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Resilient Kids | Kathy Koch

Building Relationships / Dr. Gary Chapman
The Truth Network Radio
February 18, 2023 1:00 am

Resilient Kids | Kathy Koch

Building Relationships / Dr. Gary Chapman

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February 18, 2023 1:00 am

How do you help your children overcome the challenges they face every day? On this Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, author and speaker, Dr. Kathy Koch will help you raise a resilient child. What’s keeping parents from doing that in today’s world? Can a parent teach resilience when they struggle themselves? Don’t miss the encouragement for parents on Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman.

Featured resource: Resilient Kids: Raising Them to Embrace Life with Confidence

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What we need to do is be aware and be alert and be available, but let our kids struggle because that's how their endurance grows. That's how their faith grows. That's how their character develops. And that's what we want. Why do we have weak children who are giving up quickly?

Because we haven't let them benefit from the struggle. It's where we get our muscular strength, both for our heart and for our mind and for our faith. Welcome to Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, author of the New York Times bestseller, "The 5 Love Languages" . Today author and speaker, Dr. Cathy Cook, will help you instill confidence in your children. How can you help them exhibit resilience in their lives?

You'll find out straight ahead. We've talked with Dr. Cook about a lot of issues facing children and their parents, but I sense this topic of resilience is going to really resonate in your heart as you listen today because it's something that we struggle to possess, to not let circumstances overwhelm us or overcome us. It's not easy to do, is it, Gary? Well, you're exactly right, Chris, and let's face it, all of us have dealt with things that took us down, as it were, you know, emotionally and mentally and maybe spiritually. And this whole thing of resilience, coming back after you've been hit in the side, really, really important.

And I am excited about our conversation today. If you go to, you'll see our featured resource by Dr. Cook, Resilient Kids, Raising Them to Embrace Life with Confidence. Dr. Cathy Cook is founder and president of Celebrate Kids Incorporated, based in Fort Worth, Texas. She's influenced thousands of parents, teachers and children in 30 countries through keynote messages, seminars, chapels, banquet talks and other events. She earned a PhD in reading and educational psychology from Purdue University. You can find out more about her and the latest book, Resilient Kids, at Well, Dr. Cook, welcome back to Building Relationships. I'm thrilled to be here, Gary.

Thank you so much for the invitation. Now, there's a reason you decided to tackle this topic of resilient kids. Tell us what motivated you to write this book. Right.

Thanks for asking that. I've actually written about resiliency in two of my other books, so it's been an important character quality that I wanted to bring people's attention to. But, Gary, when I saw the COVID crisis, when I saw children defining their lives by what they did not have rather than what they did have, when I saw how hard things really were for our families, I was so concerned that people would begin, you know, staying down in the valley, if I can put it that way.

They didn't know maybe how to bounce back. I was so concerned for the losses that they were experiencing and would they believe in themselves and in the goodness of God that they could recover from those things. So that was a big part of my motivation. Well, I can certainly understand that. Was there a time in your own personal childhood that really helped, looking back on it, helped you understand this whole concept of resiliency?

You know, it's so interesting. It's fun to look back or maybe difficult to look back. My brother and I were raised by good parents and we were involved in music and athletics and academics were really important to us. We served, involved in church. And so I look back and I realize that our parents allowed us to take risks.

They set us up to learn new skills. They were supportive of all things. And there was one particular incident. I was swimming in a lake when we were on vacation, hit by a rock, came out of the water screaming because I saw all the blood. Parents rushed me to the hospital, got my first stitches.

And you know what, Gary? They let me go swimming the next day. And I look back on that, right?

Because, you know, risk averse parents or parents who were so fearful for their children who bubble wrap them and they don't want anything to happen. My parents would have said, no, sit on the bench, you know, but they said, no, you know, it was a weird occurrence. It's probably never going to happen in your lifetime again.

You know, go swimming. And I'm grateful for that. Yeah, that's a good example for parents who are listening today because something will happen to your child along the journey. Yes, yes. How do you define resiliency? I define it as readily recovering from difficulties.

And Gary, difficulties can be anything. Difficulties, any kind of trauma, disappointment, fear, grief, loss, but readily recovering. I used to say it was bouncing back like Tigger and Winnie the Pooh, but that's really not fair.

You know, that's pretty rare that even a well-adjusted child would have a tragedy, disappointment, a knockdown experience and quickly bounce back. But it's readily recovering, being able to, on our own, stand back up when we've been knocked down. It's a choice.

