Brilliant Minds Need Mom and Dad
I recently had the sweet opportunity to spend an evening Discussing parenting with Dr. Kathy Koch. If you’ve not heard of Kathy, tune in. Her many books are packed full of practical conversation bullseyes that should grace every home. My thoughts today are personal reflections on some of her wisdom and whimsy.
In this age of information and digital citizenship, do you find that your children are not easily corrected or naturally bent toward instruction? You are not alone, and kids are not necessarily purposely difficult or resistant. Comments like “I know Mom”, “Like I wouldn’t know that”, or “Mom, you can stop talking about now” from my seventeen-year-old may need a slight delivery shift toward respect, but the message holds some truth that I need to pay attention to. Our kids haven’t just lived with technology, they are, in a sense, being raised by it. They likely know a little about almost everything. Mine do! Our youth are the most intelligent generation on the planet. And the current culture has been sending them continual messages that all they need is information to be successful. It isn’t true. Information alone cannot prepare them for the challenges and obstacles and opportunities they will encounter. They need the time and maturity we bring to the parenting table.
Our children are valuable and deserve to be taught. We don’t teach them because they are unintelligent, but because they are inexperienced. Something worth communicating out loud to teenagers. It’s loving encouragement to let them know they are smart and that they know things. When you do bump up against misbehavior or need to parent through conflict though, here are a few recently gleaned tips to honor and embrace the privilege it is to teach our children.
· Let your love compel you. Boundaries are blessings when love is the goal.
· Feel their pain before you solve their problem. Pray, ask, and listen for the beliefs that are driving their behavior. Your kids may need you to correct the lies they are living out of.
· Set expectations according to something more foundational than your own opinion. If you speak and parent from the platform of personal opinion, your children will assume permission to live according to theirs.
· Thank your kids for adding to your parenting experience and admit when you’ve handled something wrongly or without understanding. Culture will not show them repentance and forgiveness today. Consistent modeling of these conflict resolution tools is one of the greatest life impact moves we can make with our kids.
Finally, when it comes to the rhythms and rollout of daily parenting, always believe something wonderful is about to happen.
For those interested, here are a couple of great reads by Dr. Kathy!
8 Great Smarts, by Kathy Koch, PhD and START with the HEART, by Kathy Koch, PhD
Director of Church Engagement