Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Generation iY

I subscribe to iMOM. This is the female version of All Pro Dad, which are branches of Tony Dungy's Family First. All this to say that there was an article written by Dr. Tim Elmore called Three Lies That Can Keep Your Child Stuck in Adolescence. Being with Reson and dealing with the youth of today and raising two boys of my own I wasn't too sure about some of things he wrote. 

Here are the three lies:

Lie #1: "You Can Be Anything You Want to Be."

Lie #2: "It's Your Choice."

Lie #3: "You Are Special."

If you want to read the explanations that he states click on the link above, but I had some things that I wanted to say about it. I get stereotyped because I am a young mom. I married right out of high school, which in today's mindset means you WILL get divorced. Thankfully, we have been married going on 8 years and been together for over eleven years. So, I'm not a fan of stereotypes. Now, I have the your a young mom, which has been turned into you shouldn't be your kids' friend. There is a simple truth to all this that gets over looked and that is, I follow the main handbook on my ideas of marriage and parenting, the Bible. So, it doesn't matter my age. I seek truth. 

I post that because it is important to see my standard, my foundation for my train of thought with this article. Did I like it? Yes and No. I thought it was too cut and dry. 

The fact is we could continue this article with anything can be lie and truth with these ideas. 

Lie #1: The idea behind this argument is that not everyone should try out for American Idol because they don't have the gift of signing.  If I look at it like that yes, but this is a bit of stretch. Just because a person is not a strong enough to be America's Idol (which I wouldn't want to be) doesn't mean that they can't be a vital part of a choir as a support branch. I know that there are parents that do flat out lie and say you sing as beautiful as Celine Dion, and yes that can be a lie. However, I don't want my children to think that they don't have a singing voice and that stops them from worshiping God with song. If our goal in life is to live the "American Dream" then I would say, "Your voice is just plain bad, let's look at an alternative." Now, if my goal in life is the sole (soul) purpose of praising God then sing away! 

Lie #2: I do believe that there is no gray area! I would say this is the lie I agree with most. There is a way to give choice and not be giving away your parental stance. I see this one the most working as a Youth Pastor's wife. I want to see my boy/girlfriend alone in my room, okay. I want to talk with them on the phone until all hours of the night. Where are the boundaries? I use cell phones as a prime example because not only with Reson being a Youth Pastor, but he works for a cell phone company. There are elementary school students with full access cell phones. What! They have all the text messaging, camera, website usage they want. I don't understand it. As Christians, we are not to be stumbling blocks to others, this should be for our children as well. How do we protect our child from pornography or sexual content when we allow full access to it everywhere they go? This would also go hand-in-hand with kids and the teaching of modesty. Parents, don't dress your girls like tramps is a great article from a non-Christian perspective. If looking at not so "serious" topics, there are boundaries still to be made. For example, Breakfast time, I let the boys make a choices, most of the time. Cereal, eggs, or toast with jelly. Lunch time, there is a choice of turkey, ham, or pb&j sandwiches. Dinner time = NO CHOICE! "But we must also help them learn the truth that not everything is open to discussion or debate. Sometimes there really is no choice, and kids will be better prepared for adult life if they understand this."

But as Granderson writes in the CNN article, "Friends bow to peer pressure. Parents say, "No, and that's the end of it." 

Lie #3: I would tell you to look at my response to the first one for my idea behind this one. My kids are special! Now, I wouldn't want them to become egotistical, but God knit them in my womb, He knows the number of hairs on their little heads. It designed them in HIS image, oh they are special! There are different definitions for special as far as Webster is concerned: unusual or better, esteemed, reserved... Again, what is the personal goal. If you are living the "American Dream" then this fits you for this article, but for me it doesn't. If raising my children as special because they are in the image of God that makes them humble, wise, men of truth, honor, above reproach, and the list goes on. No my children are not better (or more special) than our beautiful Compassion children, no they are all just as special because they are God's children!

I think Dr. Elmore meant well, but I do again think the article is too cut and dry. He does give clarity in his responses to people in the post, but I think it would have suited better to say these things in the article. I'm curious as to where his approach goes with his book, "Generation iY: Our Last Chance to Save Their Future" Here are some of his rebuttals to the commentators.

"My hope in writing this article was to challenge parents to examine the underlying messages in these commonly-used phrases. I’m not suggesting that most parents intentionally mislead to their children. I’m just pointing out that these seemingly helpful phrases can turn into harmful statements when not balanced with the hard work of helping children develop an accurate picture of reality that exists outside the home.

As you say, we really do have a responsibility to be realistic with our children. I just want to challenge parents to balance encouragement with guidance. Children desperately need to discover their unique abilities that will ultimately allow them to reach their greatest potential."

"I too hope that parents who are challenged by this excerpt will take time to read the rest of the book. My end goal is not just to point out the challenges that this generation faces but to help us all work together towards solutions that will help them reach their potential. I truly believe that this generation has the potential to be the greatest generation but it will take a concentrated effort by all of us as parents, educators and leaders to guide them in overcoming the obstacles."

"I understand the strong reaction to calling these statements lies. I really don’t believe that most parents set out to intentionally mislead their children.

However, I do believe these seemingly helpful phrases can turn into harmful statements if not balanced with a clear picture of the real world kids face when they leave home. Unfortunately, it’s easy for most parents to give encouragement; yet sometimes hard to do the work of really helping children understand the reality of the world we live in. Leading our kids to this understanding is a process that must be pursued, consistently and intentionally, over time.

I agree with you that balance is the real key. All of us recognize the harmful effects of a child who is raised in an environment with nothing but discouragement. I’m just pointing out that a steady diet of nothing but affirmation can be just as debilitating in the long run if the child doesn’t mature and learn to handle adversity."

I would think that with reading his responses that we agree on the topic at hand, but again the approach to these "lies" are not lies, but truths that need to be looked at in a different mind set. Thanks my side and I'm stickin' to it. =D


1 comment:

Madison @ iMOM said...

Thank you so much for featuring iMOM's 3 Lies That Keep your Child Stuck in Adolescence! We have updated our site and you can now link to it here:

Thank you again,