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What are some of the challenges y'all are facing as parents (or kids)?

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  • What are some of the challenges y'all are facing as parents (or kids)?

    Hi, folks. I wanted to start a conversation to find out what parents and kids are struggling with recently. I'd like to help, if I could.

    Blessings,
    George

  • #2
    Originally posted by gelacy View Post
    Hi, folks. I wanted to start a conversation to find out what parents and kids are struggling with recently. I'd like to help, if I could.

    Blessings,
    George
    Our youngest (8) is struggling with viewing everything as an extreme. "This is the best day ever!" may be followed by "This is the worst day ever!" with a few "This is taking forever!" and "I'll never see mom again!" when she has to leave the house. My brother suggested that it may partially be due to a lack of understanding how the passage of time works. She does (or at least vocally frames) many things in this extreme, and that goes for the way she loves as well, though fortunately the pendulum does not really ever sway away from love.

    Basically, she is super passionate (which is not something I aim to "fix") but she often turns that passion against herself when she tries something new and does not immediately succeed at it. We have certainly explained how passion must lead to practice and how failure is a learning tool but those are hard concepts for her to fully grasp.
    Salvation belongs to God

    Comment


    • #3
      Got two teenagers. One is away at college (sophomore) making decisions for himself for the first time in his life and the other is a high school senior (we home school) about to embark on that adventure not sure what she wants to do other than to go to Disney World and be a princess.


      Let me ask you, George, (after Jesus) what is the single most important thing parents can do to raise healthily functional children?
      All verses cited or quoted or in the NAS unless otherwise noted.

      “if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not win the prize unless he competes according to the rules.” (2 Tim. 2:5)

      Comment


      • #4
        Hey there. Wow, y'all jumped on this quickly!

        OK, so Bluemayskye, I understand from where you come. One of my kids has a similar kind of energy and gets discouraged if things don't go as she expects. I think that there might be a couple of things going on. First, the "best/worst" thing is very similar to what my wife and I have called the "always/never" thing; it's a matter of being precise in our speech and we've had to hold all four of our kids accountable for that. It's a long, slow grind but it's crucial for young kids to be clear and precise, even if they don't realize that that's what they're doing. Eventually, it'll be an issue of the difference between being truthful and not, because if we're led by our emotions to proclaim something the "best" or "worst" (or in our case, "you always" or "you never"), and then that gets compounded by being overly critical of ourselves when things don't go our way, then we won't be truthful in our actions and attitudes.

        So persevere! I know how problematic it can be to go through the process of walking back some of those hyperbolic statements. I've had to grind it out, too. But just as the Lord is Truth itself He encourages us to love the Truth, and that sometimes means that we parents have to break down what our kids say to help them say things in their proper context, even if it taxes their patience.

        "...he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ" (Phil. 1:6, KJV) This passage can serve as a reminder that God is just as concerned with our sanctification as with our justification, so much so that He has given us His Spirit and will use that Spirit to bring us to Christlikeness. He cares about the journey as much as the destination.

        Josheb, my answer to your question is relatively simple but obviously impossible without God's grace. Parents should raise their children to seek first the Kingdom of God, and all other things will be added unto them (Matthew 6:33). I believe that it is a parent's duty to teach their children to fear the Lord, because that is the beginning of wisdom (Psalm 111:10; Proverbs 1:7, 9:10), and when you consider Deuteronomy 6:4-9's command to teach God's Law to one's children (and in other areas, as well), I believe a case can and should be made that the primary thing a parent can do to raise healthy, functional children is to faithfully, deliberately, and diligently teach them the Christian faith.

        Please know that before I posted this reply I prayed for you and your kids. I take this seriously and don't want to be cavalier with my answers.

        Blessings,
        George

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by gelacy View Post
          Josheb, my answer to your question is relatively simple but obviously impossible without God's grace. Parents should raise their children to seek first the Kingdom of God, and all other things will be added unto them (Matthew 6:33). I believe that it is a parent's duty to teach their children to fear the Lord, because that is the beginning of wisdom (Psalm 111:10; Proverbs 1:7, 9:10), and when you consider Deuteronomy 6:4-9's command to teach God's Law to one's children (and in other areas, as well), I believe a case can and should be made that the primary thing a parent can do to raise healthy, functional children is to faithfully, deliberately, and diligently teach them the Christian faith.

          Please know that before I posted this reply I prayed for you and your kids. I take this seriously and don't want to be cavalier with my answers.

