Mini Blog #9: Thankful for Redemption

Practically speaking, there is much to fear in this uncertain world. I find it difficult to turn on the news around my young grandkids wondering if they are mature enough to handle the breaking news of each day. I wonder what the world will be like for them as adults. As I pondered last week’s blog, “Helping Kids Find Their Identity in Christ,” I felt grateful for who we can become in Christ and that God has sent redemption to HIs people and will command His covenant with us forever. (Psalm 111:9) We are redeemed. His love sets us free. The world may be broken and falling into despair, but we need not grow anxious because our hope is in Him. A recent study indicated that today’s adolescents consider their highest value to be that of fame. Yes, fame! They want to matter, to make a difference, to be noticed, to be known.  If their idea of fame is framed by the broken world they live in however, it will never satisfy the deepest longing in their souls. Only a secure identity in Christ will meet their deepest needs, as well as their desire to be known and to matter. Such an identity will not falter when facing evil, nor stumble when tempted,  nor fear in times of uncertainty, nor give up when things don’t go as planned. But this is a difficult concept to grasp…. ….to let go of trying to seek worldly satisfaction to instead find their purpose in Christ.  That’s deep stuff. When the world comes at them constantly, we must be ever more vigilant to teach...

Mini Blog #8: Helping Kids Find Their Identity in Christ

Resource: Free to Parent Chapter One and Free to Parent Workbook Chapter One   Some of my grandchildren love to imagine they are superheroes. It’s entertaining to watch them “fly” around in their superman clothing, using their “super powers” to defend and (yes) even attack each other. To fantasize being super human is such fun play for them. It’s certainly entertaining to watch children play imaginary games, which are actually beneficial to their development. It’s quite another thing, however, to be deceived into thinking we can make ourselves into supermoms and superdads raising future supermen and superwomen.The truth is, apart from Christ we will never feel complete or wholly sufficient. The truth is, apart from Christ we will never feel complete or wholly sufficient. In fact, the way to wholeness is found in realizing our very brokenness. It’s when we admit our shortcomings, embrace God’s grace, and allow His power to be made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12: 8),  that we will actually find our strength. Christ frees me and completes me when I let go of ME and choose HIM instead. It’s the same with our kids. Be watchful for false deceptions – ones that tell them they can be anything, do anything, and have anything they want simply by trying hard enough on their own. These deceptions make it very difficult for kids to admit their mistakes or face their failures, or recognize their deep need for grace. Doing so is admitting they fall short, that they are not enough on their own. In our parenting, we must always gently and wisely be leading our children to...

Is your Child a Perfectionist?

Perfectionism is about trying to be flawless, without fault.  The problem is that it is unreachable and can get in the way of growth. Perfectionists often face life by either over-achieving or under-achieving: The overachieving perfectionist can wind up with deep seated anxiety and profound discouragement because  her goals continually remain out of reach. The underachieving perfectionist feels utter helplessness and settles for low effort hiding his fear of failure with an “I don’t care” mask. My youngest daughter gave early indications that she was an overachieving perfectionist. She grew frustrated and crumpled her artwork each time it did not look just right.  She would ask, “Is it possible to be perfect?” I pondered the studies indicating perfectionism was fostered by parents (we likely were part of the problem) but I also believe it to be a natural bent for some kids, like Alisa.  She certainly was not the stereo typical youngest child, competing fiercely even with her older siblings. With her own peers, only the highest outcomes were acceptable in everything she set out to do. Our concerns were buried in the delight we found in her achievements.  What parent doesn’t enjoy success with their children.  In time however, we began to see signs of deep seated anxiety. As soon as she reached one goal, her joy was short lived, as she would soon begin to drive herself to still a higher goal.  Failure to Alisa was getting second place at the State swim meet or failing to break a state record in her best events or not getting the highest score on a math exam.  She authentically...