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Posted by on Mar 1, 2013 in Generational | 2 comments

Remember when your parents knew everything?

Remember when your parents knew everything?

iStock_000008985845XSmallIt’s like we go through cycles in how we see our parents.  For so long – as young children – we think they know EVERYTHING. Then one day they neither understand or know ANYTHING.  Then, years later, it turns out they DID know everything!

4 Insights from the Voice of Experience: (CLICK TO TWEET)

1.)   Successes:  Chances are your parents have done something right along the way.  They made a good choice that paid off.  They avoided some disaster that others fell into.  Maybe they discovered a perspective on life that has kept them happy or made them prosperous.  Honor will help you learn from their success.

2.)   Failures:  Even if your parents have never made a good choice, they still have a world of experience to offer you.  Trust me, they know where they’ve screwed up.  And I bet they don’t want you to take the same path!  Honor will help pull out of them the lessons they’ve learned from their failures.

3.)   Knowledge:  Wouldn’t it be a shame if every generation had to learn everything for itself?  We would have to discover every invention and insight into our world all over again every generation.  While that may seem ridiculous, it’s often the approach we take toward our parents.  Honor, however, will help us build on the foundation of knowledge they’ve already established.

4.)   YOU:  That’s right!  Nobody has had more experience with you than your parents.  Sometimes you need to step outside of yourself to understand why you are the way you are.  Parents see things about you that you don’t comprehend on you own.  Honor will open up this well of experience and help you understand the greatest mystery of all…yourself!

What treasures of knowledge and wisdom have you found in your relationship with your parents?

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Posted by on Aug 6, 2012 in Generational | 0 comments

What to do after your kids leave the house – 5 Ideas to Help

What to do after your kids leave the house – 5 Ideas to Help

 

I remember the first week on my own.  It was the summer before my sophomore year at The George Washington University.  Freshman year was sheltered.  We were forced to stay on campus.  We had roommates, rules, RAs; this summer was different.  I was living by myself.  My parents helped me move in to my small efficiency, stayed for a couple of days, and then they were gone.  I haven’t lived at my parents’ home since that day.

I’m no expert on parenting young adults.  My kids are just out of diapers!  My expertise is in being a young adult.  I know what I need from my parents and I’ve taken time to separate what I think I need from what I actually need.  That summer before my sophomore year was one of the scariest experiences of my life.  But my parents were able to help me use the experience to grow and develop into an adult.

Here are 5 ideas for helping your child develop after they leave the house:

1.) Support their Interests: Your child is different from you.  Affirm the parts of them that you don’t understand.  They shouldn’t feel they have to be exactly like you to have your approval.

2.) Tell Them What You Tell Your Friends: When I go home, I sometimes run into my parents’ friends at various places about town.  I hear from them about all the AMAZING things I’m doing with my life.   They have heard about things from my parents that I didn’t even know my parents knew about…some of them I didn’t even know about!

3.) Say ‘I Love You’: This was not spoken in my family growing up as much as it was implied.  We’ve grown past that now and we let each other know how we feel.  Life is too short to go one day questioning.  Be clear.  Say “I Love You!”

4.) Let Yourself Be Impressed: It seems during adolescence that parents feel the need to flip a switch from constant affirmation to “ego-checking”.  Don’t be your child’s worst critic.  Be impressed when they’re impressive and let someone else pick it apart.

5.) Pray: Even if you don’t have physical access to your child, you have spiritual access.  I believe parents have special prayer rights over their children.  God hears your prayers and will work to bring your blessing to your child.

Parents – How have you helped your child develop after they left the house?

Young Adults – What’s been helpful/unhelpful that your parents have done?

 

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Posted by on Jul 16, 2012 in Generational | 9 comments

I’m an adult now. Why should I listen to my parents?

Good question.  Most of us were anxiously waiting to get out from under our parents’ roof.  We wanted to be free from their rules.  Why go backwards and reach out to them for advice?

