As parents, we are given the incredible opportunity to train up our children. From toddlers to college students, each stage brings joys and challenges. Most parents want their children to succeed in life. How well are we preparing them for the future? Are we doing things that make it difficult for them to thrive?
Parenting teens can be difficult.
Teens can be unappreciative and demanding. They can push the limits of our patience and of our wallets. They can be moody, edgy, rebellious and hurting — all in the same afternoon! Sometimes our heart goes out to them, and sometimes we are counting the days until they leave home.
But parenting teens can also be very rewarding. During the teen years, we can have profound conversations with our almost-adults about ideas, faith, and the meaning of life. We can watch as their efforts pay off, and they achieve in sports, arts or academics. If all goes well, we start to be able to trust their choices, and our respect for them increases.
As we seek to navigate this challenging stage of parenting, one key principle to keep in mind is this: Focus on internals, not externals.
When you think of heaven what comes to mind? Streets of gold? Angels singing? Maybe talking with a loved one who has passed away? The imagery of heaven has captured our imagination for centuries. Numerous stories, books, and even movies have filled our minds with ideas. We wonder what it will be like. Is it possible to get a glimpse of heaven here on earth?
Raising Kids of Character
God has given us the responsibility to train our kids. We want to help them develop good character qualities in their lives, yet we often feel unprepared to do so. At this parenting seminar, we will discuss foundational truths and practical principles that will guide you as you train your child.
Drop your kids off at Redeemer Presbyterian Church for their fun-filled Kids Night Out, then come to the parenting seminar from 6:00 to 7:00 pm. After the seminar, there’s still time for a date night before picking up your children at 9:00 pm. For more details, and to register, click on the event link below.
When my husband and I were in college, a professor in our Educational Psychology class taught us six words that we’ve never forgotten. We attended Biola University, a Christian school, and I still remember the professor telling our class that he would be teaching us six words — three two-word phrases — that sum up what the Bible teaches about people. Since then, Dave and I have remembered these six words and incorporated them into our teaching, our parenting, and our view of life. The six words are: Very Special, Deeply Fallen and Greatly Loved.
In The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood, Robin advises a young follower, “Tell us thy troubles and speak freely. A flow of words doth ever ease the heart of sorrows; it is like opening the waste where the mill dam is overfull.”
Robin Hood was trying to set an environment where people were free to share their burdens and find peace and safety. Isn’t that something we all want? Being able to share our sorrows not only releases our burdens, it empowers us to feel like we aren’t alone. We have someone who will enter our pain.
We’ve all had those times when life feels out of control. Intense demands at work, chaos at home, and next thing you know you’re completely overwhelmed.
Letting go of the things we can’t change requires a shift in perspective. We have to see relationships in a new light. Boundaries that were invisible to us before start to become clear. We begin to realize we’ve been trying to control things that really are not our responsibility.
In this process of learning to let go, these wise words have helped me to clarify what it’s like to let go.
Letting go. Having “the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,” in the words of the Serenity Prayer.
We want that serenity; we want to let go. We’re tired of constantly trying to control things that we can’t change. We’re tired of worrying, criticizing and obsessing.
But how can we learn to let go? What are actions that we can take that can help us grow in our ability to accept the things that we can’t change?
I’ve been thinking a lot about the first part of The Serenity Prayer these days. You know, the part that goes, “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.”
It often seems like I live my life by another prayer, one that goes something like, “God, please bless my attempts to control the things I cannot change.”