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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Parenthood

Thanks to a wonderful gift, I have been enjoying some shows on Netflix for my "me time".  I started watching 'Parenthood' last weekend and it gripped me from the first show.  It is so realistic and brings up some hard issues that everyone has to deal with, but maybe don't want to admit that they do.  I'll admit that it's easy to shelter my kids and pretend that hard things will never happen, but they do.

So, above all, this show scares me to pieces to have teenagers.  Definitely makes me cherish small children who don't have smarty attitudes, boyfriends or ACT preparations.  Seriously, changing diapers may not be so bad after all :)

As I've thought about the issues that will be coming in about 6 years, it's made me wonder what I could do now to make the coming years easier.  I wonder what parents of teenagers are thinking they wish they did when they were in my shoes.

Any thoughts?  Advice?


 
love my entourage

4 comments:

  1. Clearly no advice...but that stroller is awesome!

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  2. Personally, I don't think anything can truly prepare you for the teen years. And for me the back talking and smart-attitudes seem to start in the toddler/preschool-ages ;) So I'm getting a dose of that already. Biggest advice -- and what we plan to do -- is to do our best to raise our children in God's Word, in the pew, with a strong faith and trust in the Lord's law & gospel. Obviously there will likely be rebellion and times when they push back, but I'm reminding myself not to fear but pray. Parenting certainly isn't easy.

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  3. Ditto about the stroller...of course we both like it. I raised her right! Keep talking, listen to each child's heart (is it hard or soft toward God?), make sure they know HOW to do stuff like clean the bathroom (but don't go bonkers if they don't do it every day), have all their friends over as often as possible and quietly listen to their conversations (talk later if there are problems), buy lots of food, find them good friends and youth groups, buy more food, hug them but not too much hanging on, sign up early for driver's ed--you'll learn to pray like never before but wheels are wonderful, love your spouse and God (show them how it's supposed to be done...the good and the bad and the making it better). Oh, and make sure the first college roommate is named Jen and has a good head on her shoulders!! Most of all--enjoy this wonderful privilege of raising people for the Lord.

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  4. I may not have children... but it wasn't too long ago that I was in the teen years.. and I know plenty of teenagers currently so I feel I can have some input on your post. ;)

    1) Watch "Perks of Being a Wallflower" (if you haven't seen it already). I think it accurately portrays teenagers today in a decent manner. With that being said, there is almost always more going on in a teenager's life than their parents are aware of (...this would be why I think Perks of Being a Wallflower is a good movie to watch--even if it might have "questionable things" in it. It's realistic, unfortunately). Take the time to listen and be interested in their life... even when they don't want you to be. In reality, and in the long run, they do. It matters that you care. This should start now. Even if it is just being interested in the flower (or weed) they've picked from the grass that they are so proud of . . . make time to enjoy these moments.

    2) Have your house be the house they want to be at with their friends. Be welcoming. Be flexible. Make it the place everyone wants to hang out (which means always have food.... and a lot of it ;), this will work to your advantage. This can be put into practice now... with kid's parents, and having other kids over.

    3) Know the Word. Steep in it. And talk about it with your kids. Don't teach right vs. wrong, but rather how Christ and the gospel calls us to live in a manner of godliness. There's a big difference between living a life that is obedient to Christ and pursuing Him in everything, versus living a moral life of right vs. wrong. Pursue Christ and His gospel rather than moral living.... Christian morals and values will occur as an overflow of pursuing Christ.
    Moral living was one of the most common things I saw this past summer while leading a bible study and beach evangelism track for a summer youth camp (6th grade-college). At least 90% of the students I lead throughout the summer wanted to know how they could "become a better Christian" or "do better as a Christian." It was one of the most heartbreaking things to witness, for Christ doesn't call us to be better Christians... but He does call us to follow Him. We cannot become better. Their moral version of "Christianity" left Christ and His death and resurrection and the implication of those two things out entirely... completely missing the gospel. Tie discipline and correction back to the gospel.

    4) Teach forgiveness, but also practice it with your kids (meaning ask for their forgiveness when needed). It's humbling, but will have lasting effects.

    5) Pray for them and for you. Pray. Pray. Pray. And tell them you love them.

    6) Take the time and invest in your marriage. Put your marriage before your children (this will only get harder to do the older they get)---your children will eventually understand and be thankful that you did. It will be the biggest picture of the gospel to your children... and is what you are called to do as a disciple of Christ who is married.

    ...I could go on, but I'm going to stop. I think that is sufficient for now. Now hopefully all of the above made sense.

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