Starts as a choice. You know, a child who learns how to walk and falls down doesn't stay down. They choose to stand back up often because of the support system around them. Even mom and dad who lift them to their feet and steady their feet and, you know, smile and say, come to mama. So it's a choice. It becomes a learned ability when we give our kids enough choices and we stay kind of out of their way so they have to learn how to stand up.

And then, you know, Gary, one of my most important goals in the book is that parents raise children so that it becomes a part of their character. So this readily recovering is a part of their character. Like you and I, we don't have to think about being resilient. We are resilient. It's a part of who we are. And that's what I want for our kids so that they readily recover.

Even if you're not there, doesn't matter what their disappointment might be, but they know that they're ready for more and they stand back up. So important. Yep. In the book, you talk about types of resiliency. What are some of those different types of resiliency? Yeah.

Thanks for asking that. You know, there's physical resiliency. So how do we respond to their losses? You know, they're a soccer player, basketball, football. They're playing tennis or learning gymnastics. If you have your children involved in those kinds of things and you want them to do really well, they have to be physically resilient. They have to be able to handle maybe a negative coach. They have to be able to handle a kid on a team who's better than them. There's intellectual energy. How do we readily recover from, you know, a bad grade or from being embarrassed in front of the class when we worked a problem at the board?

Not being chosen for a debate team that we wanted to be on. There's emotional resiliency. How do we respond to their tears? How do we help them come back from emotional trauma where they maybe laughed and they were laughed at for laughing or, you know, they were really disappointed and they don't know how to come back from that?

Well, and then your expertise, of course, Dr. Chapman, you have so many areas of expertise, but there's relational resiliency. You know, a child who dated and it didn't go well, will they ever date again? A child who was bullied, a child who wasn't chosen for sitting at that lunch table. How do we listen to their emotional hurts and help them readily recover from that and understand that there's spiritual resiliency? Oh, my goodness, how do we raise our children to not give up on God, to readily recover when the church maybe does something they don't appreciate? A youth pastor or a children's pastor doesn't remember their name.

They don't get the yes that they prayed for. How do we help them with that? So each of the different areas is something that moms and dads can really kind of ponder and prioritize, especially depending upon the kind of kids that you're raising. This is Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, author of The New York Times bestseller, "The 5 Love Languages" . Dr. Cathy Cook is joining us today, author of Resilient Kids, Raising Them to Embrace Life with Confidence. Find out more about it at That's Well, Dr. Cook, are children today facing more challenges to becoming resilient than in previous generations?

I think so for maybe a few reasons. I think a lot of our children are striving to be perfect, which you and I both know is unhealthy, dangerous, and impossible. Excellence and progress ought to be our goals. Excellence, I like to say, has been done.

His name is Jesus. And so we want to strive for excellence, progress, and being better than we were yesterday if we're capable of that. So we have to make sure that expectations for our children are realistic so that they don't crumble and burn because they were striving for something that isn't even real. The comparisonitis of social media and some of the places we're allowing our kids to go allows them to compare and always feel defeated. And that can be, of course, extremely discouraging. The other thing I would realistically say, and, you know, I don't want anyone to turn off the radio, so I want everyone to keep listening because, you know, Gary, your audiences, of course, are doing the very best they know how to do. But a lot of our parents are bubble-wrapping their kids.

You know, could I just be honest there? We've got a lot of parents maybe afraid that if their children make mistakes, it reflects badly on them. But it's not about us as parents.

So we have to make sure that we save the bubble wrap for grandma's antique vase, you know, and we allow our children to be children. And, Gary, how do they learn? They learn by experiencing new things, and it's going to require effort, endurance, diligence, perseverance, and character traits because it's tough. So, yeah, I think it's hard. I don't think it's ever been easy generationally, but I do think the comparisonitis of social media makes it hard. I think perhaps fearful parents make it hard. I'd love to know what you think about that, if you'd be willing to share what you think about today's generation of kids and resiliency. Well, I think you're exactly right.

I think that today it may be much more difficult than other generations. You know, I was just driving to work this morning and I thought, you know, when I grew up as a child, my family and I knew all the people that lived in our community. I mean, we knew them. I played with their kids in the backyard, you know. Today's world is not like that, you know, unless you're in the rural area, you know, of the country.

Perhaps maybe that still happens. I don't know. We don't even know our neighbors, you know. And so the fact that there's not connections there sometimes in a neighborhood and that sort of thing, in addition to what you said, you know, the online challenge. So, yeah, I think it's I think it's difficult.

