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Parents Cue


3/30 + 4/13 + 4/20

The "Parent Cue" [CLICK HERE to DOWNLOAD] is designed to inform parents of what their teens are learning each Sunday morning @ 9 AM in "The LOFT". It will also help you engage your teen on the current series.


2/26 + 3/2 + 3/9 + 3/16

Think About This:

I think most people would agree that one of the more terrifying parts of parenting teenagers is the risk factor. They grow up and the stakes are raised. Their freedom increases but so does the potential fallout from bad choices. Parents are regularly faced with decisions on when to allow their students to forge their freedom and when not to. Unfortunately, we can tend to be overprotective in situations that they may not really need our protection from—and in the name of safety we may be inhibiting them in a way we never intended.

In his blog post, How to Help Your Kids, Live Out Their Story, author, speaker, and dad, Carey Nieuwhoff explains the benefits of letting go of control and trusting God with their story.

My grandfather and grandmother did something amazing. They let my dad live his story, not theirs. They gave up control, protection, and let God write a story in my dad’s life that was independent of their own.

My dad is one of my heroes. He actually did build a new life (in another country), not just for him, but for many others. He was not only a great father, but he ran a company for years, served his entire life in the local church and has left a great legacy of character for his kids and grandkids.

I’m so glad my grandparents swallowed hard and let their son pursue his vision. So, now the question.

Would you?

In an era of overprotective, slightly controlling parenting, I wonder how many stories like my dad’s aren’t being written. Not because kids aren’t ready to write a story of their own choosing, but because parents are too afraid or unwilling to let them go or take risks.

Great plot lines invite things like drama, risk, mission, and calling. All the things that make parents gulp (and gasp).

And by the way, my dad did see his parents again. He eventually had enough money to go back more than a few times. I even went to Holland with my dad to meet them before they passed away.

As you think about how you might help your kids connect with their own story, here are three things to remember:

1.Prepare yourself now to release them one day.

2.Understand that God has your kids on a journey from dependence to independence.

3.Let them lead (without rescuing them) today to prepare them for tomorrow.

Is there anything you need to let go of today to help create a better future for your child?

From How to Help Your Kids Live Out Their Story, http://orangeparents.org/author/careynieuwhof/

Try This

Sometimes the best two words you can hear are “me too”. No matter what situation you’re in with your teenager, chances are someone around you is in the same place and asking the same questions. Do you know who those people are? Are there other parents that you can connect with on a regular basis in your community?

This month try taking two steps toward connecting with other parents around you.

1.Find Them. If you’re not sure where to find other parents like you, start by asking the student pastor at your church (or where your teen attends). They can direct you to small groups or environments where you can meet other parents just like you.

2.Talk to them. Sometimes starting a conversation with someone new can feel awkward. If you’re unsure what to talk about, start with this parentCUE. Say something like, “Hey, did you get that article in the parentCUE? What did you think about it?” Knowing you already have something in common can open the door to more conversation. If not that, try opening up first. Vulnerability breeds vulnerability. So think of some of things you may have a hard time with when it comes to your student’s independence. And then share it. You may be surprised at what someone shares with you in return.

Get connected to a wider community of parents at www.orangeparents.org.

Hide & Seek

2/9 + 2/16

Think About This:

8am: I hate my outfit.

4pm: Yes! School’s out!

5pm: I hate my life.

8pm: Best day ever!

Live with a teen long enough and you’ll start to see a pattern: up, down, good mood, bad mood, happy, sad. We’ve all heard about the emotional swings of adolescence and probably remember living through our own version of it. Any combination of homework, happenings, and hormones can turn them into a grouchy mess or a giggling goofball. Actually, research indicates that, during puberty, teen’s brains develop the ability to experience intense emotions like rage, sorrow, and elation. Unfortunately, neural connections that help students control and process these emotions doesn’t develop until later. (http://www.livescience.com/21461-teen-brain-adolescence-facts.html )

So pace yourself, because for at least a few years, you’ll have teens who have strong emotions but no tools to sort through them yet. The good news is, there are a few things you can do to help them navigate the ups and downs until your teenager figures out how to work through the on their own.

1.Be there for them, but don’t join in. As much as they hate to admit it, students will often take emotional cues from their parents. How you react to their situation will give them an idea of how they should react. So, as parents, we must be careful not to get sucked in to the meaningless drama of the lunch table or the contagious funk of teen angst. Empathize, but don’t participate. This doesn’t mean we have to hide our emotions or live like robot, but it does mean that we don’t hop on the emotional roller coaster with them every time it goes by.

2.Help them zoom out. Perspective is everything. Often with teens, when one thing is going badly they feel like everything in their life is falling apart. Or, if one thing is going well, they may focus on that and feel that nothing else matters. Either way, it us up to us to help them find perspective until their brains mature enough to sort out what is a big deal and what isn’t. This doesn’t mean we belittle their emotions. What they feel is very real to them, but we can help them gain some perspective by working to zoom out their lens and take in the bigger picture. Ask them to tell you…

…one good thing that happened to them today.

…5 things they’re thankful for.

…2 things they’re looking forward to doing.

Focusing on what’s going well or what’s coming next or can help them digest what’s happening now.

Try This

Sometimes the best thing we can do for our students is simply to let them know we’re praying for them. Here are two options to help you get started:

1.Choose one thing to pray for your student this week. Don’t make it behavior related, but rather something you want for them. And drop a sticky note in their lunch or backpack letting them know. It can be as simple as, “Hey, I’m praying for you to have a great basketball practice this week” or “Hey, I’m praying for you to feel confident this week”.

2.Ask your student how you can pray for them or their friends this week. And promise to do it. Since prayer requests are so personal, this is probably not the time to launch into a lesson or follow up questions. Simply let your student know that you love them and you’re praying for whatever is important to them.

Get connected to a wider community of parents at www.orangeparents.org.

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