Dear Friends and Family,
I wanted to begin our annual Christmas letter with an apology. I am sorry.
For the past 20+ years I have devoted my entire professional career to loving teenagers and walking through the chaos of adolescents in a kind and loving way with kids and a wise, non-anxious presence for parents. Those were good years.
In the space of one year I hung up my youth ministry hat and became a parent of two middle schoolers. And sitting on this side of the fence, my only reflections from this last year are a simple recognition that caring for middle and high schoolers is quite a different thing from parenting them.
What’s funny, is that I have been gearing up for all the chaos, the temper tantrums, slamming doors, strange fashion, abandonment of faith, trying out dirty and dangerous things. We are touching some of that and I am sure there will be more in the future. But these sorts of issues are the challenges of our kids developing their own sense of self and becoming their own version of themselves. I have walked with countless parents through these brutal experiences, but now it is my turn and I am not that thrilled with how the tables have turned.
But, if I’m honest, what I have found to be more difficult and character building is not the brutal challenges of individuation, but the three precursors to this process:Read More