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Parent and Small Group Leader: A Child Needs Both

  • This Article was copied from justaphase.com

Last Friday you put on some tunes and busted a move in front of your totally-mortified middle school sons. Then tonight they came home from the dance doing the sprinkler, just like you taught ’em—only they gave credit to Jeff, their small group leader. What gives?

And it’s not just your own kids, either. One of the toddlers you teach at church lost it over a missing toy on Sunday. You tried to talk her through it with no luck. In the end all she needed was a big hug from mom and the tears dried right up.

You might be wondering if you’re doing it all wrong. You’re not. 

You’re simply living the reality that kids benefit from having solid relationships with adults both inside and outside of the home. That’s because some things are better received from parents. Other stuff lands easier on the ears when it’s coming from anyone but mom and dad.

And hey, that’s just a part of what makes this dynamic duo—parents and small group leaders—so powerful. Your influence in each role matters. 

Parents lead the way. 

Besides the whole “put a roof over their head and food in their mouth” thing what, exactly, do parents offer kids that they can’t get anywhere else? Historical knowledge. No one knows a kid like mom and dad do.

Related Reading: 5 Ways to Reactivate Parents Every Year

Seriously. You can conduct all the studies and read all the research and every individual kid will still be exactly that: an individual. Every kid is nuanced, unique, special. And only the folks who are there in the wee hours of the morning and cuddled up before bedtime at night—only those people know what a kid is truly like and what they really need.

And we don’t even have to mention—but we will—that no one, and we mean no one, loves a child like a parent loves a child. It’s a magical thing.

Then why do kids need more than just their parents? Well, parents start out with this thing called low relational influence. Newborns don’t need to connect with parents as much as they need to be cared for by parents. Feed me, hold me, help me fall asleep.

But the jump from baby to toddler to graduation happens fast. Crazy fast. Which means parents aren’t really raising kids. They’re raising adults.

Managing the transition is tricky. As a parent you’re trying to slowly increase your relational influence and decrease your “because I said so” influence. It can be pretty tough to get right.

This is where the church comes in.

Churches work with kids of all ages every week. That means they have a good idea of what life will look like when a teen goes from ninth to tenth grade and a toddler becomes a preschooler because they see the shift happen year after year. With this knowledge, churches can help parents prepare for what’s ahead.

This is why Small Group Leaders are so important. Just like a parent is an expert on one kid, Small Group Leaders are experts on a group of kids in one phase of life.

As an expert, small group leaders learn everything they can about the phase of their kids. Then, and this is key, they show up. Week after week, month after month. Small Group Leaders offer a consistent, non-parental adult presence.

Related Reading: Can You Influence Someone You Don’t Know?

Studies show that kids who have regular, positive adult influence outside the home are more likely to win in life. And every kid, no matter their age, needs a leader who shows up.

Preschoolers need a consistent adult because they can be terrified of an unfamiliar face.

Elementary kids need a consistent adult because they will tell anything to a stranger.

Middle schoolers need a consistent adult because nothing else in their life is consistent.

High schoolers need a consistent adult because they only trust people who show up.

Related Reading: The One Thing Every Kid Needs the Most

And really, that’s what we’re talking about here. Adults who show up. In the home and out of the home. Because every kid needs someone who knows their history. And every kid needs someone who can rediscover them now.

Technology and Your Kids

Trying to figure out how to parent your kids in an age of technology and social meda? We are too! The PC3 Parent Network invites you to a seminar where we’ll talk about how we as parents can help our kids navigate the world in which they live in a healthy way.

We’ll be offering this seminar on two different nights so just pick one. Join us on either Sunday, November 13th or Wednesday, November 30th from 6:45 – 8:15 at PC3. We’d love for you to join the conversation as we seek to help each other lead our kids in their walk with God.

Check out the video for a quick encouragement from Brett Eddy and Rich Biagini.

 

 

How to Talk to Your Son About Pornography

How to Talk to Your Son About Pornography

This article was copied from www.allprodad.com

How to Talk to Your Son about Pornography

Pornography is a powerful threat to our sons. It skews their view of sex, love, women, and relationships. Obviously when we were younger access to graphic sexual images were not as easy to come by as they are today. A magazine belonging to friend’s dad or a movie on late-night cable TV was our most common exposure. Even in those seemingly more innocent days, there were things I saw at a friend’s house at an early age that were confusing. Quite frankly, they were damaging. It felt wrong but,  fearing I’d get in trouble, I never told my dad what I had seen. I wish I had. With a palpable feeling of guilt, I was left on my own to try and figure it out. My dad didn’t have porn in our house; so naturally, he assumed I hadn’t been exposed to it. Things are so different now. Having the Internet on so many devices inside and outside the house means the barbarians are perpetually at the gate.

We can be more vigilant and protective about what they see. However, we can sadly assume that our sons will be exposed to it at some point. Maybe the silver lining in that assumption is that they will not be left alone in processing it. The best way to fight it is to prepare them for pornography — expose the ugly reality of it and it’s many dangers. It may be difficult, but here are 3 points on how to talk to your son about pornography.

A momentary thrill leading to dissatisfaction, emptiness, and addiction.

An explicit image is stimulating and causes a scientifically proven chemical release in the brain. That is why we are drawn to it like the ring in Lord of the Rings. However when the viewing is over, we are left empty, unsatisfied, and full of guilt. Our conscience is telling us that something wrong has taken place. Sex is not wrong. Sex outside of the right context is wrong or, at the very least, not what it was made to be. The quickest way to deal with those feelings is to try and get another thrill but, when we return to porn, it gives a diminishing return of enjoyment. In the end, we need more to experience less, resulting in addiction and chains. In other words, it is a road to an addictive prison cell. Don’t be enticed down this road; choose the path that is life-giving.

