Main Session #3 at the Preteen & Parent Retreat was led by Dr. Robert Lewis, author of Raising a Modern Day Knight and founder of Men’s Fraternity. I’m convinced that you could drop Dr. Lewis in any culture to talk about any topic, and he would inspire that audience and leave them wanting more. I know that our parents could have sat for hours discussing the topics that he brought up. Here are notes from his session:
Stay humble and know that to be a good parent you will always have to be in the posture of a learner.
Barna, “most parents assume they know what to do”
Here are some helpful things to remember in parenting:
1. 75% of all great parenting is a good marriage. (Build your marriage!!)
- 40% of kids don’t have dad at home
- Single parent homes, poorer health, poorer jobs, sexually active, drugs and alcohol more present
- Two parent homes with poor marriage will have same characteristics as single parent home.
- In the 50’s homes were not child-centered. Today we are child-focused not marriage or home focused
- Little parenting in the Bible, but a lot on marriage. (ex. Ephesians has 12 verses on marriage and 1 on parenting.)
- A good marriage leads to good kids
2. Always keep the long-term in view when parenting
- What is the long view? Where you as a parent’s primary focus is on character and Christ
- You cannot make their popularity your major view
- Contrast Tim Tebow vs Tiger Woods
- Write down what you want them to be (know Jesus, loving, giving, responsible, loyal friend, others focused, etc). Will they be a difference maker or a problem? Ask God to help you find ways to help instill these character traits.
3. Seek to balance discipline and instruction with love as a parent
- Four quadrant figure from Men’s Fraternity (permissive, neglectful, authoritative, authoritarian)
- Authoritative is high discipline and high love. This is the best parent
- Number 2 is the permissive which is high love and low discipline
- Number 3 is neglectful…low discipline and low love
- Number 4 is authoritarian…high discipline and low love
- Ephesians 6:4 Fathers do not provoke your children to anger
- “This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased!!!” 6 times in the Gospels
- Boys are looking for their Dad to say they are good enough
4. It is smart to sharpen and customize your parenting approach to each child by using objective testing tools
- You will need help knowing your child. You are not objective.
- The more we know about our child’s uniqueness the better we will parent them
- Today good testing mechanisms: personality, design, aptitude, and intelligence tests
- First test is personality test. Robert uses melancholy, sanguine, choleric, phlegmatic. by Florence Letour
- You don’t ever change your personality
- aptitude test is a must before college (Aims aptitude testing)
- Design test in High school
- Intelligence testing will be done in school
5. Real Christianity for a child is caught or lost at home
- Do not become dependent on the church for your child’s Christianity
- Paul said follow me as a follow Christ. Should be the model of your home!!
- Number one thing of families is to be open and honest in communication, especially about your Christianity
- Don’t pretend and live different from what you say. Kids will sniff that out and it will inoculate them against Christianity
- Be authentic!!!
6. Avoid the four horseman of “Too Much”
- Too much control. Micromanaging a child 12 to 18 will kill them. “I will trust you until you prove me wrong”
- Too much money and stuff spoils and pacifies
- Too much of high expectations discourages and wounds
- Too much taking care of. Too much care in sons will steal their masculinity. Moms have to unplug the mom cord when they turn 12 or 13.
7. Spend lots of personal time with your child one on one
- They will have unbelievable doubts from their friends, and quality time will help them.
- Date your daughter
8. Provide clear gender vision
- Focus on sexually, socially, and spiritually
- Bless them by answering what it means to be a man or what it means to be a woman.
- Need a Biblical Definition of manhood and womanhood