Last week, my college boy stopped by for a quick visit. He attends The University of Texas (Hook’em Horns!), which is about 15 miles down the road from home. In spite of the distance, home visits are a rare treat. I’ll see him tonight, but that’s because I’m making a pot roast, which would also qualify as a rare treat, since I don’t really cook. The boy is oh-so-busy living the college life, but fortunately, he is living a different brand of “the college life” than his mother chose at his same age. 🙂
Anyway, this video clip was inspired by a conversation Hayden and I had about some of the high school students he has the privilege of mentoring as a Young Life leader. He is not that far-removed from the struggles they are facing and made the comment, “I wish parents knew how hard it is to be in middle school or high school…” And his comment got me thinking. What if there was a way to let parents know and maybe give them a sneak peek into their tween/teen’s world?
As a brief background, Hayden had some difficult years during high school that often drove my husband and I to our knees in prayer. He’s our youngest child and what had worked (for the most part) with his older two siblings, did not necessarily work with Hayden. And that’s a good thing because in the trenches of parenting Hayden, God taught me and my husband some valuable lessons about parenting the heart rather than modifying the behavior. (A future book, perhaps?) Bottom line, we learned to rest in the assurance that God is always working behind the scenes to draw, shape, and mold our children’s hearts (as well as, our own) and to trust Him for the results, even when we may not see immediate fruit.
When we were raising our children, my husband and I had always hoped a day would come when the parent/child relationship would transition into a close and intimate friendship with our children. That day has come. They openly confide in us and talk about many of the pressures and challenges they faced in their not-so-long-ago teen years. I guess if I had to describe in a nutshell what “Off the Cuff” is about, I’d say it’s about bridging the gap between parents and their tweens/teens.
The truth is, it’s hard to be a tween/teen in today’s culture, but it’s also hard to parent a tween/teen in today’s culture.
We want to bring some of the challenges out into the open and start a conversation. I guess my ultimate prayer is that it would redirect both parties to the beauty of the gospel at every turn in the road — even when that road gets rocky (and you can bet it will!).
So, what’s troubling you right now in regard to parenting your tween or teen? Is there an issue that’s weighing heavy on your heart? Are you wondering what in the world is going on in your tween/teen’s head right now? Or how to approach the whole dating, video game, smart phone, snap chat, peer group, private vs. public school, you fill-in-the-blank issue?
Let’s quit trying to figure it out on our own and open it up for discussion — a heavy-on-grace, light-on-preaching kind of discussion.
Not necessarily for the purpose of solving each and every problem but rather, for the purpose of living out the gospel in our homes and pointing our children to a loving God.
If you’ve followed my blog for some time, you know my family is not perfect. We’ve experienced our fair share of detours and hurdles along the way and we’re willing to talk about some of those hurdles rather than pretend they don’t exist.
So, what do you say? Let’s get this conversation started!
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