          Blessings,
          George
          Let's try that again, George. Please pay close attention to the question asked because I specifically stated "after Christ." Yes, of course Christ is preeminent,

          After Christ....... what is the single most important thing parents can do to raise healthily functional children?
          All verses cited or quoted or in the NAS unless otherwise noted.

          “if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not win the prize unless he competes according to the rules.” (2 Tim. 2:5)

          Comment


          • #6
            OK, Josheb. I didn't realize that that was what you meant by "(after Jesus)." Sorry about that.

            I would say that other that teaching the Gospel I would say that going deeper into Scripture from a systematic perspective will cover major issues facing young people. For example, the respective doctrines of God and man put people into their proper places, which can keep people from emphasizing their own urges and desires over and against that of God's desires for them. There are other core doctrines of the faith that can be taught and then applied to a child's specific situation.

            In my experience as a minister and counselor most of the causes of issues within families come from a fundamental ignorance of basic Christian doctrine. They might get the "you're a sinner and Jesus died for sinners" right but there is so much more to the faith than that, things that have real world applications to modern issues of identity, "self-esteem," vocation and calling in life, personality issues, etc. Too often, people want to deal with symptoms with a quick verse or two, not realizing that they've missed a huge chance to delve deeper into the Bible with their kids in a what that, had they taken advantage of it, would have given them the solution to the much deeper problem.

            I'm not sure what you're trying to draw out of me, though. You might have an answer to this that I'm just missing.

            Blessings,
            George

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by gelacy View Post
              OK, Josheb. I didn't realize that that was what you meant by "(after Jesus)." Sorry about that.

              I would say that other that teaching the Gospel I would say that going deeper into Scripture from a systematic perspective will cover major issues facing young people. For example, the respective doctrines of God and man put people into their proper places, which can keep people from emphasizing their own urges and desires over and against that of God's desires for them. There are other core doctrines of the faith that can be taught and then applied to a child's specific situation.

              In my experience as a minister and counselor most of the causes of issues within families come from a fundamental ignorance of basic Christian doctrine. They might get the "you're a sinner and Jesus died for sinners" right but there is so much more to the faith than that, things that have real world applications to modern issues of identity, "self-esteem," vocation and calling in life, personality issues, etc. Too often, people want to deal with symptoms with a quick verse or two, not realizing that they've missed a huge chance to delve deeper into the Bible with their kids in a what that, had they taken advantage of it, would have given them the solution to the much deeper problem.

              I'm not sure what you're trying to draw out of me, though. You might have an answer to this that I'm just missing.

              Blessings,
              George
              Okay, let me try this another way. Let Christ go.

              AFTER CHRIST...... What is the single most important thing parents can do to raise healthily functional children?

              What is the best thing any two parents can do, regardless of whether or not they are Christians, what is THE most important thing any two parents can do to raise healthy functional parents.



              I respectfully submit to you, George, that if this one thing is not correctly understood then it disqualifies you and anyone else failing to understand this from assuming a position of counsel or advisor on the topic of parenting. What I am asking is foundational and universal and you should already know it. Not only should this truth be known but the question inquiring about it should be instantly recognized when asked.

              If you don't get it on your own, you're gonna face palm when I tell you.



              What is the single most important thing parents can do to raise healthily functional children? What is the best thing any two parents can do, regardless of whether or not they are Christians, what is THE most important thing any two parents can do to raise healthy functional parents.

              All verses cited or quoted or in the NAS unless otherwise noted.

              “if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not win the prize unless he competes according to the rules.” (2 Tim. 2:5)

              Comment


              • #8
                Be married first. Then, work together to deal with problems and stay married.

                If I'm reading your context clues correctly.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by gelacy View Post
                  Be married first. Then, work together to deal with problems and stay married.

                  If I'm reading your context clues correctly.
                  Excellent! Now you're on the right track. The single best thing any two parents can do for their children to help them be healthily functional adults is to have a healthy marriage.


                  I don't mean to sound like I'm shaking my finger at you, George, but folks come into CARM openly stating they are here to tell others this or that. They are rarely good sources for anything other than object lessons on how not to believe, think, ad live.

                  Maybe you're different. I hope so.

                  Start with James 3:1,
                  "Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment."
                  If you can manage that you'll already have started off better than most.

                  I know you have four children, but the oldest looks to be about 7 or 8. What is it you can tell me or the other parents of teens? You're 44 and have been a pastor for 10+/- years, so what can you tell those of use who ten-15 years on you and have spent a 30-40 years working within the body of Christ helping others? What can you tell the old among us who've mentored men and women for three or four decades? What would you tell the one being mentored without undermining the mentor who has fasted and prayed over that person soliciting cyber-advice from a stranger?

