I thought I had better write to you about a couple of problems I’m having at school this term. Last week half of the boarding house burned down. But don’t worry too much because I’m now living in a flat in the village. I’m living with Frank the plumber. There’s no need to worry, he’s very nice, in fact I’m three months pregnant with his baby. We’re planning to get married at the end of term.
Next day, another letter from Sarah……
I know you will be worrying about yesterday’s letter so I thought I should write to you again. Mum the boarding house didn’t really burn down last week and I’m not living in a flat in the village. In fact I’m not even pregnant with Frank’s baby and we’re not getting married at the end of term. Mum, the real problem is that I failed my mid year exams really badly and I just wanted you to see this problem in proper prospective, All my Love,
- Child when asked “My name begins with M, I pick things up”: Mother
- The father carries a photo where his money used to be.
- Teenagers: “Stop asking where they came from and refuse to tell you where they’re going.”
- We encourage the kids to show off, then tell them to “Sit down and shut up”.
- Honour my parents by ACCEPTING them.
Don’t tune them out, don’t highlight the negatives.
God is not asking us to pretend that are parents are perfect when they’re not.
- Honour my parents by APPRECIATING them
Appreciate the effort that your parents put in is difficult/costly.
Son presented bill for £1 per job, mother presented bill of £1000s in return, but the final total was “I love you”.
Mothers can direct air traffic control, whereas children are expensive but can operate the DVD!
- Honour my parents by AFFIRMING them
This is the only commandment which doesn’t last a lifetime, a day will come when you can no longer make amends – and no amount of expense at the funeral will be equal to that of a visit whilst their alive.
- Honour my parents by NOT ABANDONING them
As parents age, offer support in practical ways.
- “I hate my parents”: Sometimes we hate you too…
- You may hate it when parents repeat thing,…. if do it first time, we wouldn’t have to. Acknowledge that you’ve heard by saying “I got it”.
- Play your part in the family, Dad is not ‘the old man’
- Teenagers are experts on surveys of one: “Everyone else is doing it”
- Mark Twain quote
- We get parents at so late a stage in their life that it’s impossible to change their habits!
- Think about what example you are setting, more likely to be honoured.
- The perfect model for parenting: God – treat our kids as God treats us.
- God listens to us
Teenagers often complain that they can say what they like at home as no one’s listening anyway!
- God understands us
A carpenter works WITH, not AGAINST the grain.
Give your kids roots and wings…
Are we perfect? NO, but God accepts us through grace, treat our kids the same, not as though our standards are automatically the best.
Teachers can teach kids to count, parents can teach their children WHAT COUNTS.
Demonstrate honesty, admit when you’ve done something wrong.
Do/don’t do as you’ve said, even if it’s difficult.
- God loves us
Offer affection, affirmation and attention (how often do you just sit and let them set the agenda?)
The average time parents spend talking to their children is 15 MINUTES A WEEK!
It’s easier to build children than to mend broken adults.
If you don’t live by priorities, you end up living by pressures.
- God disciplines his children
“I love you, but sometimes I don’t like your beahviour.”
Often people tie up the dog at night, but let their children run free.
Discipline offers a structure of safety until the children has enough structure in character to stand up on their own.
Parents discipline best when they exhibit disciplined behaviour of their own.
Requirement to assume that forgiveness does not mean forgetting, and it’s possible to forgive without dulling the pain (of 51 years of nagging!), but does remove the resentment!
Dr Bex Lewis is passionate about helping people engage with the digital world in a positive way, where she has more than 20 years’ experience. She is Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing at Manchester Metropolitan University and Visiting Research Fellow at St John’s College, Durham University, with a particular interest in digital culture, persuasion and attitudinal change, especially how this affects the third sector, including faith organisations, and, after her breast cancer diagnosis in 2017, has started to research social media and cancer. Trained as a mass communications historian, she has written the original history of the poster Keep Calm and Carry On: The Truth Behind the Poster (Imperial War Museum, 2017), drawing upon her PhD research. She is Director of social media consultancy Digital Fingerprint, and author of Raising Children in a Digital Age: Enjoying the Best, Avoiding the Worst (Lion Hudson, 2014; second edition in process) as well as a number of book chapters, and regularly judges digital awards. She has a strong media presence, with her expertise featured in a wide range of publications and programmes, including national, international and specialist TV, radio and press, and can be found all over social media, typically as @drbexl.