Can I jump in there, Gary, and say, because I grew up in a rural area, too, and you hear this in the Amish community, somebody's barn burns down and they come back the next day and they're building it. And I think, Dr. Cook, what you're getting at is in the connection thing, the isolation with all the connections that we have. We're more isolated because if something happens in your house, unless you mention it on social media, you know, people don't know what's going on because you're not as connected. And there's a lot of fear, you know, with the pandemic and everything else, you know, we isolate ourselves. And that just amplifies the lack of ability to reach into somebody's life when they're hurting and come to their house and, you know, and help them out.

What do you think of that? I think that's so true. And, you know, let's say, for instance, that you have a child who's athletically inclined and really wants to play soccer and you're a mom or a dad who's not into that. You didn't have experiences with that as a child growing up. You're going to benefit from a neighbor who wants to kick the soccer ball along with your little boy and even go to the game and cheer him on.

You're going to benefit from, you know, a coach who speaks life into your son or daughter. And we need not be afraid of that because we were not created to live alone in isolation. We were created for community and for healthy relationships.

And we don't have to be, as a parent, the only one who loves our kids well. So those are I appreciate that, guys. I think those are really good points. Yeah. Now, you believe that parents need to pay attention to what children believe about things like mistakes and failures. Talk about that. Oh, I really do.

My goodness. You know, fascinating to know this. A lot of children define mistakes as I'm stupid. So they make a mistake on a paper or again at a music competition, soccer game, whatever.

And they're like, well, I'm stupid. And then I was so frightened when I realized that they think that if they fail, they're bad. So now failure for some kids is a B. I'm not talking an F on a report card. You know, if they set out with an excellent expectation to make the team or earn a rating of a one on a piano competition and they get a two, they failed.

Then they're bad. And a mistake is that I'm stupid. So if a parent says, well, you know, Jonathan, what's the big deal? You just made a mistake. You just said to your child, you're just stupid. So what a conversation to have.

Like, go for a walk or sit around the table and just kick it around. Hey, you know, kids, what do you when you hear mistake, what do you think of or what do you think causes a mistake? Like those of us who are adults, we know that mistakes happen. Maybe we're tired. Maybe we were distracted by the excellent weather.

We didn't want to be inside and we didn't concentrate as well. Maybe we forgot there was a test and we didn't study. Mistakes do not mean that we're stupid or bad. We have to own it and be self-aware and recognize that I was prideful and I didn't ask for help and therefore I did not do well on that test. And if I would have said, Dad, I'm confused, would you help me?

Everything would be different. So let's sit around and talk about the role of effort. Like a lot of kids think that if they have to try hard, they're stupid.

No, there's not as if you think about it, everything that you've been able to accomplish in your life, relationally, socially, emotionally, physically, intellectually, spiritually has involved some level of effort. It means you care. It means you have inner fortitude. It means you're resilient.

It's not a bad thing. Let's talk about these things so our kids aren't afraid. Make sense?

Yeah, it makes a lot of sense. You know, I was talking to an adult just this week. In fact, I think it was just yesterday on the phone and the subject of his childhood came up and he said, you know, everything I ever did, my father thought I should have done better. It was a father problem, you know. He said, if I made a B, he said, you're smarter than this boy. You should be making A's, you know.

That's the way I grew up. So I never had a sense that I was, you know, satisfying my father. If I could speak into that for just a second, you know, that's a well-meaning dad. You know, you can do better. You know, so anybody who's listening, please don't feel any shame. We want you to have hope for tomorrow because when you say to a child, you can do better, what's the proof?

What's the evidence? Just saying to a child, you can do better doesn't necessarily help them. If they feel like failures or they're feeling scared or they feel like you expect perfection, they might actually not try as hard because if they try really hard and miss the mark, they feel stupider than if they don't try and miss the mark.

Because then they can say, oh, if I would have tried, I could have pleased my dad. So I want to encourage parents, grandparents, and educators to share your proof. Look, today's paper is very similar to yesterday's. You did very well yesterday. I don't understand why you're fearful today.

So show them the evidence because otherwise, you know what, Gary? It's what I call in the book toxic positivity. You can do it.

You can do it. Intoxic positivity doesn't allow a child to ask for help. And you want your children to approach you. You need to be their advocate.

Daddy, I thought I was listening, but oh, my goodness, could you help me? I mean, what an honor that they would trust you with their heart in those moments. Yeah, yeah. What about the parents who themselves have a sense of failure? Maybe they had things in their childhood so they feel like a failure themselves as a parent. And now we're asking them to help their kids be resilient from failures.

