Mentoring Our Children

One thing I believe we can all agree on is the difference in today’s youth vs. our own youth and our parent’s youth. Yes, things change and civilizations evolve. That being said, what are you doing to evolve with it? As parents, are we keeping up with our children and what’s going on in their world? Are we evolving to be the best guides for them rather than a pop icon/culture guiding them?

I can say for myself that I strive to try to keep up with what’s cool and what’s not. Whether I agree with it doesn’t really matter because it’s happening. If our kids gravitate towards it, are we walking with them or away from them? These are hard lessons I’ve learned raising my own children. People who truly know me know that I am a very different person, now, than I was prior to 2017. Before, I did not try to understand my kids nor did I care to. They were wrong and I was right because I had walked their path. So I thought. Nowadays I try to understand things, more, rather than fall back on my own understanding. Some things, however, don’t change. It’s our duty as parents to set in concrete a set of ethos to live by. We are products of our training (how we were raised). I am happy to say that I have had the opportunity to look back on my own life, how I lived it through the choices I made and then choose to make the necessary changes to teach my own children what is right based on my failures and experience.

Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” – Søren Kierkegaard

All that to say that my oldest son and I have been on an interesting journey over the past, almost, two years. Watching him do life on his own has been a challenge for me not to jump in and rescue him. I know through my recent experiences that when parents choose to rescue their children, they only stunt their personal growth. My son is 20 and at that age there is a certain standoff distance a parent must have to allow them to struggle and grow. One thing I’ve been doing recently is recommending certain books to read. I was never much of a book reader until recent years and in my experience I have gained much knowledge and wisdom from reading and studying life thriving material. I have, in turn, guided my son to some of those books. Not so much as to overwhelm him but more to what is important and pertinent to him now. The most recent book I recommended to him is Wild at Heart by John Eldredge. I first “looked through” this book back in 2005ish when it was recommended to me by a friend. I thumbed through it and read a few things but hadn’t really gone through it until later years when I listened to it on audiobook.

This book is a fascinating and exciting read for men and women, young men and young ladies. It really hits on the internal fire we all have to go out and do SOMETHING! The book primarily speaks to men and boys and the fire we have for adventure all while following and understanding God’s design. I may have lost a few of you after mentioning God but all I can say is, give it a try. Yes, it’s faith based and it’s an incredible read. One thing my own father did that I’ll never forget is when he gave me a particular book back in 1997. He opened the cover and wrote a note in it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve opened that book just to read what he wrote. It was simple yet powerful to me because I know he took the time to personalize it. That’s what our kids need. Our kids need us to personalize our recommendations to them. The impact that can leave is more powerful than you know.

Man of Steel and Velvet by Aubrey Andelin. This is one of my personal foundational books.

Take time to be intentional to and for your children. We reap what we sow and every child deserves the right to a bountiful harvest. Let me know your thoughts!!!

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