Last week was New Year’s and many of us resolved to watch less tv, read more books. Whether or not that’s the case for you, if you only have one book that you have time to read this year…well, of course, make it the Bible. But if you have time to read two books this year, I’d like to make a recommendation: How to Have That Difficult Conversation You’ve Been Avoiding by Drs. Cloud and Townsend.
Check out the video review by clicking the link below.
(For my e-mail subscribers who can’t see the video, click here.)
These are the authors of Boundaries and their work just keeps getting better. This book came out in 2005 and, frankly, I’ve been kicking everyone for not telling me about it sooner. And I promise you this, you’re hearing this post today, if you don’t get this book for a week, a month, a year, two years, five years and then you read it, you’ll be kicking yourself too. In fact, you may even give me a call and let me come kick you.
Let’s face it. We’ve all got those conversations we need to have. Whether it’s with a husband or wife, a brother or sister, a parent or a child, a church leader or a church member, a boss or an employee or a co-worker, a neighbor, a boyfriend or a girlfriend, and yet we’ve been avoiding them. Why? Well, maybe we’re just afraid of conflict. Or maybe we don’t know how to say what needs to be said. Or maybe we’re afraid of hurting someone’s feelings, or even worse that they may turn it around on us and hurt our feelings. But you only have to put that conversation off long enough to get this book and read it.
This book is jam-packed with powerful principles to help you make your conversations better. When you read this book you’ll learn things about clarifying the problem, making sure to keep “I” and “you” clear, balancing grace and truth, and other profound principles that help us know where conversations go wrong and how to keep from making those mistakes again.
But in addition to that, this book is filled to the brim with practical pointers. They don’t just talk about ethereal concepts and mystical ideas. They bring out real life conversations and real life situations and let us know this is how a conversation can be conducted and bring about good results.
Maybe you’ve had that conversation that you’ve been wanting to have with a wife or a husband, maybe with a boss, a co-worker, a church leader, even someone that you’re dating. There’s a chapter for that filled with profound illustrations that hit right at home where you’ve been, where I’ve been and help us know how to have those conversations. And help us know how to make those conversations draw us closer together instead of dividing us even further apart.
I just finished this book yesterday, and already it’s changing the way I communicate with my family. I have no doubt that if I continue to follow the principles that I’ve read about in this book, that I’m going to make my wife happier, which means my marriage will be happier. Not to mention, my family will be more productive. I won’t have to continue wasting time in those arguments about issues that don’t really matter. Instead, we’ll be able to spend time conversing and communicating with one another in a way that brings us closer together and helps our family have greater unity.
I want to thanks Drs. Cloud and Townsend for writing How to Have That Difficult Conversation You’ve Been Avoiding. I know it’s changing my life, and I know it will change yours. Pick up your copy today. Trust me. You won’t regret it.
P.S. If I were a betting man, I would bet that you don’t need this legally obligated disclaimer to let you know that this post does in fact contain affiliate links. I’m not recommending the book just so I can get a kick back. I’m recommending it because it helped me and I know it will help you. But, while it’s helping you, why don’t you go ahead and help me. Use the affiliate links to get your copy ordered today. In fact, here are a few more.
As I’m sure you could see in the video, I read this book on the Kindle app on my iPad. Here’s the link for the kindle version.
Oh and maybe you need an iPad. Here you go.
Or perhaps you’d like to have the new Kindle Fire. I hear it’s smoking and so much cheaper than an iPad.
Perhaps you’d like to check out more books by Cloud and Townsend. Here you go.
You get the idea. Have a great week and some great conversations.]]>
Racquetball! What a game. I remember playing with my Dad as a kid and then on up into my teen years. Neither one of us was that good, but we had fun. So when I recently learned of a nearby gym that had a racquetball court, I jumped at it. The deciding factor was not that I’m trying to lose weight or need exercise. The deciding factor was that I want to create memories with my kids. One day, I want them to say, “Racquetball! I love racquetball. I used to play that with my dad.” On Tuesday night, I started creating those memories with my boys.
Let’s face it. No matter what you do, you’re creating memories with your kids. When they are adults, they are going to sit around with each other at family gatherings talking about those memories. What will they talk about? Will they be smiling or frowning? …laughing or crying? …grateful or disappointed? Obviously, not everything can be a good memory. But here are some things I learned on Tuesday for making great memories with my kids.
