Are We Raising Kids or Adults?

You shall teach them (these words that I command you today) diligently to your children… Deuteronomy 6-7

An article about parenting in the Sunday paper some weeks ago caught my attention. I’m very aware and frustrated by our culture’s (and my own) failure to parent with a long term view. I was interested enough to read the book that inspired the article.

As a dad who wants to raise children who are Kingdom-minded, independent thinkers, risk takers and confident believers, I was both challenged and encouraged by this secular book. The author clearly does not have a Biblical world view, but that may make the insights more provocative.

Christian parents should be focused on raising adults who are ready, not just to do well in life and work, but to take the Gospel to hard places to reach people. (And by the way, I don’t’ necessarily mean going to remote villages in foreign countries. Talking to co-workers about Christ in America takes boldness, courage and resilience.)

We should also have even greater confidence in God’s love and care for our children than secular parents. Here are some penetrating questions…

  • Do you really believe that God has a plan and a purpose for your son(s) and daughter(s)?
  • If you impose your will and desires for them over God’s, aren’t you overstepping some boundaries?
  • If you don’t help your children learn hard lessons how will they grow to be confident adults who trust their Heavenly Father with their very lives?

Brothers, God does have a great plan for our children. We must leverage opportunities and resources to prepare them for life as godly adults who will have great Kingdom impact!

51VffITheFL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Consider these quotes from the book How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success:

  • …what does it mean to behave and think as an adult? Pg. 77
  • How will the real world feel to a young person who has grown used to problems being solved for them and accustomed to praise at every turn? Pg. 7
  • American insistence on children being observed and accompanied at all times makes us look like the crazy ones. Pg. 20
  • We seem interested in preparing our kids to live within a one-mile radius from us for the rest of their lives and uninterested in the life skills that only develop from increasing independence. Pg. 22
  • …encourages parents and educators to avoid the bully label and instead help children develop the resilience needed to handle the harsh social challenges of life. Pg. 23
  • When you intervene on behalf of your child, your child becomes the victim. You’re expressing the message ‘You’re incapable, you’re not sturdy enough to resolve this yourself, you need me to come in and take care of this for you.’ Pg. 24
  • The irony about kids’ sports today is that we want our kids to have opportunities for challenge, rigor, and growth without their feelings getting hurt. Pg. 34
  • Has sidling right up alongside our kid and making them the center of our world become a measure of how much we love them? If so, is it our love we’re wearing on our sleeve, or our neediness? 54
  • …kids learn and grow precisely by trying new things, being allowed to fail, picking themselves up, and trying again. Pg. 56
  • But when the teachable moments go untaught, what our kids get in exchange is the moral or ethical shortcomings that come from getting away with stuff. Pg. 65
  • We don’t’ want our kids to bonk their head or have hurt feelings, but we’re willing to take real chances with their mental health? Pg. 85
  • …”students with helicopter parents were less open to new ideas and actions and more vulnerable, anxious, and self-conscious. “In students who were given responsibility and not constantly monitored by their parents- so-called ‘free rangers’ – the effects were reversed,” Pg. 89

I’m curious… Do you ‘overparent’? How are you helping your children learn hard lessons that will help them become resilient adults?

 

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