“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.” 
– Philo of Alexandria

Most of us parents probably remember at least some of the frustration that centered around being a kid or teenager under the rule of parents who just didn’t seem to “get it.”

And maybe some of us have found ourselves as parents trying to navigate a youth culture we just don’t quite understand, trying diligently to get it so we can raise our kids in a way that pleases the Lord and lends to harmony and growth.

Fortunately, God understands the culture in which we’re raising our kids and the truth in His word transcends time with wisdom and clarity as to how we can best raise our children to become people of integrity who worship the Creator instead of self.

But what does that look like? Does the Bible tell us how we can best parent a two-year-old wild child who is intent on unloading toilet paper rolls into a clogged toilet look like? And does that interaction matter for the future? And what’s the Bible say parenting in a Christ-centric way  looks like with a grade schooler or teenager who faces challenges way different than what we faced while growing up?

Thankfully, it has plenty to say! Youth Pastor Josh Petersen will be sharing with us how God’s word intersects and is applicable even with today’s youth culture.

And parents and grandparents of preschoolers and grade schoolers, lest you think this summit is mainly for those with older kids please know it’s very much for you! It’s hard to imagine these cute little ones facing such challenges in their daily lives, but they do and foundations we begin to build in the early years are extremely important! Someday these children will be teens, adults and parents themselves.

So what’s  the climate of youth culture even feel like today? Here’s a little insight from some of the young adults in our youth group:

“I wish that parents knew that high school is NOT the same as it was before. I can’t tell you how many times my parents have said, “I was in high school once, I know what it’s like.” But in reality, most parents aren’t aware of how different school is now. One of the main places I see this is simply with my schedule. I am busier than my parents are today! I have school, rehearsal, basketball, Bible study, youth group, I’m on four teams at church, and when I don’t have anything to do (which is incredibly rare) I babysit so that I can raise money to go on a mission trip this summer. So that’s one way that high school isn’t the same. Also, not everyone is doing drugs, smoking, drinking and having sex. Now there are still people who do that, but it’s just not cool anymore! People are smarter about their bodies than other people were just a decade ago. Even just in the ’90s it was waaaayyyy cooler to do all that stuff than it is now. The people that I notice in the ‘bad crowd’ are people who either don’t have any rules set by their parents or kids who have too many rules set. As silly as it may sound, teens want rules. They might not admit it, but if parents can sit down and think of good and necessary rules, it shows that they actually care about the well being of their children. Also, this one does sound silly, but teens want to be treated like adults. I think that as long as parents show respect and trust to their teenagers, they will get much better results than smothering them or making them fend for themselves. I hope that now parents know, high school is different.” — a high school junior who attends Immanuel

“I wish that our parents knew that the worldly, sinful things of this world consistently find a way to creep into our lives, and that we need strong, scripturally based parenting to equip us for what we face in our schools and daily lives; we need to know what the Bible says about the issues of our society.  I wish my parents knew that sin permeates even more than they realize. They can never succumb to the false perception that we are ignorant or sheltered from the things of this world. We are aware of and are hit by more temptations than they realize. Don’t ever be afraid to ask us questions about our own spiritual lives, and in general, don’t ever shy away from spiritual conversation with us. We need to hear what you have to say as spiritual role models, and even if we appear like we may not want to talk about our spiritual lives, a simple “how’s your quiet time been going?” from our parents can go a long way toward helping us stay on track. Allow us to see why you make the decisions you make in regard to parenting us. Being disciplined is a lot more bearable when your parents have explained that they love you and have your best spiritual and eternal interest in mind.” — a high school sophomore who attends Immanuel

Want to go deeper into understand today’s youth culture and what the Bible has to say about parenting in grace and love? You definitely won’t want to miss this spring’s Parent Summit.

Click HERE to register for the April 13, 2013 Parent Summit!

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