                  What preparation from God have you gone through to empower you to come into CARM and teach others how to raise their kids? Have you been raised in Pharaoh's house to prepare you for the multicultrual politics of the world? Perhaps your military service did provide you some wisdom here. Have you been sent into exile to wander in the wilderness and so learn of yourself, your limits, and your dependencies? Were you sent to another for tutelage to yourself be mentored, being built in the image of a successful practitioner of parenting so as to build others in your image with the image of Christ the common theme running through all your disparate personalities, strengths, and weaknesses?

                  Do you understand that many soliciting advice from you will walk away the instance you fail to correctly answer the simplest and most foundational of inquiries? They will not place any confidence in the answers of those who can't do the basics.

                  What trials have you children endured? What can you tell the parent of a one year old who continuously vomits because of a birth defect? What can you tell that parent whose first born is on the spectrum (do you know what that is?), and the second born has Bluemayskye's challenges? What can you do for the mother who has learned genetic abnormality is the likely cause for all three of these conditions? She's birthed three seemingly imperfect children and their "defects" are entirely attributable to her and something about which she was ignorant and cannot fix. What do you do with the husband and father just back from Afghanistan who tells you, "I didn't ask for this"?


                  Let me reiterate: I am not saying you cannot, should not, or are not supposed to do this, but I am asking you some important questions.

                  If you want a "ministry" advising parents you should at least be confident of this calling because it would be better for you to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around your neck than to cause one of God's little ones to stumble.



                  Forgive my bluntness. I mean to be direct, not disrespectful.




                  Here's another question for you: A parent asks you what is the best book (beside the Bible) for them to read to help them discipline their children and all their children are under say 10 or 12 (not teenagers). What do you recommend?
                  All verses cited or quoted or in the NAS unless otherwise noted.

                  “if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not win the prize unless he competes according to the rules.” (2 Tim. 2:5)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hi, Josheb. I'm not offended in the least. I'll write more with regards to some of your questions, although it seemed like some were more thought-provoking than anything else. Still, I'll have a little background work done soon, as it is relevant; to "the internet" I'm just a dude with a keyboard.

                    But with regards to the question you asked, I'd recommend Thomas Watson's "The Doctrine of Repentance." Watson does a wonderful job of not only explaining what false repentance looks like but also like what genuine repentance looks.

                    It's easy to allow ourselves to fall into a trap of "Well, he said he was sorry" and think we've rooted out the true issues and that our little angel is genuinely sorry. I think that Watson's little book can do wonders for parents in ways beyond the spiritual ramifications.

                    From a modern author I'd suggest "Parenting by God's Promises" by Joel Beeke. He does good work laying out the covenantal foundation for parenting and setting clear duties for parents of children of all ages, up to and including the ones in your illustration.

                    Blessings,
                    George

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by gelacy View Post
                      Hi, Josheb. I'm not offended in the least. I'll write more with regards to some of your questions, although it seemed like some were more thought-provoking than anything else. Still, I'll have a little background work done soon, as it is relevant; to "the internet" I'm just a dude with a keyboard.
                      That is the attitude that should be communicated (Phil. 2:3) and it's hard to do i a text-based medium where folks will assign motive.
                      Originally posted by gelacy View Post
                      But with regards to the question you asked, I'd recommend Thomas Watson's "The Doctrine of Repentance." Watson does a wonderful job of not only explaining what false repentance looks like but also like what genuine repentance looks.
                      Wow. Old school. Between-the-lines-response. I'd like to explore its relevance to parenting, and the disciplining of children, but the question was another "trick" question. What do you think of these two ideas:

                      1) You should have an answer to the question, but do so knowing that no single book on parenting is sufficient or wholly correct. The problem is too big to address in a single tome and they all make some error somewhere.

                      2) the best "book" is another couple who is going through the same things with you. Or maybe two couples: one that's older and has negotiated the process reasonably successfully and another couple more peer oriented with whom the two of you can share your joys and commiserate with you when things are tough.

                      Can you see those as valid and efficacious answers to the person that asks that question, the parent who is asking the wrong question?
                      Originally posted by gelacy View Post
                      It's easy to allow ourselves to fall into a trap of "Well, he said he was sorry" and think we've rooted out the true issues and that our little angel is genuinely sorry. I think that Watson's little book can do wonders for parents in ways beyond the spiritual ramifications.

