Recently, I was interviewed for a podcast on the topic of anxiety by Walt Mueller and the good folks at the Center for Parent/Youth Understandings. You can listen here: https://cpyu.org/resource/episode-39-anxiety-with-dr-phil-monroe/
Tag Archives: parenting
Victor Vieth has published an essay looking at the use of the bible to validate corporal punishment. What makes this essay interesting is not that he is arguing against the use of physical punishment but that he is writing to child protective services officials on how to respond to those who believe it is okay. I encourage you to read the full text here.
One of my current students, Stan, passed on this excellent blog post about the looks we sometimes give “bad parents” when we see their unruly and out-of-control children. The author nails the reasons for the shaming looks and thoughts we have: PRIDE.
It is also good to consider that whenever we see a child melting down in the grocery store or a parent using less-than-ideal strategies, we don’t really know the whole story. In the post you will see this mother’s understandable excuse for her child’s behavior–pediatric brain cancer. Of course, not every parent has an unruly child with cancer. But let it be a reminder, you don’t know the whole story and haven’t walked in their shoes…
Most of my current counseling work is with adults. Didn’t used to be this way. When I started, I worked mostly with kids and then sometimes with their parents.
What do adults deal with? Some are dealing with personal problems, some are dealing with difficult marriages, work, and the like, some are dealing with parenting young children. All of them hope that counseling will be part of the solution: depression will lift; intimacy will increase, children will be more obedient.
But what of the parent of an adult child who seems to be going off course? Their beloved offspring refuses to address an addiction; rejects their faith; rejects values from faith or culture. Where do they find help and solace? Given the little power parents have over adult children no longer under their roof, these parents rarely choose counseling as an option. Seems too expensive for something that can’t change the situation.
Surely these parents hurt. Their assumptions or dreams seem dashed. They question what they did wrong. Others offer unsolicited advice as to what to do or why their child has departed from their family values. Surely these parents face confusing decisions. Do they cut off from the child? Cajole? Pretend nothing is wrong?
Where best might they turn?
Having had fun with the marriage metaphors a few days ago, I thought about a similar question about the best descriptive words about the role of parent. What triggered my thinking was a public radio interview with the authors of Too Close for Comfort, a book about mother/daughter relationships. In the interview they discussed problem parent labels: helicopter parents, parents as personal concierge, as guarantor of happiness for their child, etc.
What words do you think describe a better metaphor as parent and why? Guide? Mentor? Coach? In some ways, parents are more connected to their kids than in past generations. And yet, this connection may cause kids to depend more on their parents rather than getting out there and being responsible for their life. Can you think of ways to describe parenting that allows for emotional closeness without the over-dependency.
Here’s one I would like not to have as a title: Parent as homework tutor.
Was talking to a group of pastors about their expectations as they entered the ministry. Several were quite eloquent and open about their surprises. Some were surprised at the level of burden and that lack of joy in the work. Some were surprised that the job of pastor wasn’t as eternity focused as they expected. Here’s an amalgam of phrases said by some: “I thought I was going to be dealing with weighty matters, life changing stuff, the stuff of soul care. But instead I’m dealing with policies, criticisms, and other mundane things most of the time.”
When talking to my wife, she so wisely said, “yeah, just like the work of a mother.” You know you are shaping souls and working to grow young boys (in our family anyway) into mature men. But most days you are dealing with socks, runny noses, and whiny, ungrateful kids.”
Yeah, mothers and pastors work for weighty, eternal matters. But day by day it is hard to keep that in focus.
My soon to be 10 year old found Radio Disney on the AM dial and now each morning I am greeted with vocals from Miley Cyrus and other teeny-bopper music. I think they have about 10 songs they play over and over and over…
So, now I have to start that habit that Paul Tripp used to talk about: listening to the music my son listens to and engaging him in dicussion about the lyrics. I’d prefer to ban it because it seems to be all about romance and never forgetting someone who makes you swoon. But, better to engage and not try to control. Right?