Living in isolated fantasy versus connected reality.

A full life is found in relationships and shared experiences. Those things are built in reality, not fantasy. Porn is about entering a fantasy world. The more time we spend in that world, the more we become isolated. In essence, our soul becomes intertwined with something that isn’t real. There’s no connection, just loneliness exacerbated by guilt. When we fill our lives with nothing, we are left with nothing. Porn doesn’t provide anything, it takes everything. [Tweet This] Strong men of character are ones that are firmly founded in reality and relationships. Live in the real world.

An example of diminished one dimensional sex.

One of the biggest and most dangerous of all lies is that porn stars know how to have the best sex. Great sex is experienced when two people know one another in emotional and physical intimacy. True intimacy and knowledge of one another comes in commitment. When women know we are committed, we create an environment where they feel safe to share their whole self with us. It’s a multidimensional connection, like a high wattage of electricity. Porn turns sex into mere physical acts. It is one dimensional sex and will always fall short of what it could be. In fact, it even falls short physically. We are all uniquely made. Personalities and bodies respond differently. Sex for a committed couple that continues to grow closer in love and knowledge of one another will continually get more passionate. It’s like becoming an expert at playing an instrument. A guitar is held and played much differently than a violin. The best sex is between a committed couple who have learned well how each other desires to be loved. Glorified actors who are actually deeply degraded and hurting people will never be able to come close to sex that good.

3 Ways to Help High Schoolers Relate to God

Three Ways to Help High Schoolers Relate to God

" title="7 Notes You Should Write to Your Children">Seven Notes

This article was copied from www.allprodad.com

7 Notes You Should Write to Your Children

Detroit Lions head coach Jim Caldwell has shared with me about how he wrote many letters to his daughter in college, but she never said anything to him about it when they spoke on the phone or when they saw each other. He wondered if she ever even read them. One day when Jim was visiting her in her dorm room, he saw all of the letters he had written to her opened and proudly posted on her bulletin board!

Your children may not express their enthusiasm about your notes or even acknowledge getting them, but know that writing notes to them will impact their lives and always be remembered. Over the years, I’ve made it a practice to write notes to each of my children. I’d like to share the kinds of notes I’ve written and then show you how you can write those notes to your children as well. If you don’t feel like you’re the writing type or don’t know what to say, I’m going to try to give you some ideas and specific things you can say in your notes. Some of these notes you’ll write one time; others will be notes you’ll want to write on an ongoing basis when you can.

Here are the 7 notes you should write to your children:

1. Love note.

This is a note where you express your unconditional love to your children for who they are and validate their wonderful gifts. You can read what I wrote to my children in my How to Win Your Child’s Heart blog post.

2. Lunch box note.

Another way to uplift our children is to slip them a note in their lunchbox. My wife, Susan, and I found that just simply letting them know we’re thinking of them will encourage them through the day. Not sure of what to write? How about, “I love you,” “I’m proud of you,” “Have a great day,” or “Hope your test goes well.” You can even surprise them with a “Let’s go for ice cream after school” note. I’ve got some free, downloadable lunchbox notes for kids and teens you can use to get started.

3. Post-It note.

You can write little notes to your kids on yellow sticky notes and put them on their mirror, dresser, notebook or anywhere you want. Like lunchbox notes, these post-its are just quick words of encouragement to your kids. You might just say something like, “Way to go. An A in math! Awesome!” or “That was so nice that you encouraged your brother when he was down.” You can check out my How to Love your Family with Sticky Notes blog to see how we do it in our home.

4. Pillow Talk note.

As our children were growing up, Susan began to feel as if all communication with them was becoming instructional or disciplinary. So one time, she grabbed a spiral notebook, wrote a note to one of our daughters praising her for a nice thing she did for her sister and put it on her pillow. To my wife’s surprise, my daughter wrote back and placed the journal on her pillow. As a result, Susan developed the Pillow Talk journal so parents, like you, can write short notes of encouragement to their kids when they desire.

5. Forgiveness note.

Every parent makes mistakes in child-rearing. And every parent should ask their child to forgive them for those mistakes.  Sometimes a verbal, “I was wrong, would you please forgive me?” is appropriate. Other times, a written letter to your child is the way to go. Write to Right a Wrong.

6. Blessing note.

There is something inside every child that makes that child crave a good word from his or her parents. [Tweet This] When we bless our child, we are placing our “seal of approval” upon them and giving them power to prosper in many areas of life, including marriage, children, finances, health, and career. In addition to writing a note of blessing, you can also have a blessing ceremony.

7. College and career note.

Another thing I’ve done for my children is to memorialize, in writing, the most important things I tried to instill in them as they were growing up. Three of our five children are now in college or working.  Before they left our nest, there were four things that Susan and I taught them and always want them to remember. Here are the four things I penned to each of them.

Nine Things Parents Should Never Say

Nine Things Parents Should Never Say to Their Kids

Nine Things Parents Should Never Say to Their Kids

Phase Map Thumbnail

Phase Maps – “It’s Just a Phase”

At our last Parent Network event Kristen Ivey shared with us a few “Phase Maps” that will help us as parents navigate our kids through a few key areas of life.  Click below to download the maps for Authentic Faith, Sexual Integrity and Technological Responsibility.

Authentic Faith Phase Map

Sexual Integrity Phase Map

Technological Responsibility Phase Map