                      From a modern author I'd suggest "Parenting by God's Promises" by Joel Beeke. He does good work laying out the covenantal foundation for parenting and setting clear duties for parents of children of all ages, up to and including the ones in your illustration.
                      lol! You really are a Presby!

                      I'm encouraged you have an answer (and equally encouraged by your tolerance with my methods). The question was asked to highlight the problem with the question. There's nothing wrong with parenting books but they're all flawed in some way so the best parent is reading more than one and adapting the information to their unique spawn (Pr. 22:6), but the best sources are others.
                      Life functions on relationships.
                      Relationships function on goals, boundaries, and expectations.
                      If you don't know where you want to go and don't know how to get there... you won't.

                      Parenting is a relationship.

                      It takes at least two healthy relationships to have one healthy relationship.

                      Core principles.


                      I don't expect answers to all those rhetorical questions, George. They were mainly rhetorical devices for the sake of the exchange (although I do think you should be prepared for real-life examples).



                      Let me trade places with you. I'm no expert. Got only half as many kids as you (but they are older and on their way out). I'm a professional counselor but I don't work with kids younger than 15. Been in-lay ministry for 30 years, mentored many men from childhood to adulthood, boyhood to manhood. Any questions for me?
                      All verses cited or quoted or in the NAS unless otherwise noted.

                      “if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not win the prize unless he competes according to the rules.” (2 Tim. 2:5)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Bluemayskye, if I may...


                        Try asking your daughter why it's the best or worst day ever. Start by repeating her own words back to her in the form of a question, "This is the best day ever?" maybe emphasizing the "ever." Let her hear what she sounds like.

                        Your daughter is reaching an age where her brain is developing new structures and abilities (boys are a year or more behind, typically). Prior to age 8-10 children are limited to a fairly ego-centric manner of processing information but as they age they develop altruistic and abstract faculties.

                        Realize that in all parenting challenges we're usually also dealing with deficits in our own faculties because parenting is constantly new terrain and few of us know what to do the first time something new comes up.

                        Remember childhood is one big experiment for the child. S/he doesn't have the faintest clue what they're doing, what the should be thinking or feeling, or doing in response to any of it. And the problem is the folly bound in the heart of the child. The delight is that God made them creatures of exploration.

                        Consider two foundational experiences:

                        The first has to do with the little child who is, for example, drawing with crayons on the wall. Mom (or dad) walks in the room, gasps, and asks "What are you doing? What is wrong with you?!?!"



                        The child is just doing what children do s/he has no idea there's anything wrong with it until the rhetorical question is asked. Young children do not understand rhetoric. Now consider the question, "What is wrong with you?" They take you at your word and assume something is wrong with them. The literally look at themselves and attempt a little inventory. Not finding anything wrong they look up and say, "I don't know," to which the parent begins the disciplinary process (making the child clean the wall or go to their room, etc.). From the child's perspective they've just learned three things: 1) there is something wrong with them, 2) they don't know what it is, and 3) no one's telling them.

                        This is one of the way shame is seeded in a child.

                        The second is the child a few years older running to first base after hitting the ball in the community t-ball league. The child stumbles and doesn't make it to first base. S/he gets up knees scratched and bleeding,the child feels physical pain, the embarrassment causes emotional pain, the knowledge that s/he failed to make it to base and let down his/her team mates causes cognitive duress, and it all happens suddenly in the time it takes for electrical impulses to cross neural synapses.

                        The coach and maybe dad or mom run onto the field and touch the sore spot, look at the knee and say something along the lines of, "Aw, it's not that bad, you'll be fine. Don't cry." or if it's a boy he might hear, "Zuck it up, it's not that bad." In those few second the parent has just unwittingly and unintentionally sent a pile of messages to the child. The child heard, "My pain doesn't matter" or "My physical pain isn't real. My emotions can't be trusted, and neither can my thoughts."

                        The child does feel all right but has just been told s/he is alright.

                        This is an example of how children learn to tune out, first from their own experience, and eventually from the report of others.


                        So here's what to do: Let the child speak. Let the child have his or her experience. Let them tell you of their physical pain, their fear or their lack of knowledge and their embarrassment fearing and not knowing. Reassure the child that what they are thinking feeling emotionally and feeling physically is understandable. Maybe even tell them of a time when you were little and felt similarly (not the "same way"). Then if correction or change is warranted ask them what they think they should do about it, and then when they have voiced their idea(s) gie them an alternative. "Let's try this....." or "Have you thought about....."

