Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Parental Guidance Required

My wife and I just finished a great DVD/Book series called "Parental Guidance Required". It is written by Andy Stanley and Reggie Joiner from Northpoint Church outside Atlanta. We really enjoyed learing what it had to say about the three most important relationships your child will have; Their parents, God and with people outside the home. It teaches you how to Enhance, Advance and Influence your child's relationships. I would definitely recommend it for other parents. Below is an outline of the book with some of my notes mixed in.

1. Experience Isn’t Everything
a. “It’s not what a person does, but who he is, that gives him value.
b. The activities that use up our time and resources in childhood have very little to do with what happens to us in adulthood/future.
c. The trend in our culture is to make our children experience-rich and relationship-poor.
d. ASK: Does your children’s experiences outweigh the time you spend with them? If so, what changes need to be made.
e. ASK: What are you doing to…
i. Enhance your children’s relationship with you?
ii. Advance your children’s relationship with God?
iii. Influence your children’s relationship with people outside our home?
f. Experience rich kids do not have a healthy childhood.
g. Need to learn to maintain relationships in this world.
h. TIP: Restriction doesn’t work (Ex. No phone for 2 weeks)
i. Since we were kids once doesn’t mean we know how to raise them.
j. Nurture Kids: Never lose influence over them.
k. It is about Influence not control
l. Key Versus:
i. Ephesians 6:4 – Parent/Child Relationship
ii. Proverbs 3:6 – Relationship with God.
iii. Proverbs 13:20 – Relationship with others
m. The friends your children have will determine the direction and quality of their life.
i. The pressure to participate in activities should not be allowed to govern your parenting to the point that it detracts from your ability to develop a strong relationship with your child.
ii. Children can grow up experience-poor and still thrive as adults, but children who grow up relationship-poor do not possess the emotional freedom to explore their life’s full potential.

2. The Three Dials
a. “It’s not what you know, but who you know.”
b. It’s the people in our lives that have the deepest impact.
c. For the most part, our lives are the sum total of our relationships, our experiences and our decisions.
d. Your key relationships have impacted your life more than anything else.
e. As parents, we can control neither the decisions our children will make nor all their experiences. But we have the ability to influence their key relationships along the way.
f. Teach your kids to be accountable to God and know that he has a plan for their life and to follow him.
i. The three most important relationships in a person’s life are his relationship with parents, God and people outside the home.
ii. As Parents, we have a window of opportunity to impact the quality of these relationships in our child’s life.

3. Turning The Spiritual Dial in Your Child’s Life
a. “The soul never thinks without a picture.” –Aristotle
b. There is too much at stake not to know everything about them spiritually.
i. NO one has more potential to affect the way a child sees God than his parents.
d. Three questions to help you turn the spiritual dial in your children’s lives:
i. What do I want them to become?
ii. Where are they now?
iii. How can I help them take the next step?

4. The Big “I”
a. “Our children will need us most in the decisions that matter most”
b. We always want to sit in the seat of influence with our children.
c. If there is no relationship, there is no influence.
d. As your children get older, you need to move away from size and position to relationship to gain influence.
i. When it matters most, the quality of your relationship with your children will determine the weight of your influence.
ii. In the early years, a parent’s influence is based on size and position.
iii. Your children need your influence the most when they make the decisions that matter most.

5. Out of Control
a. “He who deals with an open hand bears more influence that one who rules with a tight grip.”
b. And while control is essential in the beginning, it’s only one stage in an important process.
c. Your best bet for preparing your child for the future will be through relational channels.
d. Ephesians 6:4 – Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
i. To exasperate your child means to abuse your size or position.
ii. There comes a time in parenting when control is no longer the objective.
iii. Exasperation erodes relationships and destroys the leverage of influence.
f. As a parent, if you are right, it doesn’t matter if you don’t have influence and a relationship.
g. As they get older, you will never be able to control by being right. The best and only thing you can do is influence their decisions.

6. Turning The Relational Dial in Your Child’s Life
a. “The company we keep is like the soundtrack in our lives…inevitably we will dance to it.”
b. A friend has more potential to influence a person’s decisions that either his parents or God.

c. Start asking…
i. Is there someone you need to dial out?
ii. Is there someone you need to dial in?
i. Friends influence the quality and direction of our child’s life.
ii. Often the greatest successes and biggest regrets in our lives are directly influenced by our friends.
iii. Parents should be active in dialing in good friendships and dialing out bad ones.

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