1. Do something they want to do
Racquetball worked for me as a kid and is working for my boys because we want to do it. I love going to John Maxwell conferences and I’m sure I’ll take my boys one day. But trust me, if I came home tonight telling my kids, “Guess what! We get to go see John Maxwell together! YAAAAAAAAY!” They’ll have a memory, but it won’t be good for me or Maxwell.
2. Remember that they are kids/beginners
I’m sure you can guess that we didn’t have any exciting matches between me and the boys on Tuesday night. I’m not a stellar player by any means, but I’ve been playing off and on for 30 years. This was my boys’ first night. Nothing could have ruined this memory like expecting them to play on the level of the adults I played with last week. We had fun because I let them be beginners.
3. Challenge them to grow
While I remembered that they were beginners this last Tuesday night, I also challenged them to get better. As we continue to play, they will get better. I don’t want to keep treating them like beginners then. I want to challenge them to be able to beat me (which, if you’re reading this boys, won’t happen for a long, long time, if ever). Both boys were excited because they each scored some points. They know they scored those points, I didn’t give it to them. They were challenged and feel good about the time together, looking forward to more later.
4. Encourage them extravagantly
When a baby tries to walk but stumbles and fall, we don’t rebuke him. We encourage him with smiles, cheers, and clapping. Do the same as you create your memory. Sure, there are going to be mistakes, but find the reason you can encourage them and cheer them on. For instance, a common mistake in racquetball is to chase the ball to where it is instead of getting ready for where it will go after it bounces off the walls. I still make that mistake sometimes. On Tuesday, I encouraged my boys to judge where the ball will be instead of chasing it where it is. Of course, this is tough for first-timers, so they often missed when they tried to judge. However, as they broke their habit of chasing the ball, I had something I could encourage them in even when they didn’t get the point.
And now, for the most important key:
5. Do it together
Two of my kids have been to some great camps this summer. Did those make great memories for them? Sure. But they aren’t family memories. Sending your kids to fun places and off with fun people is a good thing to do sometimes. But don’t let all your kid’s memories be with other people. Let them be with you. Find something you can do together and make it a memory.
I was humbled last night. I don’t know whether to make this post a family post because it had to do with my relationship with my kids or to make it about our individual spiritual lives because it taught me about my relationship with God. I’ll just tell you the story and let you draw your own conclusions.
Yesterday was a red-letter day for one of my boys. He was on a tear. He couldn’t keep his hands to himself. He couldn’t calm down. He wouldn’t listen when people asked him to stop. He lied. He annoyed. He caused trouble. He was disrespectful. He smarted off. You know what I’m talking about. He was acting like a 9-year-old boy (imagine that). It was like he was intent on seeking all the negative attention he could get. Poor kid, yesterday he was spanked, sent to his room, had to run around the house 5 times, had to stand in the middle of the room and get all his crying and yelling out, sat down on the couch to be still, lectured. He’s probably going to end up on Dr. Phil because of yesterday.
Finally, last night right before bed, I was talking to him for about the 10th time yesterday that when people ask him to stop, he needs to listen. He may think what he is doing is fun, but they are trying to let him know that it isn’t fun for them. We talked about how if he valued the relationships more than whatever the action was, he needed to stop the action and promote the relationship. We talked about respecting boundaries. We talked about putting a pause button between what he thought and what he said or did. We talked about pushing that pause button and realizing that if he went on with the action, in a few minutes I was going to be asking him, “Son, why did you do that?” If his only response is going to be, “I don’t know,” then he shouldn’t do it. We talked about alternative ways to express his feelings than bugging and annoying his siblings. We talked about how he could come talk to me or his mom about what he is feeling instead of expressing them in annoying ways to get on his siblings nerves and demand their attention.
I have to admit it. I was exhausted. I was tired of this. I was at my wit’s end. I’m thankful that I didn’t blow up. That shows God has been working on me. My son and I just talked. We didn’t yell. That was good. But, I was so frustrated. I said, “Son, why do I have to keep having this conversation with you? I’m just so tired of having this conversation with you.” I brought in some Bible passages from the Proverbs that we have been studying in our family study time lately. I tried to get him to look to the future and see that with each action he is choosing either a course to folly or to wisdom and that I was trying to help him grow up to be the wise man I knew he could be. I pulled out the big parenting proverbs about listening to a father’s instruction. I must have asked him 20 times in the space of five minutes, “Son, how many times am I going to have to have this conversation with you? I’m just so tired of having this same conversation.”
We wrapped up our talk. I hugged him, kissed him, told him I loved him, prayed with him, and then I sent him to bed.
