Impact teens tell their parents how to parent (1 of 5)


December 10, 2012 by eimrick

Teens telling parents how to parent sounds like an arrogant title, but it’s not. We have 4-5 boys that come in after school every Tuesday and Thursday to do anything that’s asked; from custodial work, to outlining James, to organizing books.

Last week, I shared with the guys what our plan is for assisting parents. We stated that our goal is to come alongside of parents and assist them to equip their students to be independent (in identity) Christ followers who can be confidently launched into adulthood prepared for the autonomy and responsibility that comes with it.

So, after sharing a nifty chart with the guys that show them this goal and objective, I set them free on the book of James and asked them to go chapter by chapter. Their only parameter was to keep our “ministry goal” in mind.

Here’s what they came up with.
James chapter 1:1-27

1:1         Parents should model what it means to be a bondservant to Christ.
1:2-4     Parents shape a child’s heart by modeling maturity in hardships and trials.
1:5         Parents need to beg God for wisdom in leading their children.
1:6         Parents help form a child’s foundation when they talk to God in faith.
1:7-8     Parents who are double minded can create confusion in their children.
1:9-11    Parents who focus on material possessions do a huge disservice to their children.
1:12       Parents have an awesome responsibility to model how to endure trials.
1:13       Parents create imitators. If they fall into temptation, their children probably will too.
1:14-15 Parents need to teach their children how to resist temptation.
1:17       Parents should teach their children how to give thanks for every good thing.
1:19       Parents should not react to things, but rather listen to their children.
1:20      Parents who get angry and react to their children create more problems than they solve.
1:21       Parents need to “implant” God’s word into their children so that it uproots the moral sin in their lives.
1:22      Parents who live out their faith model well
1:23      Parents need to walk the talk. Children will find them out if they don’t.
1:26      Parents need to realize that children hear things they don’t think they hear. Be conscientious of that.
1:27      Parents should help their children have a heart for the least and the lost. That’s closest to God’s heart.

We’ll get them to cover chapter 2 tomorrow.

Suggestion: Invite parents to a youth meeting and have them meet in separate rooms to work on this and then get together to compare notes. Better yet, have them take a night to work on this together.

Would you add anything to this list? 


2 thoughts on “Impact teens tell their parents how to parent (1 of 5)

  1. PB says:

    What a great list. I truly appreciate the work that they did. I’m always wondering how can I parent better and I will take this to heart. Recently I was reflecting on how difficult it can be to parent – we all want what’s best for our children but when we see it’s not received, it’s hard to know what to do. I was thinking about how my parents must have thought the same thing. And then I was thinking about my “wishes” from growing up. You know, “I wish my parents had made me keep playing piano”, “I wish my parents had pushed me harder to get good grades”, “I wish my parents had….”. But now that I’m a parent, I see that I didn’t want to be pushed. I didn’t want to do what they asked me to do. And now I see that when a child is adamant that they don’t want what you’re offering, it’s easier to say “okay, have it your way.” I see a lot of “parents should teach their children…” in the list above. But children need to ask “am I teachable?” It’s a two-way street. And, if a child is not teachable, then hopefully it’s in the displays of their parent’s faith on that list that they will learn…eventually. Just like I did.

    • eimrick says:

      Thanks for the thoughtful response. I have much of the same thoughts regarding my own childhood. I remember my mom telling me, “If you don’t practice piano, you’re going to regret it one day”. She was right. Many of these truths in James though are more about the heart of the mom/dad in relation to Christ, such as; resist temptation, endure trials, persevere in suffering, being quick to listen and not quick to react. If one has a difficult child/teen, it doesn’t negate those responsibilities. In fact, I would venture to say that even unteachable children/teens are being shaped or challenged by that godly character.

      Any other feedback from you or anyone else?

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