Right. It is hard. I appreciate the question. So I would ask that they would recognize it. So I'm proud of anyone who would recognize, oh, maybe I am part of the problem. Because if you don't recognize it, of course, you can't embrace change and love your kids well.

So admit that to yourself. Forgive if you feel like you haven't. And maybe you were raised in a way that was a critical mom or dad or an expectation that you didn't feel was fair. And it caused you to really stumble and doubt yourself even in your adulthood.

So go back if you need to and forgive and understand it as much as you can. And then I would love you to read my book with the inner child in you. Many people have read my book and told me that, oh, Kathy, I read it as a mom and a dad, but I read it as a kid. And I realize that I'm carrying into my parenting, you know, some things that are not really healthy. If your kids are old enough, sit down and talk about it and, you know, talk about how we can grow in resiliency together. And by the way, one of the best ways, I think, to do that is to play a board game nobody in the family has played before. Do a jigsaw that nobody in the family has ever done before. So everybody in the family is at the same kind of beginning stage and learn together, laugh together, and understand that inexperience is not mistake or failure.

It simply is inexperience. So, yeah, parents, we can love our kids well and do this better maybe than we've done it before. It's not about us.

It is not about us. You also discuss in the book optimism and pessimism. These are important attitudes in a child's life and an adult's life.

What's your perspective on those? Gary, I was surprised when I began to do the research and write the book at the role of relevance of optimism. I knew that it would be important.

I've known that probably forever. But oh, my goodness, optimistic children don't blame others as readily as others. Optimistic kids own their responsibility for the issue that is at hand. Optimistic kids are more teachable.

You know, Mommy, will you help me with this? Optimistic kids will pray with faith differently from the pessimists. Optimistic kids will understand that if something went wrong, it doesn't permeate their whole day. Like in other words, if they have an 8 a.m. class and it doesn't go well, it doesn't ruin their whole day.

Pessimistic kids who have a bad experience at 8 a.m. could potentially have a bad day. So it's huge. So do we see the glass, you know, half full?

Or as one of the authors I read, I thought this was a great point. I'm sorry that I don't remember who said it, but it doesn't really matter if the glass is half full or half empty. Just have a pitcher nearby that's full. Isn't that great?

Have the resources that you need in order to fill yourself up. So are we optimistic? Do we talk well? Do we talk realistically? Do we give kids hope? Do we remind them of their positive past?

Do we talk to them in specific language? You know, Dr. Chapman, both you and I understand the power of words. So do we say, you know, good job. Or do we say, you know, you were teachable. I'm proud of you for being open to new things. You know, rather than saying, man, you did really well. Can we say, you know, because you asked for help and you didn't give up and you maintained an optimistic attitude, you finished in only 20 minutes and you did an excellent job.

Proud of you for the choices you made. Yeah. How about the pessimism of the parent? If they have that attitude toward life, you know, I'm not good enough and I'm just fearful I'm never going to be a good parent. What does the parent do to overcome that? Yeah.

No, so I love your sensitivity. Could I recommend we read the scripture and we read about those heroes in the Bible who have overcome Jesus himself. What an overcomer. What a resilient Lord and Savior we have.

Who could have given up at so many points except that he knew he couldn't. So what do we believe about our purpose and what do we believe about our God and the Holy Spirit in us? Do we read the Proverbs and look at the wise one and the foolish one? And do we claim to be the wise one? Do we read about Daniel's faith and Esther's faith and the way that Mordecai parented Esther so that Esther could be the one to save a people group? It's the scripture, Gary, Old and New Testament that can instill us. Do we read James? Do we read, you know, 1st, 2nd and 3rd John about love? Do we read 1st Corinthians 13 for loving a child and loving ourselves?

And of course, loving our maid if we're privileged to be married. And do we pray? And do we pray with hope? You know, Father God, reveal to me what's in me that's in the way.

And teach me, help me to discern the truth. And Father God, remind me of my value so that I will work on change. And do we talk to our pastors and our life group or Sunday School leaders, our choir director who we know better maybe. Do we talk to an accountability person, our maid and our siblings? My brother and sister-in-law are so important to me when it comes to my maybe being blind to my own issues or for me to say, hey, Debbie, my prayer life, it's just weak right now. It's just weak.

Would you pray that I would pray with more resilience? There's nothing wrong with recognizing we're in a value experience. But to come back from that because we have value. And again, to not, you know, Gary, to understand that the past can inform us, but it not ought to control us. It does inform us.