Frustrated and shaking my head, I pulled out the book I started reading earlier, Boundaries with Kids, by Cloud and Townsend.* That’s when I read:
Finally, if you are overwhelmed with the task of teaching a young person…be comforted. God is also a parent and for many years has gone through the same pains you are experiencing.
I almost started crying. As if watching a film, images of sins that I have committed over and over and over and over again flitted through my mind’s eye. And as if listening to my iPod, I heard my own words coming back at me, “Son, how many times am I going to have to have this conversation with you? I’m just so tired of having this same conversation.” And I knew, God could say that same thing to me. How many times could He have said that to me? How many times will He be able to say that to me in my life?
Yet, He hasn’t. Instead, He is patient with me, not wishing that I would perish (II Peter 3:9). He has given me His Word so I could grow. He has given me other people to help me grow. He has given me His Spirit so I can be sanctified. He sent His Son to take the punishment for my sins, to be sacrificed, to die so I don’t have to, so I can be free from all these things I keep doing.
I just cried and prayed.
I wish I had a nice wrap up on this package, to be able to put the bow on top and send you away with words of wisdom. But I don’t. I just needed to share the story. I’m still not even sure what all lessons I should learn from this. It’s just a reminder that I’m writing this blog because of what I’m learning, not because of what I already have figured out.
I feel odd trying to end this with a question and an opportunity for you to respond as I’ve been trying to do with my posts lately. But if you want to respond or if you have a similar experience to share, click here to add your input.
*Yes, this post proves how mercenary I am. That is an affiliate link for the book that gave me this amazing epiphany. I’m looking forward to reading it. If you want to check it out, here’s another link for you.
The top 2 difficulties in parenting…what are they? Well, today, for me they are:
Yes, these are problems and this morning I read a passage in Changes That Heal by Dr. Henry Cloud* that helped me face them and push me to overcome. Check it out.
To set the background, this is in a section of the book that is about growing up to mature adulthood. This comes from chapter 15, “When We Fail to Grow Up.”
People who live in a one-up and one-down world rarely consider differences acceptable. If someone believes or thinks something different, that someone is “wrong.” There is no such thing as a difference of opinion or “agreeing to disagree.”
These people also tend to treat differences in taste as being right or wrong. If their friends buy a certain car or move their kids to a certain school, they begin questioning themselves, “Do I have the right car?” or “Should I move my kids as well?” People who haven’t grown up experience difference as a threat; if two people are doing two different things, someone must be doing the wrong thing.
This attitude can affect very small things such as what sale to go to, or what clothes to buy, or which racquetball racket is “better.” These people always ask, “Which is the better of the two?” instead of, “You like that one, and I like this one.” The latter is the way two equal adults experience their differences.
These pharisaical minds have such a stringent list of what is “right doctrine” that they miss the real doctrine of “Love your neighbor as yourself.” They are so concerned with determining how others are “wrong” that they can’t love them. The Pharisees did this over and over again; they saw others as “less than” them, and therefore bad.
Please don’t misunderstand. I recognize that some things are wrong. I’m sure Dr. Cloud does as well. But this was like a light bulb coming on for me with regard to my parenting.
I spend way too much time competing with people, especially other parents. You public school your kids, I home school mine (or vice versa). I can’t just be satisfied that I like one approach and you like the other. No. This has to be a knock-down, drag-out fight for parental supremacy. I have to be able to prove that my choice (whichever it is) will turn my child into the next Jesus while yours will obviously turn your kid into a rebellious hellion. Either that or I beat myself up for being an awful parent who just isn’t strong enough to make the good choices that you make for your children.
Just because you and I do something different as parents doesn’t mean I have to question whether or not I’m a good parent. Neither does it mean I have to figure out why you are a bad parent so I can feel justified in my choices. Taking one of these paths is actually a sign of my own immaturity. The fact is, you may choose one path in your parenting and I may choose another and both be equally valid and legitimate. I have read all kinds of parenting books from people with different ideas and their kids seem to turn out okay, whether they co-sleep or give their child his own bed, whether they nurse or bottle feed, whether they cloth or disposable diaper, whether they home school or public school. It’s amazing how many people write books from different ends of the parenting spectrum and the number one evidence they give is their own marvelously successful, well-adjusted kids. How does that happen? Maybe different doesn’t always mean wrong. Maybe sometimes it just means different. Just as we should train up our kids in the way they should go (Proverbs 22:6), perhaps we should parent them in the way we should go without trying to compete with everybody else in all their different backgrounds, resources, and opportunities.
