5 Essentials for Modern Parenting

 

5 Essential Issues for Today’s Christian Parent!

As summarized from the Brilliantly Brave Parenting Podcast series:

Parenting is hard work and it requires effort and conviction to do well! Sometimes it feels like the odds are stacked against us. We’re here to bring hope and practical advice to the challenges of faith-based parenting. Brilliantly Brave Parenting wants to be a fun and encouraging resource for today’s Christian family!

Here are FIVE essentials of parenting to consider:

#1 Fighting Futureshock: Today’s generation of parents currently active & engaged with the church is struggling with more than a simple ‘generation gap.’ We are struggling with ‘Futureshock.“ Which means, “a displacement of reality in which life is only focused on the present, and constantly being redefined by the moment. This lack of stability and constancy creates a state of constant flux for parents.”

Clearly as parents in a shifting moral landscape we are going to need to anchor ourselves and our kids to something ‘greater’ than ourselves.

The traditions of the faith provide a powerful resource for parents and pastors to utilize. Disciplines of devotion offer a way for us to be reminded of the truth of our biblical heritage. The constant remembrance of how BIG GOD is, and how the values of our world do not match with the values of scripture.

https://soundcloud.com/brilliantlybrave/ep57-bishop-dan-scott – Find out more  Listen to our FREE Podcast Link

 #2. Self-Care is ESSENTIAL:

When was the last time you invested in yourself as a parent or pastor?

Parenting is exhausting, the idea that we can just persevere through it is a bit naive. We need to rest. We need to recharge and refocus. As parents we can’t give what we don’t have. Our modeling and ability to teach our kids will be profoundly impacted by the energy we have to give them.

Self-Care requires healthy habits, resting well at night, making space in our schedules to spend time with our families, and watching our diet and exercise. That also means saying ‘no’ to outside things so that we are sure that we’re involved with our kids. We can’t offer what we don’t have.

Jesus modeled this idea when he would retreat from the crowds and the disciples to go apart and pray. He would withdraw to the mountains as often as he could, knowing the essential nature of rest and refreshment spiritually, physically, and emotionally. We are no different.

Podcast Link: https://soundcloud.com/brilliantlybrave/reality-with-teens-ep44-paige-clingenpeel

#3 Heritage of Faith

God calls parents to do amazing things with their lives! We can’t put Him in a small box, His ways are not our ways, and His thoughts are not our thoughts… the path God leads is often overwhelmingly big and seemingly impossible. But God has a long, long, history of calling ordinary men and women to do extraordinary things.

We need to ‘listen’ and be aware of the subtle requests that God nudges us to do. It is NOT our life, we are on loan to God, and we can’t forget that God has plans for us that are bigger than our own. The same is true for our children.

Our kids and our plans can’t be driven by our ambition or pride, because it’s not about us. EGO is Edging God Out, and we can’t do that as Christians.

God will empower us to see beyond our own lives, to see the needs of those around us and to give us the strength and courage to act boldly!

Podcast Link: https://soundcloud.com/brilliantlybrave/brilliantly-brave-episode-1-patti-garibay

#4 The Danger of Self-Reliance:

Being perceived as “strong” and above it all is a huge temptation for parents in the church to try and project. The reality is, we’re not. We can’t handle it all by ourselves. We need help and we need encouragement, and we need support from other believers.

Parenting is more than a project to complete, it’s a sacred assignment to be guarded and stewarded well. Part of stewarding our parenting role is to surround ourselves with wise counsel and experience from those who have gone before us.

Living self-reliant as a parent can result in the spiritual death of your kids! Don’t do it. Jesus never called us to be ‘good’ – but Holy. Good is what we do, Holy is what He does. Christian Karma is when we start ‘comparing’ our good/bad behavior with others and rely on our being ‘better’ than other people.

Values based parenting vs. Rules based – the difference is all about what we parent from… fear or love.

What is our goal as a parent? To deliver a ‘good’ kid at 18 years of age, without having premarital sex, or having tried alcohol or drugs? Or is it to love them unconditionally and help them discover their identity as God created them to be?

Podcast Link: https://soundcloud.com/brilliantlybrave/ep30-dean-diehl

#5 Single Parents and the Church: 

One-third of all households are led by a single parent. Today’s single parents are struggling to engage with the church and with their faith. Being ‘alone’ and unsupported by the Christian culture is something solo parents often ‘feel,’ no matter what a local community of faith might project.