It does inform us. And that's real, but it doesn't need to control us. Absolutely. You know, I think of the two verses put together like John 15, verse 5, where Jesus said, without me, you can do nothing. And you have what Paul said, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. So our coming back, our resilience, our overcoming the past feelings that we've had about ourselves, yeah, you're right. If we read the Scriptures and take it seriously, and also the Scriptures say, if you lack wisdom, ask God. So admit as a parent, I don't have it to do this.

I need your wisdom, you know. And God can certainly bring that, you know. You know, and if I could interject too, Dr. Chapman, then I think having a realistic expectation for yourself, both in the past and the present, is a key to that. You know, we look back with today's knowledge and we feel horrible, but we didn't have this knowledge 10 years ago. And so were you doing the very best that you knew how to do 10 years ago when your child was an infant? I bet you did. And now you've read some parenting books and you know the love languages and you've listened to the radio show and now you're like, oh, I didn't, I know that.

Well, you didn't know it, and praise God, you know it now. So I think that's a really key factor too. Kathy, before we leave that topic, let's go back to that pessimism of a child. And how does that pessimism impact that child's resilience? A lack of hope causes us to not care, which causes us to then do a worse job. I walk into a biology class or a piano lesson or, you know, a volleyball practice and I'm feeling hopeless because of how things have been going and now I don't listen as well. Hope helps us hear the truth.

Hope helps us learn what we need to learn so that we can move on. Let's say that a child just had a rejection experience at Valentine's Day, didn't get an invitation to what they thought was a key party, didn't get a card from a kid that, you know, he or she thought he or she would get a card from, didn't get a text or a phone call, and the woe is me. So now you're pessimistic and now you self-judge and now you're negative towards yourself and towards those people and now you go into the next encounter with those people and you hang your head. You don't make eye contact and you don't have an expectation that they're going to remember your name or look at you. And guess what?

They don't look at you because you're not looking at them, right? So I think pessimism and the lack of hope is, they're like, what, siblings or cousins or something. They feed each other and it's so dangerous, which is why, again, for us to be honest with our children and give them strategies to overcome the pessimistic spirit so that hope will be there, that's such a big part of resiliency. Yeah, and I think that's where this book will be a real help to parents because I think all of us want our children to have hope and rebound from those kind of things, but often we don't know how to do that and we don't engage the child in conversations about whatever's happened in their lives. Our program is Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman. You can find more simple ways to strengthen relationships at Our featured resource today is the book by Dr. Kathy Cook, Resilient Kids, Raising Them to Embrace Life with Confidence.

Find out more at Dr. Cook, we hear more and more today about trauma and the effect trauma has on the life of a child. Can you speak into that issue and how parents can help children respond to various traumas that happen in their lives?

I'd be honored to. It's so sad, isn't it, that we have to even talk about it. I so wish that children could be children for the years that they're supposed to be. We're always children, but, you know, during those developmental years that they would not have to even be aware of other people's trauma or experience their own. And so part of the trauma they experience is being aware of other people's trauma because we have so much social media and kids are looking over mom's shoulder and she reacts to something that she's seen on Instagram or Facebook and then the kid is like, what happened? A lot of us get alerts of, you know, trauma in the world of, you know, another bomb going off in Ukraine or whatever might be going on.

You can be at a restaurant watching a basketball game on a screen and there's a crawl across the bottom of the screen about another, you know, fill in the blank, a school shooting or an incident with, you know, a police officer. And so kids are aware that the world is a hard place, which can cause them to think God is not good, which is very dangerous, of course. It can cause them to worry that it might happen to them next time. So trauma is something that they can experience for other people. And this would be empathy and compassion and praise God they would have those qualities. And then, of course, there is trauma that can happen to them, divorce. Even selling a home and moving across town or across country for some kids is traumatic.

The death of a grandparent, the death of a dog, a cancer, an illness and any of those kinds of things. So we have to listen to them. We have to be available to them. Put our phones down, leave them in another room and let our kids talk with us. Listen to their stories. And we have to be very careful that we don't assume that something that happened is no big deal. You know, they're seven or they're 17.

They haven't had life experiences like we have and we might not understand exactly how their heart works. So please don't be dismissive. Listen longer. Ask for some details. But simply say, keep talking.

I want to understand. And then respond to their emotion before you try to solve the problem. I like to say feel their pain. Because we know that if you don't feel their pain and you simply solve the problem for them, they won't really care about your solution. Feel their pain. I'm so sorry that happened.