But in addition to competing with other parents and placing all kinds of undue stress on me and on those relationships, I tend to want to control my kids. I want to force them to see everything my way exactly. Instead of letting them grow up to think for themselves, I fear that they may think something different from me. Therefore, I do what I can to manipulate their thoughts and feelings to think, see, and behave like me. I don’t know why I want to do this because I know how rotten I am and all the mistakes I’ve made. You’d think that I would someday grasp that the more I control them to be just like me, the more they are going to be just like me. How truly awful that would be.
Instead, I need to let them have their feelings and thinkings. I need to be able as an adult to share my feelings and thinkings. I need to be able as an adult to explain my reasons for action. But I need to help them develop ownership for their feelings, thinkings, and reasons. They do not have to like what I like. They are allowed to like what I don’t. They do not have to act how I act. What is important to me doesn’t have to be important to them.
This is scary to me because I fear they may not find God important. I so desperately want to control their relationship with God. While I may and should have boundaries in my home about a certain attitude toward God (cf. Joshua 24:15) just as God has those boundaries, I’m learning that I have to let my kids develop their own faith. The story of the prodigal’s father astounds me. When the prodigal asked for his inheritance, the father didn’t try to talk him out of it. He didn’t argue with him, cajole him, manipulate him. He let him go. Yes, this put a separation between the son and the father. But that was a natural consequence, not an artificial punishment.
Here is the key. Because the prodigal was free to say, “No,” to the father, he was later free to say, “Yes” to him. If I try to control and manipulate my kids with guilt, shame, fear, hate, or whatever else, they are not ever actually free to agree with me. They are just robots. My kids are only free to accept me and what I think and feel when they are free to reject it.
That is hard to swallow and frightening, because my kids may reject me. But it is exactly how God treats me. I want to be mature like Him and give my kids the freedom to be different from me. I am hopeful in the end that through this attitude, they will learn to be like me in what is good and also challenge me to change where I am wrong.
This is a challenge to grow up. This is a challenge to be more like God in my parenting. This is a challenge to be more mature in my relationships. We don’t have to be children, constantly seeking everyone else’s approval. Instead, we simply need to do what we think is right based on our relationship with God and let other parents and our kids do the same.
What books or ideas have helped you out in your parenting? Click here to add your input.
^Please understand that I am talking about as our children grow up. There is a time with young children for controlling their behavior. But even at those times, we don’t need to manipulate their behavior.
*Yes, there are affiliate links in this post. Please help a fellow out. Click on the link and buy a book. It’s the right thing to do. You’re wrong if you don’t do that. Wait! What?
Oh, and by the way, here is another affiliate link if you are interested.
I know this may shock you, but my family and I have a terrible struggle with keeping a scheduled family Bible study and prayer time. We’ve learned all kinds of great ways to study and pray together. I’ve written about one of my favorites on this blog. But despite how inspiring some of these methods are, we get them started, do well for a while, and then it falls off. The struggle is often with making the schedules work. I don’t have a set schedule. I’ll have meetings come up or studies come up or I’ll have to go out of town. Or maybe something comes up for Marita or the kids. It gets in the way of our Bible study and prayer schedule and then, after a few misses, the habit is broken. A few weeks or months later, we are convicted about our lack of devotion and we get back on the family Bible study bandwagon feeling all kinds of shame and guilt.
If you’re like us, I’ve got something that might help. We’ve discovered a way to overcome this struggle. At least it is working for us. Although all kinds of things mess up our schedules every week and keep us from being able to set a timed schedule for Bible study, we recognized that we are actually pretty good at making sure we eat no matter what our scheduling does. No, we don’t actually get three family meals together every day. But we do get several family meals together each week.
So, we bought two cheap Bibles (Bibles that we didn’t mind getting a little food or drink spilled on them). Then we set them on our two tables. Now we have a reminder every time we sit down to eat to pull the Bible out and discuss it. We read a chapter and talk about it and then we pray.
This has been great for us because we are studying, praying, and having quality family time in actual communication. What is really great about this (since we are going through Proverbs right now) is how it has helped with discipline. We keep coming across Proverbs that apply to real life situations in our family. When one of us crosses the line on something, we’ve probably read a proverb about it that day. Now it is no longer just parents disciplining children; it is God disciplining our family.
You may not struggle with the scheduling. But if you do, I recommend this approach. See if it doesn’t help. Make sure you come back and let us know how it helps.
