Ain´t nothin´ that divides friends and family like politics, religion, and a Super Bowl half time show…I won’t lie. I scrolled through social media reading people’s responses. Some people were mortified they didn’t turn it off. Some patted themselves on the back for turning it off. Some liked the show…others dramatically berated it , but a slew of people were happy to give their opinions. I hosted a party and I didn’t turn it off. Right or wrong, my 12 year old saw part of it before he decided to head outside. I am not particularly proud that he watched a portion of it, however, it did lead to several fantastic conversations about a whole lot of topics in the weeks that followed. And those conversations were good! A few years ago we took our kids to Disneyland and stayed a night in Las Vegas. While walking to the NewYork, NewYork to ride the roller coaster, a woman approached us wearing nothing but a thong and stickers on her nipples. I was mortified. My son was 8….he was mortified. I felt like a terrible parent. Luckily we were able to duck inside and talk it out. And while the situation was FAR from my most proud parenting moment, it led to great discussion in the weeks that followed for both of my kids. The point is that we are all going to make parenting moves that we are not particularly proud of. My kids are going to make decisions that I won´t be proud of either. I’m gonna blow it. They are going to blow it. How I handle it is key. Am I going to freak out and ban TV, and all social media forever (although that might be a good thing), and never ever ever go back to Las Vegas , or will I take opportunities to teach my kids about the world and the culture they will be forced to live in some day. A quote from my pastor Jason King (Faith.church) has encouraged me in my parenting journey and with permission, I share, “God was the perfect parent and yet his kids still blew it.” Isn’t that fantastic news?!! Adam and Eve disobeyed, and blamed everyone but themselves despite having the most perfect parent, God. We don´t have to be perfect parents, just equipped parents and even if we make a mistake, it’s not the end of the world. God´s grace is bigger. Fortunately, there are lots of creative ways to become an equipped parent. First, understand this truth: You are naturally equipped to raise the kids that God placed in your care. Then consider the following ideas…pick up a parenting book and read the whole thing. Have coffee with a mom who is farther along in her parenting journey and pick her brain. Surround yourself with people who are on the same page with you in terms of your belief and moral values. Listen to a godly podcast about parenting. Find a friend who is a grandparent and ask what they would do differently with their kids. DON’T do this parent gig alone. NO one is an expert parent but there are many wise parents who have have great knowledge, experience, and understanding. Seek them out. They are valuable resources. Before I gave my daughter a phone, I interviewed at least a dozen moms and asked loads of questions about rules, what they would do differently, anything I could think of concerning phones, social media, screen time. Another parent encouraged us to have our daughter purchase her own Iphone with her own money, which ended up being excellent advice. We pay for the service which means we can remove it anytime. We had expectations set in place before we allowed the phone….and most of the ideas came from parents who were ahead of us in the “phone journey.” We humans are not perfect parents and our spawn ain’t gonna be perfect either. But we can have a growth mind set and aim for excellence and along the way dole out a whole lot of forgiveness and grace.
Posted by AMY in Uncategorized
Consider these books:
Strong Mothers, Strong Sons (Lessons Mothers Need to Raise Extraordinary Men) by Meg Meeker, M.D.
Home Invasion by Rebecca Hagelin
Check out this YouTube video about Instagram: Social Media Dangers Exposed by Mom Posing as 11-Year-Old. And then educate your kids especially your daughter about cyber predation.