The battle for single parents to raise their children to be responsible and well-balanced citizens, provide for their well-being, and keep up with all of the myriad of demands that life throws at us is impossible. They are overwhelmed by it all in the best of circumstances.

The role of church in coming along side of single parents has largely been in question. Many single parents feel abandoned or judged by the church and lack the confidence to enter the doors of a church to ask for help. The need for single parent spiritual support and practical assistance is only growing. How the church responds now will be a significantly positive or negative impact for the next generation of parents.

Podcast Link: https://soundcloud.com/brilliantlybrave/ep59-nikki-leonti-edgar

Why Tweens need whitewater rafting

Tweens are caught between childhood and young adulthood. They live in that hormone soaked space between the worlds of simple fun and the social meat-grinder known as Junior High.

It’s scary stuff to walk from class as a sixth or seventh grader, knowing everything you are and have is about to be reviewed, analyzed – assessed and mocked by the “big” kids. Getting up and getting ready goes from grabbing the clothes off the floor and a pop-tart; to setting the alarm an hour early to start working on their hair, matching wardrobe and a desperate need to catch up on all the latest mobile electronic chatter. Each morning tweens step into a dark world that’s totally unpredictable…and intensely cruel, especially to anyone who dares to be or live “different”.

Tweens get complicated… the social pressures grow like a late summer hurricane until you may find yourself having a bi-polar chat with your 12-year-old! It’s disturbing to a parent to have such a discussion…one that alternates between the infantile fears of not leaving their room without turning on a light…. to the haughty sneers of a late adolescent. Dueling word wars erupt with their sarcastic intolerance of your aged presence, offended at everything…daring you to intrude into their private lives, like a trip to crazy town!

At the root of all this chaos and confusion is FEAR.

Deep anxiety and convoluted apprehensions rule about most everything in a tweens life. Fears as vast as and distant as global warming to the mundane….like forgetting their locker combination at school or missing the next audition for drama class.

Tweens are drowning in a host of normal and abnormal fears threatening to crash their lives before they ever get going, anxiety and misgivings force most tweens to avoid even “trying” to step into something new or different.

Their fragile identities slowly fracturing as they bounce from one popular group of kids to another, trying to decide if they “fit” in that group or maybe another one ? Are they athletic… or smart, pretty or preppy? Are they moody and artistic, should they try out for band or stick solidly in the “in-between” world of not belonging to anything – undefined and aloof.

Deep down, most tweens are afraid to move… afraid to be rejected one more time. 

It’s into these lives parents need to step firmly in and make a decisive difference! We must show our tweens how awesome they really are!

Whitewater rafting is the cure. Seriously… grab your tween and a few of their friends (or youth group) and head for the river. It’s a little frightening, even scary at the beginning, but the thrill of overcoming something new and different and a little dangerous… is the KEY INGREDIENT in helping your tween discover how strong they really are.

Each summer we have a few weeks to re-confirm and re-establish our tweens identities! We must speak, courage and hope and strength into their ever evolving lives! 

Don’t let the coach, or art director or agnostic educators shape and mold your kids hearts in the day to day. We have a vital window of opportunity each year to speak LIFE into our children, to put an underlined – bold font – italicized exclamation mark on their unique and amazing lives, providing the lift they need to meet the coming year head on.

wildwaterrafting.com

wildwaterrafting.com

Worried a little bit about your tween, it may be time to consider something radical ?

It may be time to take them whitewater rafting and let them sit in the front…watch them grow exponentially as they transition from apprehensive hesitation to excited and triumphant in just a matter of hours on the water!

Watch as your slumped tween emerges from the raft soaking wet and wildly exuberant with new life, crackling with new-found confidence!  

It’s amazing how much a little “nudge” in the right direction at the “right” time can help them “overcome” all kinds of fears.

GO OUT, GET AWAY from the safe and predictable and expose your tweens to the beauty and awe of God’s creation. Find out together what you can do !

I Dare ya ! Pastor B.

PS – I’m not saying that rafting will cure everything or replace the role of faith and personal devotion in a tweens growth, but dang it…it’s awesome and freaking fun 🙂