The following is a guest post by Children’s Ministry Representative, Laura Teague. Check out these 4 tips she provides for parents in “uncool” seasons. Kids ministers will benefit from sharing these tips with parents in need. Read on for tasty tidbits of truth!
It’s inevitable. Somewhere between taking off her training wheels and shopping for her first day of middle school, something happened. You’re not sure when, and you’re not sure how, but you turned around one day and realized it: you aren’t cool anymore.
“I did nothing different,” you think to yourself. “We’ve always been close, and now I can’t seem to do anything right.” Before you find yourself in a panic, know that this phase of childhood is common, and you are not alone. Take a deep breath and enjoy these simple tips on the question you’ve been wrestling with:
How do I parent when parenting isn’t cool?
· Root yourself in Scripture. First and foremost, remember that you cannot be the parent God intends you to be if you are not spending time first with Him. It’s easy to feel frustrated and confused during this time, but take comfort in the fact that God never called you to do it alone.
· Hold your ground. It can be tempting to drop your rules in hopes of being your child’s best friend again. While friendship with your kids is crucial, what they need most during this time is a parent. As they grow, rules need to adapt, but kids still need structure. Remember: you are the one God has chosen to shepherd your child. Take the responsibility seriously, and she will thank you later.
· Keep talking to your kids. Work to maintain conversation with them, and not for the sole purpose of gathering information. Take interest in their lives, even when they push back. Know their friends, get involved in their interests, but begin to give them a little more space. Learning independence is part of growing up, but it’s important for them to know that you will always be there.
· Find a support group. You are not the only parent in your situation. Look for other Biblically-minded parents to talk to, particularly the parents of your children’s friends. Share information, talk about struggles, and pray for one another. Community makes all the difference!
Most importantly, take comfort. This season may seem long, but don’t worry—you’ll almost certainly be cool again one day.