Raising kids today is one of the most difficult challenges any adult must face. Everyone likes to joke about the first year of marriage being so hard, but it pales in comparison to raising children. Every generation of parents will say the same thing. Kids have harder choices now than when we were kids. I agree with this assessment in part, but every one has temptation to sin. The options for sin just adjust over time. In this culture today, how can we make sure that our toddlers, tweens, teens, and 20-somethings will navigate the choppy cultural waters?
Raising kids like a boss takes courage, commitment, and a cultural awareness. We must have the courage to love, not legalize, our kids into a better way of living. I am NOT suggesting that consequences be extracted. My wife and I have boundaries, expectations, and consequences. What I am saying is that if, as a parent, my only interaction with them is about rules and regulations, then I am going to lose them to a culture that has tolerance as its high priority. I must love them into a better way of behaving. Let your relationship with them be the driving force when they are away from you.
Raising kids like a boss takes commitment. You and your spouse must be committed to God, to each other, and to training for the long haul. Kids can sniff out lack of authenticity like a lion tracking its prey. They will spot it and pounce on it. We, as parents, cannot be on and off depending on our mood. This only creates confusion. It does not matter if I am tired, or cranky, or angry. There will never be a time that they are not your kids. They will likely not be a time when they do not want/need your input. So, this is a 40-60 year commitment. Be prepared.
Raising kids like a boss takes cultural awareness. We must be aware of what is going on in their lives. We must take the lead and limit their internet activity because they are not ready for what is out there yet. I would suggest that most of us adults are not ready either and should take precautions. Knowing your kids passwords and activity is not an invasion of privacy like they will argue. Last time I checked, they are not paying the rent, buying the groceries, or providing basic needs. I am. I want access. The onslaught of immoral and unhealthy choices is everywhere. Commercials, ads, and music all are killing us. With 1 in 5 people now stating they have no religious affiliation, the hope of my children having a relationship with Christ lies with me and my wife. States are legalizing same-sex marriage and marijuana usage. Sex is being sold by the minute on television and internet ads.
Because you have the courage to love them you have the chance to be in their lives. Because of your commitments they will see a consistency and find comfort. Because of your cultural awareness, you can converse with them about options and choices. Raising kids like a boss has less to do with where you go to church and more to do with your relationship with God and each other. Church attendance is important, but only takes a fraction of your week. School a large portion. There is still a huge chunk of time in which you can make strides and impact their lives. Come back tomorrow and find the conclusion to this discussion.