Wile E. Coyote Parenting

Wile E. Coyote is one of my favorite characters from Looney Tunes. Why? Because I can identify with him. When I parent, I am Wile E. Coyote.

wile e coyote

Wile E. is constantly on the hunt for the ever-elusive Road Runner, who thwarts all of his clever schemes. Just when Wile E. thinks he has that slippery bird within his grasp, he falls off a cliff, or nature defies, well, nature, or the bird makes a cunning maneuver.

Yep, that’s me under that boulder.

Parenting often feels like chasing Road Runner. I know the direction I want to go, I collect the tools needed to get there, I draw out careful plans and specifications, and then . . .


Notice that boulder was supposed to drop straight downward? Instead, it defied nature and . . . poor Wile E.!

And just like Wile E. Coyote, I often crawl out from under that boulder and return to that deceptively promising A.C.M.E. catalog in search for my next great scheme.


The problem is that there is no winning solution in the A.C.M.E. catalog, which is a lesson Wile E. never learns.

Following A.C.M.E., no matter how hard I try, no matter how many parenting books are read, no matter how many “I’m not going to do that again” moments I suffer, I still fall off that cliff as I zoom past that Road Runner.


So, why can’t Wile E. catch the Road Runner?

He’s looking in the wrong book.

And when I fall off the cliff, so am I.

The only time I am successful at parenting is when I follow the Word of God.

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Proverbs 22:6.

When I am truly following Christ, when I respond to my children in a Christ-like manner, and when I discipline with scripture, I don’t zoom past the bird and off the cliff.


The Bible serves as a plumb line against which children are able to gauge their conduct. They will ignore daddy all day long, but when they are shown how their conduct conflicts with God’s Word, they tend to perk up and pay attention.

I’m not promising immediate results. I’ve had long disciplining moments where I laid out scripture and still saw that veil over their eyes, but it is amazing how they come around to the message days, or weeks, or even months down the road. The next time we have that same conversation, the veil is partly or completely lifted. Or I hear them repeating some of what I told them to their friends or brothers. Or they repeat it to me as if I never said it.

Parents are planters and waterers. When we plant and water, God makes our children grow spiritually.

So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.

1 Corinthians 3:7-9.

In order to plant and water, parents must live in obedience to Christ as well. They must study God’s Word so that they are prepared to respond to their children in a Biblical manner. Without routine studying of God’s Word, parents are left with an A.C.M.E. catalog.

Following an A.C.M.E. catalog is like a foolish builder who builds his house upon the sand.

Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.

Matthew 7:24-27.

While children respond better to scripture, that is not the end of it. Far and away the biggest hurdle I find to successful parenting is when MY conduct follows an A.C.M.E. design instead of the Bible. When I get overly angry and yell, when I tear my children down instead of building them up, when I say “Because I said so,” when my patience is non-existent, when I strap a rocket to my chest, that is when I experience most of my Wile E. moments.


Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

Ephesians 6:4.

But when I am patient, and loving, and Christ-like, and when I share with them the Word of God in a non-confrontational manner, that is when my children respond positively.

I am by no means perfect at this, and I fall off the cliff more often than I would like to admit, but God has, time and again, shown me that His way is the only way.

So, next time you find yourself with an A.C.M.E. rocket strapped to your chest, take a deep breath because you know what’s coming. Toss aside that catalog and reach for the Word of God instead. Learn your lesson from Wile E. Coyote and avoid the boulders and cliff plunges.



35 thoughts on “Wile E. Coyote Parenting

  1. I grew up on those cartoons! I’m sitting here with a big smile on my face, imagining all the times what I must have looked like through this prism. I never saw myself as Wile E. or the Israelites in the desert, but then,,,OOPS! I wonder; did they order the Golden Calf out of the A.C.M.E. catalog?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Love the post. While I don’t want to admit it, my parenting when the children were young was more like the A.C.M.E. catalog version than really focusing on the Scripture for guidance. Praise the Lord, He used even my faulting parenting style to create some awesome adults, now with children of their own. I am thankful. Thanks for the post with some excellent reminders in it, presented in such a gloriously fun way!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Reblogged this on Using God's Word in Everyday Life and commented:
    The books on child rearing mean well in their design. However they all fall short in teaching our children the fundamentals in becoming children of God. The best place to learn how to live a full life with God is to learn from the book that is about Him and is written by Him. This will not be a quick read, but the benefits of reading its volumes is far worth it.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. This is excellent. I am going to do some guest posts while I am on vacation and would like to use this. Let me know and I will give you access so you can publish it.

    God bless,


    Liked by 1 person

      1. Send me your email address, I couldn’t find it on your blog, and I will give you the permission to publish.

        Thanks again.



      1. You sure did and it looks great. I scheduled it to go up June 3rd. Excited, I know readers are going to love it.


  5. Indeed, he’s looking in the wrong book-I love it! You captured the trials of parenting in a unique way. And thank you for following my little blog 🙂 – Dulcinea

    Liked by 2 people

  6. ” no matter how many “I’m not going to do that again” moments I suffer, I still fall off that cliff as I zoom past that Road Runner. ” I call it, “Next time, I will…” thinking. I refer to that type of (pointless) reflection in my post, Thoughts While Healing.” (https://theviewfrom5022.com/2016/02/19/thoughts-while-healing/)

    I must confess…I absolutely detested my mother forcing me to watch every single Billy Graham Crusade on TV, despite the fact that I always cried at the end. However, I wonder where I would be today….

    What my mother lacked in parenting skills, she made up for in force-feeding faith with a heavy hand…bless her.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We try not to force it down their throats. Fortunately, they are all followers of Jesus and want to hear his word. But we don’t sit them in front of Billy Graham videos. I might rebel at that point, despite how great a man he was. 😬


  7. “Daddy”,
    Ephesians 6:4. is always the one that brings me back to reality check. I feel in our earnest desire to “use the rod” we forget that we may bruise the tender shoots, and mar them for life.
    I would say that although I am like the coyote some times, I could also be on the other side of the equation. I can be the roadrunner, trying to avoid all the pits.. Grace.. I need grace..
    ~ Blessings, Dajena 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  8. My aging mother needed this. She rarely used ACME material, but she sure followed it (worldly wisdom)! Usually I’m the one comparing my mother’s words and deeds to Scripture, and noticing where they don’t line up….

    Liked by 3 people

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