tackling the big issues
by stpauls 19/September/12
Jennie and Scott Milne have raised 3 lovely children who are now all in
their 20's. I knew that with their vast experience of parenting and
advocating for families that they would have some great viewpoints on this
hot topic, and I wasn't disappointed. They had heaps of great ideas to share
with us and lots of funny and poignant examples of situations they had faced
whilst parenting in the teenage years.
I loved that the first thing they said was not to buy into the notion that
the teenage years were one big drama. Whilst they experienced bumps long the
way, they mostly really loved this part of parenthood.
They explained that teenagers want a sense of belonging, to be trusted and
to feel useful.
I thought I would share a couple of the highlights for me:
They talked about picking your battles. If something was morally wrong or
life threatening, this is more important than say,dying your hair pink!
They encouraged us to 'hold the line' with certain things and stick with it.
This is particularly important if you have more than one child. Their third
child didn't bother trying to push the boundaries which the first two
couldn't break. Sometimes we may be counter cultural, but we need to explain
to our children why we hold the beliefs and opinions that we do and why we
won't be swayed in certain areas.
I loved their encouragement to talk through the big issues around the dinner
table. Find out their attitudes about sex, drugs, alcohol and pornography (eek!) Tell them the hard facts and get across your main points through
these family conversations. Let them practice responses for tricky
situations and let them blame us for not being allowed to do things.
They explained that our standards or expectations about an issue will impact
our children's behaviour and they won't want to disappoint us. I love that
having a home group of like-minded adults who love and pray regularly for my
children widens their 'village'.
I left feeling that it was important to keep involved with my children and
their friends: managing the soccer team, helping on the PTA, helping at
church etc, so I can keep my ear to the ground so I know what their friends
(and their parents!) are like.
I felt happy that my children are in a strong faith community where they
hear the message of unconditional love and that no mistake is fatal.
My husband James said that he hoped Scott and Jennie would do this talk
again next year, and that he would encourage every parent whose child is
heading off to intermediate school to head along to hear some top tips.
We appreciated the hot choccy intermission to warm us up and it's always
great to chat with other St Paul's parents without the children milling
Thanks Scott and Jennie!
Ministry to Preschool Leader
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