                        Remember that during the first few years you are training the child for the middle years and during the middle years you are training the child for the tween and teen years and during the teen years you are teaching the teen to prepare for adulthood. A grade schooler does not process information the way a middle schooler does and a middle schooler does not do so the way a teenager does. Parents must adapt training to the change faculties of each developmental stage.

                        Generally speaking: don't place too much emphasis on the first words out of a child's mouth. Keep them talking by supporting them because they'll tell you what they need. This is especially so in the teen years where the first words out f the teen's mouth is invariably inane. Keep them talking and two things will happen: 1) they'll make a little more sense, and 2) they'll get to the real issue, and maybe.... 3) a teachable place where they will receive your input.

                        None of it will happen of the parent child relationship isn't good.

                        So, Blue, keep your daughter talking. Give her alternatives such as, "Hmmm... yes, that does sound bad," or "Yes, that does sound frightening," or "That does sound like your friend wasn't sharing."

                        Remember also: we are training our children to select their future mate. This is one of the reasons why having a good marriage is preeminent. The child watches parents model husbanding and wifing, and s/he does it for 18-20 years without any ability to critically examine it in the early years. The mother/daughter relationship models how she handles herself as a woman, the father daughter relationship how she will relate to her own husband, what she will expect of him and how to manage some very complex relational aspects of adulthood.

                        Your daughter's behavior is normal. She's experimenting with "best" and worst" and comparatives. Help her.
                        "Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment... (Eph. 4:29)
                        "The soothing tongue is a tree of life" (Pr. 15: 4)
                        "To answer before listening — that is folly and shame... From the fruit of their mouth a person’s stomach is filled;with the harvest of their lips they are satisfied. The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit." (Pr. 18:13, 20-21)
                        "Understand this, my dear [parents]: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry."
                        "Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others." (Phil. 2:3-4 ESV)
                        Works for parenting, too.
                        Last edited by Josheb; 04-10-18, 11:42 PM.
                        All verses cited or quoted or in the NAS unless otherwise noted.

                        “if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not win the prize unless he competes according to the rules.” (2 Tim. 2:5)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Josheb View Post

                          Let me ask you, George, (after Jesus) what is the single most important thing parents can do to raise healthily functional children?
                          I'm not George...but I have three functioning, successful adult children.

                          First thing...teach them respect. Respect for themselves, respect for others, for their home, for their belongings.
                          Second...as they get older, loosen the reins. Give them more and more responsibility. By 18 they should be pretty self-sufficient.
                          Teach them how the world works.
                          How to open a bank account, apply for a credit card, loan
                          How to file taxes
                          How to budget

                          There's no SINGLE thing...it's a cascade as they get older. We saw parenting as a time-limited job. We had 18 years to produce functioning adults who were able to make their way in the world. We were rather successful. Oldest is a wife, mom, IT professional and freelance Graphic Designer. #2 is an Army Veteran, currently chief of security for a company, husband and father. #3 is a journeyman electrician (makes more $$ than the other two combined), husband and father.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Enilorac View Post
                            I'm not George...but I have three functioning, successful adult children.

                            First thing...teach them respect. Respect for themselves, respect for others, for their home, for their belongings.
                            Second...as they get older, loosen the reins. Give them more and more responsibility. By 18 they should be pretty self-sufficient.
                            Teach them how the world works.
                            How to open a bank account, apply for a credit card, loan
                            How to file taxes
                            How to budget
                            All you say is good and true but it is not what is the single most important thing parents can do to raise healthily functional children?
                            Originally posted by Enilorac View Post
                            There's no SINGLE thing...
                            That is incorrect. Christ is a single thing. Everything else parents will do is built on that single critical aspect of existence. I cited another. Everything you just posted will be built on that critical aspect of parenting. Having one preeminent aspect does not preclude a "cascade;" a "cascade" must be built on something.

                            Do you realize success was just defined by marriage and a certain level of employment?

                            And I doubt anyone here want's to engage in comparative parenting based on the post hoc evidence of whether or not the kids turned out okay.
                            All verses cited or quoted or in the NAS unless otherwise noted.

                            “if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not win the prize unless he competes according to the rules.” (2 Tim. 2:5)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I'm sorry I didn't answer the question to YOUR satisfaction or expectation...
                              edit...
                              Last edited by CARM Admin; 04-29-18, 10:19 PM. Reason: send alerts/do not comment on the person

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