For the past three weeks I have had the fun pleasure of meeting with a group of parents from my church at teach through a seminar titled, "Sex, Drugs, and Rock N Roll: Understanding Today's Teen Culture" And for as fun as it was, and for as horrifying as it was, at the end of the day it was really encouraging.
Being a parent in this time and place is so scary. To be honest, ever time and place brought with it its unique set of challenges, and that simply means that as parents we must be fully ready to handle our moment in time. This means taking a good hard look into the abyss, and coming up with some parenting strategies to help our kids avoid, navigate, and if need be, heal from the total chaos in which they live.
HERE IS A LINK TO MY NOTES FOR THE 3 WEEK CLASS: I am not totally sure how helpful you will find them. But if you took the class you will have the answer key, and if you are interested in teaching a seminar like this, then you can at least know my general thoughts. (PS: If you are planning on teaching something similar to this, I would love to compare notes and continue to grow in my understanding and pastoral care for this topic.)
IF I HAD TO SUM IT UP: If I had to sum up the class, I would do so in 5 main points:
- For as long as possible, parent your kids. Set up boundaries and rules, let them break them and push back against them, that struggle is normal and natural and will save them!
- It is natural for your kids to detach from you and to distance themselves from you.
- You can't alway protect, so at least help create the right boxes for experiences to go in and help them navigate their way through it.
- Parent in such a way that you will be able to have influence and friendship with them into their 20's.
- In all things we must point to Jesus who not only is the author and protector of our faith, but the redeemer and healer of our bodies and souls.
- (BONUS) There are some crazy statistics and stories and a little bit of fear is good for the soul!
There is nothing new under the sun. As you parent, or as you teach parents, let us live in a way where we are humble and teachable, willing to do the hard work, parent for the best of our kids, and in all things run to Jesus, the savior of our souls.
Parenting is a crushing endeavor. Parents, myself included, need to be seen, loved, and encouraged. These battles are tiring, and this culture is paralyzing.
May we as youth workers see our job as ones who hold up the arms or our parents, who will stand in the gap, and will herald the good news that Jesus came for the sick and broken, not for the perfect. This includes us and our kids when they get wrecked in this process!