Archives For milestones

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

My wife, daughter, and I were enjoying lunch today, and then a father-daughter duo came in and sat at the booth next to us. For those who know my nosey tendencies, it comes as no surprise that I was listening in on their conversation.  But I was really blessed as I listened to the father talk to his preteen daughter.

The father talked with the daughter about what she would like to order, and then allowed her to pick the appetizer that they would share.  As they waited for their food, he launched into a conversation about how proud he was of her and how he couldn’t wait to show her mother all the school supplies they picked out.  He pointed to my 11 month old daughter and told his daughter that he remembered when she was that small.  They talked about how much she had changed.  They laughed and talked the whole time.  At one point, I looked over and the father had reached across the table and was holding the hand of his daughter.  She wasn’t pulling away or embarassed, which told me that this was not the first time they had shared a moment like this.  I was impressed and inspired by how this dad had captured the heart of his preteen daughter.

The event just reminded me of the importance for fathers of preteen girls to date their daughters.  By dating your daughter, it builds confidence in who they are maturing to be.  It also helps to set a standard for how they should expect to be treated by men. But most importanly, it opens a line of communication that will allow you to speak into their lives for years to come. 

Dads, if you’re not already doing so, DATE YOUR DAUGHTER!

Take them for breakfast before school
Pick them up from school unexpectedly and go for ice cream
Schedule a Friday night and dress up for dinner and a movie
Keep a regular time each week that is just time for her
Buy her flowers for the date
Always keep the conversation centered on her and your approval of who she is

Father_and_daughter

 

My wife, Dana, and I have been having some conversations about how we plan to raise our 9-month-old daughter.  It’s not so much about the “everyday” things (although we have had those conversations as well), but it’s more about the transitions of life that are worth a pause and celebration.  We call these milestones.

We haven’t mapped out her entire life’s worth of milestones.  I mean she is only 9-months-old!  But we have been discussing the first of those milestones: baby dedication. We have absolutely nothing against the way our church or any church does baby dedication. As long as it doesn’t violate Scripture in some way, then I think baby dedication is a great event in whatever format the church decides.  It was just a choice for us that we do something different and unique to our family.  We wanted the event to be a charge to our family, our friends, and ourselves.  We want to be held accountable for the physical and spiritual upbringing of our daughter.  We want those that we feel will have an influence on her spiritually or physical development to be a part of this milestone and future milestones.

We haven’t nailed down all the details yet, but here is the framework so far:

Create a Network
We want to invite family and friends, and recognize their role as an influence on the spiritual development of our daughter.  We want to invite them to take hold of that influence in her life.  We also want this group to hold us accountable to our role as the primary spiritual influence.  The have the right to speak into our daughter’s life, as well the life of Dana and me.

Establish Values for Our Family
We want to structure our family around what is most important and model that for our daughter.  We are placing a high importance on worshiping as a family, praying as a family, and studying Scripture as a family.  Other things that we want our daughter to value are service and giving.  We want to establish certain times of year that we model service for her, even at this young age.  We understand that our service is never limited to those times, but we do want to be intentional about modeling that part of our Christian duty.

Protect our Marriage
I know that the best thing I can do for my daughter and show her that I love her mother.  I want to protect my marriage from the dangers of neglect that often accompany the addition of children.  Again, we understand the need for accountability.  We are committing to spend time, energy, and money on the enrichment of our marriage, and we want others to hold us accountable for that. 

I can’t wait to get together for this milestone.  We’re planning on it being a casual dinner where we will explain our intentions and values for parenting.  Following dinner, we’ll have a time of prayer to thank God for our daughter and to ask for His guidance in he upbringing.  We will also ask others to pray for their role as spiritual influence and an accountability partner.

This event has just been on my heart the last few days, so I wanted to throw the idea out and see if there was any helpful information you could give.  I would love to hear if you have done a similar event at your church or for your own child.  I will definitely post pictures and stories following the event.