MAKE IT PERSONAL
Posted by Parent Cue
A crucial link exists between your ability to parent and your personal growth.
This parenting value—making it personal—is going to challenge you as a parent in a way the other values don’t. This one will benefit your kids, for sure. But it’s not directly about them, it’s about you. In a very real way, making it personal will help every other step you take as a parent.
When it comes to character and faith, your kids are watching you in a way they might not watch you in other pursuits. Because it’s so personal, you can’t do faith and character for your kids. There’s another factor at work. If it’s not in you, they know it. When it comes to spiritual and character formation, your journey impacts them deeply. If you want it to be in them, it needs to be in you.
As you read this, your anxiety level is probably rising. You feel like you can’t possibly measure up. If you were to level with your kids about your fears, your inconsistencies, or even how shaky your faith is on some days, you’d feel like you were admitting defeat.
But that’s a perfect picture mindset. God is interested in writing a bigger story, and your personal growth is part of the plotline. In fact, your developing story may be more influential than you think. That’s why parents need to let their kids see them struggle to grow. They need to see your authenticity and hear your transparency. Most of all, they need to observe up close that your spiritual, moral, and relational growth is a priority in your life. This is not about a perfect model, just an honest one. Whatever you want your children to become, you should honestly strive to become as well.
Your kids already have a front-row seat to your life. The question is, what are they watching? Is it just show? Or is it a real-life adventure where they see courage and passion to overcome personal obstacles? What if your personal growth was a front-row seat to the bigger story God wants to write in your family?
If you want your children to have it in them, they have to see it in you.
Your kids need to see you . . .
Your children need to see you make relational, emotional, and spiritual growth in your life a priority. If you don’t make it personal for yourself, it may never be personal for them.
Is it possible that you’re the kind of parent who feels guilty if you take a break? Maybe you run a long time because you have more capacity than most. It is possible to be close to empty and not know it. The question is, what kind of consistent deposits are you making in your personal life, for the sake of your family life?
Excerpt from Parenting Beyond Your Capacity by Reggie Joiner and Carey Nieuwhof
Posted by Reggie Joiner
Every year, two professors from a small college in Wisconsin publish a “Mindset” list to remind us that every freshman has a completely different knowledge base than previous generations. Maybe you’ve seen the list. For example, this year, the class of 2017 has. . .
never had the chicken pox,
only known two presidents,
never needed directions, just an address,
always known there are “five hundred, twenty five thousand, six hundred minutes” in a year.
The Mindset List reminds us that knowledge is always changing. When we narrowly define knowledge as the dictionary does, we forget that facts and information can only take us so far. What really matters—what really tests our knowledge—is what we do with what we know.
As a parent, we navigate that journey as we build into our kids an understanding of the world around us. One of the ways we can do that best is to think about the destination before we get too far along on the journey.
Roll the years forward. Imagine the end of your child or teen’s formative years. What does it look like after he or she has become an adult? What are the most important things that we want our son or daughter to walk away with and KNOW once they leave our home and head for college and beyond?
With that end in mind, we define knowledge a little differently, in a more active sense. For us, knowledge is “discovering something new so you can be better at what you do.”
Kids are naturally curious. They are wired at birth to question, explore, and discover what they don’t know. If we are not careful about how we handle learning, kids can grow up and grow out of being interested in discovering new things. The future of your children is not only linked to what they know, but to their desire to keep learning.
Whether we realize it or not, adults have the ability to turn the discovery dial up or down in a kid’s life.
If you want to turn it up, you need to become intentional about looking for ways to intrigue them with new ideas and insights about life.
Keep the story in history.
Keep the mystery in science.
Keep the application in math.
And when it comes to spiritual issues, be careful you don’t define God in such narrow terms that He’s no longer as huge and miraculous as He really is.
What are some ways we can help our kids value and get excited about learning?
About the Author:
Reggie is founder and CEO of Orange (The reThink Group). He has co-written two parenting books, "Playing for Keeps" and "Parenting Beyond Your Capacity" as well as other leadership books including "Lead Small" and "Think Orange". Reggie lives in Georgia with his wife, Debbie, and has four grown children, Reggie Paul, Hannah, Sarah, and Rebekah.