What do you do to help you study with your family? Click here to add your input.]]>
They have been patiently waiting for you to come home. They can’t wait to see you. You are their Dad, their leader. They want to be like you. They want you to love them. Those first few moments through the door will mean so much. So, here are my top 5 things you can say to them when you walk through the door. Try some tonight and let us know how it works.
Does this actually need explanation? We walk through the door, tired, exhausted and we forget that our kids need this affirmation all the time. Run up to them like they are the greatest person in the world, give them a hug and say, “I love you.”
Your kids are desperately glad to see you. Let them know the feeling is mutual. Let them know they are important to you. When my kids were 2, they would all come running up to me as I walked through the door like I was the most important person in the world to them. I want them to feel that same way every time I walk through the door.
Don’t be so caught up in your own world that you forget about your kids. Ask them about their day. Then listen without judgment. Get down on their level. Sit down with them on the couch. If they are still small enough, let them sit in your lap. Look them in the eye and then listen intently. Rejoice about whatever they are rejoicing. Weep about whatever they are weeping.
Spend some time with them. Let them know you want to spend time with them. Spend some time doing what they want. Do they want to throw the football, do it. Do they want to have a play teatime, do it. Do they want to put together a puzzle, do it. I know you may not be able to do this every night. But do it some time. Do it regularly.
This is one of my favorite things to ask my kids. Certainly, you might answer this with reasons of your own. “I love you because you’re cute.” “…you are funny.” “…you are fun.” But, I don’t like these answers because it suggests if they ever think they aren’t cute, funny, fun or whatever that you won’t love them anymore. Instead, I tell my kids, “I love you because you’re you.” I tell my kids, “I love you because you’re Trina.” “I love you because you’re Ryan.” “I love you because you’re Ethan.” “I love you because you’re Tessa.” As long as they are who they are, I’ll love them. One of the most precious moments in my life was when two-year-old Trina said, “You know why I love you?” “Why?” “I love you cuz you Daddy.” Can’t beat that.
I know you’re tired when you get home. I know you want to slink off into your man cave. I know you want to slip away into a world of televised escape. But first, say something to your kids. Let them know how important they are to you. By the way, don’t forget you are also coming home to your wife. Click here for some things you can say to her.
Maybe I missed something you’ve found that is great to say to your kids when you get home. What do you say to your kids when you get home? You can add your input by clicking here.]]>
I’m really caught up in figuring out how to plan my boys’ training for the next few years. Having been inspired by Robert Lewis’s Raising a Modern-Day Knight: A Father’s Role in Guiding His Son to Authentic Manhood, I want to raise my boys up to be knights, in the ideal sense of the word.
Last week, you helped me give some consideration to a Vision of Manhood. What does a real man look like. Thanks for helping out with that. He looks like a servant who is devoted first to God, loves his wife, is committed, honest, sacrificial. You gave me some great help and provided the web world with some great info.
I need some more help. Lewis went on to get a little more specific. The Vision of Manhood is about over-arching concepts of manhood. He then provided a Code of Conduct that he and his buddies developed to pass on to their boys. He listed 10 things, but I don’t want to muddy your thinking with all 10. But I’ll give an example. One aspect of his code of conduct was “Kindness.” A real conducts himself in kindness.
So, within the vision of manhood that we are developing, what are some aspects of everyday conduct that you would teach a boy to help him become a man.
How does a real man conduct himself?
You can provide your input by clicking here. And again, thanks for your help.
This page does contain affiliate links. Here’s another one. If you’d like to learn more about Lewis’s vision of manhood for his boys, make sure you check out his book. Click the link below.]]>
Last week I shared my book review of Robert Lewis’s Raising a Modern-Day Knight: A Father’s Role in Guiding His Son to Authentic Manhood. I am all kinds of excited about the ideas I’m getting because of reading this book.
However, as I start making plans for me and my boys, I don’t want to simply rely on one man’s assessment of manhood. I’d like to get your ideas also. I’ve got several questions I want to get your input on. Today I’ll start with just one.
In the book, Lewis suggests that we develop a vision of real manhood that we can pass on to our boys. What are the over-arching principles that govern how a real man lives?
Help me out here. In your mind, what is a real man?
Ladies, I’d like your help on this too. What kind of man do you look to as a true knight in shining armor?
I look forward to your help. You can give your input by clicking here.
This post does contain affiliate links. If you’d like to learn more about Lewis’s vision of manhood for his boys, make sure you check out his book. Click the link below.]]>
What is a man? Have you thought about it? Have you told your son about it? Have you modeled it for him? Have you paved the way for him to be one?