I’ve got a personal problem.  Basically, I think I know best about pretty much everything.  I have a natural tendency to believe that the best answers are inside of me.  I tend to value my own thoughts above anything else.  But, that’s just stupid!

Think about it this way.  What if every generation learned every lesson for themselves?  What if we never passed along successes or failures from one generation to the other?  Society would never advance.  It would reset itself every 70 years or so.  It’s the same for you and your family line.  Your parents, no matter how successful, are a deep reservoir of experience and wisdom.  You may not believe it, but they have a lot to offer.

Tell me about your posture toward older generations.  Do you naturally value their input?  Or, are you like me and more naturally inclined to listen only to yourself?

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Posted by on Jul 11, 2012 in Generational | 1 comment

Parents: Why Your Words Matter

Parents: Why Your Words Matter

Some children grow up to become great success stories, beaming with confidence.  They make great choices because they believe that they’re worth it.

I look back at decision points in my own life.  At key times, when the peer pressure was on, I chose not to do some stupid things.  Why?  Reflecting honestly, it was because I thought I was better than all that.

Over time I’ve realized that my parents shaped me with their words to believe that I was special.  Those words carried me through awkward adolescent seasons and guided me toward good choices.  Even as an adult, the affirming voice of my parents calls me to step up and be all God has made me to be.

On July 6th, I ran across a Facebook post from a pastor-friend, Alvin and Christine Chun.  The post was about their son’s birthday.  They said how proud they were of him, how special he was and what a great man of God he was becoming.  I’m telling you, things like this make a big difference!

Five ideas to release that blessing over your child: 

1.)   Prophesy: Sounds spiritual right?  What I mean is: know what God says about your child and speak it out.  Be God’s affirming voice to your child.

2.)   Show up: I love it when my parents stay an extra day in town so they can be in church when I preach.  Just showing up for the things that are important for your child communicates so much.

3.)   Be Generous: The blessing is all about empowering your child to prosper.  Financial gifts are a clear signal that you are with them and supportive.

4.)   Entrust: Find an area of responsibility that you can completely release to them.  It sends a strong message.  “I trust you.  You have great ideas.  Go for it!”

 5.)   Write Notes: Old-fashioned, but powerful.  We get hand-written notes from some of our parents and grandparents.  They mean a lot to us.

How do you use your words to shape your child?  How do you release that blessing?

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Posted by on Jul 6, 2012 in Generational | 0 comments

Have you ever hit your child?

I don’t mean an old-fashioned spanking.  I mean when you were angry or frustrated.  You let your emotions get the best of you and you did something you regretted.  Maybe it wasn’t a physical hit.  Maybe it was an emotional wound.  You yelled.  It frightened them.  You blew it.  They looked at you with confusion.  They didn’t know how to process what just happened.  You regained your composure and moved on.  They likely didn’t.

If you’ve experienced this, we need to talk.  And when I saw “we”, I don’t mean you and me…I mean us and our children.  The tendency when we screw things up is to try to leave the moment in the past as soon as possible.  That may feel best for our own conscience, but I don’t believe it’s the best for our child. In fact, I think children grow up allowing those moments of confusion to shape their world-view.  They quietly question whether they are really loved, and if God is always on their side.  They wait in fear for unexpected retaliation from others.

Hitting…yelling…emotional outbursts of anger…everyone knows these things are wrong.   This post is not to justify these kind of actions.  However, just because something is wrong doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be talked about. I’m no expert, but I believe much of the long-term impact of these events on your child can be curved by taking the time to talk it through.

As parents, we have a responsibility to continually release a blessing on our children.  That means keeping them constantly aware of the God-given potential inside them.  Set the record straight.  Let them know they’re loved and special to you and to God.  Even if it happened 20 years ago, clear up the confusion and tell them you blew it.  Apologize and make sure they know it had nothing to do with them or your love for them.

BTW – If you’re seeing a pattern of physical or emotional abuse in your home, please go get help.  Talk to your Pastor or a counselor.  Get the help you need to be the best parent you can!

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