I’ve learned a lot from many 2nd Generation Christians I’ve interviewed over the years, trying to discover some common threads in the parenting practices of their childhoods. I’ve documented these common threads of successful parenting in my new book, Lionproof: Keeping Your Children from the Claws of the Devil, coming out in October.
If you’re new to this series, you can find the rest of it here.
Letting go of our children is one of the hardest parts of parenting. After all, when they are under our roof, we know what’s going on in their lives and can provide guidance when they need it. But to let go is to allow our children to take over the control of their own lives and make their own decisions. It is a nerve-wracking time; we realize that soon it will be apparent whether or not we parents have done our job.
Some of the most significant advice I heard on Letting Go was while talking to the younger second-generation Christians. Their experiences, and those of their friends, are still new and fresh in their minds, unclouded by the whirl of activity surrounding growing families. They remember clearly the process they went through as they were launched from their homes, and the experiences of their friends as well.
THE DEATH GRIP
Some parents hold their young people back with a Death Grip. Oddly enough, the young person is gripped almost to a strangle-hold, and then suddenly released to live on his own with little or no preparation. This is not only unwise; it is dangerous.
Shaunna was a homeschooled kid who was sheltered from worldly influences, but also well prepared for life outside the home. She told me, “Many of the young people I went to school with were totally unprepared for their newly found freedom and the worldly influences they were suddenly surrounded by. They were the ones that went into a tailspin. Strangely enough, it seemed that those who had some contact with the world growing up did better with their freedoms.”
The Hands Off method of Letting Go is the way your average American is launched. It is also the way your average young person in a Christian home is raised. There is a philosophy pervading in America, and in the world, that we should just let young people go their own way, and they’ll find their useful place in society. Once again, it’s a dangerous and difficult way to live.
THE GUIDING HAND
On the other hand (pun intended!), the vast majority of our respondents were sheltered and received guidance from their parents as they were growing up.
Jennifer told me about how her mother maintained a good relationship with her, even while she was away at college. “Because I have a disability,” she said, “I have a very hard time finding clothes that fit me just right. I was really busy at college, and had a low time when I was desperate for some clothes and had zero time to sew. My physical troubles were also a constant challenge, and I had a difficult time battling with depression. One day a package arrived in my mailbox, and it was a special package from Mom. Inside, there was a carefully sewn skirt which fit me beautifully, and a precious note which I still have to this day. She wrote, ‘I just wanted you to know, that every stitch was sewn with love and prayer. I love you!’ That little gesture of love and concern got me through the rest of my college days. I knew Mom was there for me.
How NOT to let our children go? Neither the Death Grip nor the Hands Off method are good ideas. In my experience with the many 2nd Generation Christians I’ve interviewed over the years, those that have experienced the Guiding Hand are by far the most likely to continue to serve God when they are out on their own.
May we as parents learn from the experience of others and give our children the Guiding Hand they need as they approach adulthood.
Question: How was your relationship with your parents when you were a teen? Rocky? Violent? Or peaceful? Why do you think this was so?
- I have many people who follow along on my Facebook page for daily encouragements, reminders, and exciting assignments! It’s a great group of folks – come join us!
- The date for release of my new book, Lionproof: Keeping Your Children from the Claws of the Devil, has been changed from September to October. That will, Lord willing, allow enough time for us to implement some deals I have planned for you! In this book, there will be:
- Not just information telling parents why kids are going astray, but proven parenting practices that have worked for generations that are successful in raising godly children.
- Dozens of interviews from those 2nd generation Christians who KNOW what their parents did RIGHT.
- Charts and graphs detailing the results of the interviews
- Assignments to help the reader implement these principles in their own parenting.
- And much, much more!
Also, several folks have requested review copies of the book, but I’m having trouble connecting with you (I think it’s a case of technological retardation 😉 So if you have a blog and would like a review copy of the book, let me know, even if you already contacted me before. Email me at: lisaraub at rocket mail dot com, and I’ll give you the details. I only ask that when you’re done reading the book, you post about it on your blog!
Linking up with: Monday: Alabaster Jar, The Better Mom, and Moms the Word, and Happy Wives Club Tuesday: Titus Two Tuesdays, Mercy Ink Blog, The TimeWarp Wife, Messy Marriage Wednesday: To Love Honor and Vacuum