That is the crux of Robert Lewis’s book, “Raising a Modern-Day Knight: A Father’s Role in Guiding His Son to Authentic Manhood*.” I know I’m a little late on this train. The book is 13 years old and was revamped, updated, and expanded 3 years ago. However, I first learned about it last Thursday. I finished it on Saturday. That may tell you something.
Fathers and Grandfathers alike need to read this book in which Lewis relates a journey he and three friends travelled together in their own personal manhood and that of training their boys to be men. The basis of their plan is to resurrect knighthood. In the middle ages, a certain class of men received specific training to be men. When they started developing into men, they were assigned a mentor, becoming his page. They progressed to being a squire. Eventually, if they pursued their training well, they were dubbed a knight. The most profound aspect of this was none of these men had to question whether or not they had become a man, a knight. They knew it. They had seen knighthood modeled. They had been trained to be a knight. They had been inducted without equivocation into the ranks of knighthood.
Our society seems to be missing that today. Boys rarely see a vision cast for manhood. They are infrequently trained in any way to be a man. What most get today is a government-run education whose only goal is to supposedly prepare them to have a job someday (probably so they can pay taxes). Further, they are inundated and pummeled with media images of pathetic manhood as fathers have become the butt of most sitcom jokes. They are left to wonder even after they have left home and stepped out into the world to care for themselves whether or not they have ever become a real man.
What we need today is a brotherhood of knights. Men who have been taught what being a man looks like. Men who have been taught what a real man acts like. Men who have seen modeled how real men treat others, especially women. Lewis sets forth a plan of action tested and tried in the crucible of his own fatherhood.
In this book, he establishes a four-pronged vision of manhood, a three-legged code of conduct, and an over-arching transcendent cause to accomplish. Finally, he spikes the whole concept home by showing how to make this process unmistakably clear to your boys through the use of a series of ceremonies as they grow up to manhood, knighthood.
This book only scratches the surface. As I considered my own plans, mostly prompted by this book, I felt that it didn’t go far enough. But at the same time, it seems that having this plan, even if it didn’t seem to directly declare as much as I wanted it to about real manhood, ended up getting the job done better than I’ve been doing. Of course, that may be why Lewis has a ton of other stuff on manhood and raising boys. Additionally, while the book mentions baptism as a great ceremony, it neglects to demonstrate its essential nature to salvation and being in Christ. Further, the whole concept is predicated on the ideal theory of chivalry and knighthood, while it glosses over the real savagery and immorality committed by many knights. Someone buying into this idea may do more study on knighthood and find himself disgusted rather than uplifted.
Having said that, I’m excited about what I got from this book. I’m excited about bringing back the ideal of knighthood and the theory of chivalry. I’m excited to pass this book on to other fathers. I’m excited to start developing my own community of knights. I’m excited to start casting a vision with my boys of real manhood. This book will not be the end-all be-all of manhood, and I don’t think Lewis expects it to be. But it will be the springboard to propel me on a journey that I think will benefit my family, my boys, even my girls, and me.
I’d like to invite you on that same journey. If you are looking for a plan to help you raise your boys into men, I suggest you start right here.
*Yes, this post contains affiliate links. If I’m going to raise my boys to manhood, it is going to take some fundage. Help a father out. Click on the links and purchase the book. You’ll be helping you and me at the same time. Thanks. By the way, in case you missed it. Here is another affiliate link to help you purchase the book.]]>
This past Sunday, I was teaching a class on leadership. The whole crux of the lesson was “Good leaders develop followers; Great leaders develop other leaders.” That seems so profound in the congregational setting. But then it hit me. What about my kids? Am I training them to be followers or leaders.
Now I know where your mind just went. You thought I was talking about whether or not they will follow the crowd at school or whether they will lead the crowd. While that is good point too, I was actually thinking of where I may have a deeper problem in child-rearing.
Am I training my children simply to follow me or am I empowering them to be able to lead themselves?
Am I training them to do what they think is right or am I training them to do what I think is right? Am I empowering them to think for themselves or am I squelching their creativity? Are they ever allowed to disagree with me? Should they be allowed to disagree with me? Or am I teaching them to simply step in line behind me?
I don’t want my children to simply be followers, even if they are just following me. Yes, I want to positively influence them. But, really, I want them to be leaders. That may mean they don’t stay in lockstep behind me.
So, how do I help train them to be leaders?
Let me know what you think.]]>