We post them on our family plate that we write on that we keep in the middle of our kitchen island. But most of all we pray.
For all the parenting we do, I'm not sure there's much (if anything) that's more important than offering those prayers.
But that's just me thinking thoughts...