Being Intentional as Parents
By Mike & Julie Ashcraft
With Madison Ashcraft Goslee & Michaela Ashcraft
It’s not about being a perfect parent!
Encounter. Formation. Expression.
The culture of the home is an incubator of character. The culture is what actually happens in your home. Ask your kids what your home’s culture is. Ask, listen and then start talking. Kids are made to be great. They need to know that you care about them. What are we doing to foster this?
How did you see us integrate faith into our household?
Michaela- I saw what you did in our home to cultivate your faith, and I learned how to have a relationship with Jesus.
Madison – We behaved as normal teenagers, we weren’t “churchy”. You simply modeled love in your relationship with me, and told me God loves me even more than you do.
A Pressure Free Home – a place to grow and feel safe
Our home is not perfect, but we strive to make it a place of immense enjoyment, safety and connection. One key component to creating a thriving culture in your home is to reduce pressure on your kids.
Being a pastor’s kid, how have you dealt with pressure?
Madison – You created for us a pressure free home. We were told that whatever the world sees in us doesn’t matter, only what God sees in us.
Michaela – We didn’t have pressure to be anything that we weren’t created to be.
Being a Grace Filled Home
We resolve conflict by offering grace to each other. Talk through what happened and don’t wait to apologize. Julie reminds us that the last thing a child hears when they walk out the door, they will remember. So meet kids where they are AND in that moment. We even restart and reset our day if necessary. We have the security in our home to be mad and then retry again – the day is not ruined. Whatever is going on, just remember – it is just a season, it’s going to change
Words of wisdom from Julie
- Always iron your clothes
- Choose to wake up in a good mood
- Always celebrate, there’s always a reason for a party
- Love each other
Love Your Kids Uniquely
There is six years difference between our girls. They are unique and we have realized our parenting needs to be unique too.
Tell us about the driving contract.
Madison – When I turned 16 I had to sign a two page legal-like contract. I felt like they didn’t trust me. But we talked about how I felt, and then went over each item. I could express my feelings and they showed me why they care.
Michaela – I didn’t have a driving contract J But, we do talk about my driving privileges and I know that you always want me to be safe and what is best for me. And we can compromise and work it out.
Boys & Other Things
We tell them it isn’t a right to privacy, we will respect your privacy. We have rules and one of those rules is the girls cell phones are ours too. We check their phones often and anything on their phones we will look at. We also had the rule that they could not date until they were 16.
How did you feel about these rules?
Madison – I wasn’t happy about them, but I was okay with them. I didn’t feel like I had anything to hide because you were always available and willing to talk. I could come to you about anything because you had created a safe environment and we trusted you. If it was on my phone, you knew about it already. And as far as dating, you were always willing to sit down and talk about the rules and expectations so we came to a level of trust.
Michaela – We could always talk about the rules. I felt heard, and always listened to. We had conversations about dating and what dating would look like, so I had understood all our expectations.
Don’t Freak Out, Find Out
Awkward conversations… you have to have them! They are weird and imperative. Kids want a place to process, so give them that space. Another key component to creating a thriving culture in your home is to ask your kids questions and talk with them. We want to preserve their innocence. If we don’t do this, no one else will.
Know each other
You have to get to know your kids, and they have to get to know you. Make sure the expression on your face matches theirs. If they are excited about something, join with their excitement. If they are hurting, join with their hurting. Don’t confuse vision (the hope of what could be) with expectation (what is required). We tell them to do your best verses be the best. And make sure they are contributing to the family and they understand what their contribution means.
Everybody wants strategies to make kids behave the way we want them to behave – this is foolish. What we need in our homes is a culture to thrive!
Potential Sermon Series to Review:
- Hot Heads
- Freak Out
- Parents Just Don’t Understand