That’s what I would call the labels that are being assigned to parents. It started with “Tiger Moms”, moved into a more general “Helicopter Parents”, and then morphed into a very specific “Snowplow parents with Snowflake children”. This summer I read about the next level label described as “Lawnmower parents”
Why all these labels? Parents have changed the phrase “helping my child” into “ doing it for my child” as they wrongly assumed that by doing so much for their child that this was the best for them. It was supposed to show their child ( and all their peers) how much they cared about their child’s safety and well being. Each new label has taken a potshot at what parents are doing and how it is actually creating an undesirable set of values and attitudes in the next generation. The fact that it has reached the media and even been written about in numerous books and articles indicates that it has grown into a cultural aberration of past values and expectations of our youth. It’s not that some of these undesirable behaviours have never been present in past generations.It’s the magnitude of the mindset that is troubling our current social community. If you want a humorous break take a moment to watch this video on “millenials”
After over thirty years of home daycare, my wife has firmly asserted that “ Children become what you allow them to be” So in that vein of thought do I transpose the fact that this growing group of young individuals who are apathetic, disinterested, self-centred, unappreciative and over expectant are a product of radically poor parenting?
Maybe this accusation is a bit severe but it puts the owness back on the parents.
While reading an article by the Love and Logic Institute, It brought to mind a new label, “Thieves”. In the article it was talking about how parents are creating financial issues with children and how they should be trained in understanding the value of money. It was about stealing the joy of earning their own way through life. That term “stealing” stuck in my mind. I want to push it into a larger arena. What opportunities have parents stolen from their children by trying to remove all hardships, growth pains, maturing experiences and the proper understanding that you don’t always get what you want?
If parents truly want to show their children that they love them, what should they be doing for them?
- First is that they should start with the attitude that the perfect parent has… our heavenly Father! He loves his children,(Jn. 3:16) forgives them,(1Jn.1:9) disciplines them (Heb 12:6) and requires their obedience (Jn 14:15). (Two great family books to read are listed at the bottom of this blog.)
- Secondly, I believe parents must be giving their children “a multitude of activities and opportunities to experience all that life has to throw at them, in its best and worst moments, that won’t cause permanent damage or injury”. Allowing them to scrape their knees, work through hurt feelings, understand frustration and loss and how to stand up for themselves are all important lessons to be learned not always avoided. The story is told of a parent calling their daughter’s college professor to ask for an extension for a deadline. The professor asked why the girl hadn’t called herself? The mom replied that her daughter didn’t feel comfortable with confrontation!
Give children back their right to fight through life. Every conflict and every problem is an opportunity for you to teach your child. Through their endurance, they will reap the benefit of a life that can persevere.
I pray that no parent will be labelled a “Thief”.
The Fulfilled Family by John MacArthur
Parenting - 14 Gospel Principles by Paul David Tripp
At the end of each school year, we as a staff spend time evaluating this past year and also preparing for next year. As a part of that process I find various resources for the teachers to read through the summer to generate discussion and lead to additional learning or development as a staff and then we discuss it at our staff meeting in August before we start or throughout the school year. Some are devotional while others relate to the teaching profession. A good practice as the staff stays current in their Christian teaching and professional skills.
Through the year I have pulled together various resources for you as parents that I felt would be helpful and insightful for you in a desire to encourage growth and development. Many of you have communicated how timely you felt many of the articles have been, challenging even in some cases. As we partner to help develop the whole-child with you, I am encouraged that many find these articles and perspectives helpful.
So with that in mind, I have accumulated four articles regarding school, parenting, and understanding gender. All areas that very important given the context we find ourselves in.
As you read these articles it is my desire that they will challenge you to look at what you are doing as a parent. It’s nice to check off those things that you are doing right. It smacks our pride when we are either wrong or not doing what we should. At these times we avoid the readings and sink our heads back into the sand.
We need to be motivated to stand up and do what is right. I believe these articles will stir, move and motivate you into being well informed and action oriented parents. Like these articles or not they will make you think.
Have a great summer and remember that knowledge is useless unless it leads to action.
When the New England Patriots (or your favourite team ) run onto the football field they have a purpose in mind.
They are prepared.
They have a game plan on how to win.
Almost every activity we are part of needs proper preparation and execution of a plan. Without a plan you cannot win. Benjamin Franklin spoke about it this way; “by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”
Parenting needs much more preparation time than any sport or activity. The fact that you are dealing with an immortal soul should drive parents to prepare for this role above and beyond anything else that they hold precious. Parenting is preparing a baby to grow up in the admonition and love for the Lord so they can become responsible adults in the community and viable citizens of heaven.
Plans should not be formulated on the fly. If you have children you should have a plan in place for as many options as a child has in their repertoire of complaining, whining, lying, sibling rivalry and any other conflict that their young lives may throw at you. Your playbook should be written down, in agreement with your spouse, and prayerfully carried through. Parenting is not “in the moment” since it needs to be less emotional and extremely intentional. Planning takes the emotion out of the equation and allows you to be in control no matter how out of control the situation might seem.
You are out shopping and your child is making a scene… what’s your plan?
You are eating dinner and your child is fooling around… what’s your plan?
You are in church and your child is running around and will not stop… what’s your plan?
Your child bites another child… what’s your plan?
Your child won’t clean up after themselves… what’s your plan?
Your child refuses to listen… what’s your plan?
I think you get it. Every day you need to be adding to your playbook because the seasons of life are also changing. It has been said ”if the plan doesn’t work, change the plan but never the goal.” Be glad when your child challenges you. This is a moment you can exercise your game plan to win their hearts and form their future.
Click here for more insight and great material for parenting visit this link for interesting articles, insight and book reviews.
I saw these words on the bumper of a van: “Mom’s Taxi”. As a parent, I understand the attempt at humour. As an educator, I am trying not to scream out at all levels why this is so wrong. To debase the parental role to mere transportation at the whim or desire of the child is appalling. Ok, before you think I can’t take a joke, please bear with me. Let’s split this phrase two ways. If it is sarcastic humour, then I am all in. If this is a complaining type of humour, then you, my dear driver, are in a heap of self-made pain. Is this what you signed up for when you had children?
Parenting is a focused, intentional activity at producing well-developed future adults. You have them for a few years, and out they go to create their own living environs. The time spent with you is all about training. How many hours are you spending on reading, listening, and learning about how to best parent in a Christ-like manner?
Training to Understand Their Place Under God
There is no higher activity than spending quality time leading a child through the scriptures, and allowing them to understand their need for a Saviour and how that will change their life focus. It’s not all about them! God’s command to children is to obey their parents. (Eph. 6:1-3)
Training to Understand Their Place in the Family
You are the adult, and by this title, you are responsible for the direction and care of the family unit. Children become what you allow them to be. Think about that comment long and hard. They are not the centre of this group, but the participants.
Training to Understand Their Place in Society
Life is moving so quickly that children are facing culture shock in their own culture. Well-defined home time, that develops community integration skills, is paramount to creating a functional human who needs to join the ever-changing world.
Extracurricular activities that require a mode of transport is often required. However, if you are spending more time as a taxi driver than a loving caring, directing parent, then you have a huge problem. Now is the time to deal with it before it’s too late and they buy their own vehicle, for then you have lost those precious training years forever.
Do want to know another one of my irritating bumper stickers? Maybe another time!