That must be horrible. And then, you know what would be amazing? Would be to help them figure out what to do next rather than doing it for them. And you might have to certainly if they're four or five, six, seven, you're going to have to suggest, hey, you know, let's do this. But the older they are, the more beneficial it is for you to say, well, you know, Katie, what do you think would be a good idea? How might you want to respond tomorrow when you go back to school? And affirm her thoughts and make some suggestions. And then, of course, remember when she comes home from school or from, you know, volleyball practice or her piano lesson, make sure to ask her, you know, hey, how did you do?

Or, you know, she's a believer, how did the Lord bless you today? What did you learn from what you attempted to do? Yeah. I hope this is helpful. I think it is helpful. Let me ask you to address the whole issue of being an adoptive parent. We know that that child's been through trauma, but we don't always know what it was, you know. How can that adoptive parent address this whole issue of how the present behavior of that child is affected by the trauma of the past? Well, with great compassion and with great empathy, love, concern, I admire everyone who has adopted, especially out of foster care, where the situations may be revealed later of real difficulty. Again, you know, I would say with respect that yesterday is in the past, and although it is affecting your child, it doesn't have to affect your child forever.

You will be able to make a difference. Your unconditional love, that's one of the keys, Gary, to resiliency is unconditional love. There's nothing that you will do that will cause me to love you more, and there's nothing you will do that will cause me to love you less. I may like some things more than others, but my love is unconditional. Again, read 1 Corinthians 13 with your kids out of a marriage context.

It ends, love never ends. And this is what, of course, kids are fearful of. And so if they're fearful, that you will reject them too, that you will give them back too, that, you know, they're not going to be loved or safe here.

You're going to withhold a meal because they were, quote unquote, bad. Then, of course, they won't take risks, and they won't admit to you that they need your help. So that unconditional love that is real and it's so hard is so important.

And this is why I would pray that any adoptive family, you are bathed in prayer, that you have support systems, you know, deeper and longer and wider than you ever thought you would need, that you're honest with each other. Yeah, I appreciate the question. Yeah, unconditional love. It's where I've landed. I think it's critical.

Yeah, I think you're right. You know, I also affirm the empathy for adoptive parents because they take on a tremendous responsibility. And yes, there's great joy that comes out of that. But it's hard work sometimes, depending, of course, on what the child has gone through before, you know, they come into your family. You mentioned this earlier, but what about the value of parents having other people help mentor their children rather than it just being the influence of the parent? It's so important, partly because we haven't had all of the experiences in life. And our children may, again, experience, you know, different types of trauma, different types of fears or disappointments. And so we introduce them to people who maybe have walked a similar journey that your children now can be maybe even more honest with. I want to say to the parents, don't be fearful if your children develop good relationships with others. It's very common for teenagers to begin to look for other voices, not to replace yours, but to find out if others agree with you. You know, so if you have a stand at your home for these are our values and this is what we believe love looks like in God's kingdom, then they want to find out, does our youth pastor agree? Does my football coach agree? Does my, you know, trumpet teacher agree?

Does my babysitter agree? If you've got younger kids asking for, you know, mentoring support, if you will. So don't be afraid of it.

Actually, I would create it. We have lost, you know, the Sunday lunch where we invite friends over. And, you know, I say to people all the time, you know, your house doesn't have to look like Pinterest. Those are lies from the devil.

They photoshopped those homes. I'm quite sure of it. You know, you can you can have pizza delivered. You can meet at a park bench. But the concept of families getting to know other families is is so rich. And, you know, I think if you know that your kid wants to be an engineer, you invite an engineer over for lunch. You have a child who's thinking of joining drama, but is fearful.

You know, invite the drama coach over for lunch or dinner and let them have kind of a started relationship. And we could talk all day about that. So important. Well, I think if parents understood the value of that. And I think because of the social settings are so different today that we don't do much of that.

You know, we don't have people over for Sunday lunch or meet them somewhere. And we fail to recognize the value of that in the life of the child. Sometimes the child's little and they're just listening into the adult conversation. But they're they're hearing, you know, and and then that person becomes aware of your child. And chances are, they're going to pray for that child.

If they're Christian, they're going to pray for them. My wife does that a lot when she's had a conversation with a wife about, you know, what's going on with their children. She puts them on their prayer list and she starts praying for those children.

So the next time they're together, she's asking, you know, how how are things going? And when she sees that child, she's got that background and she responds to them in a positive way at church or wherever she might meet that child. In fact, she had my wife had a lady come to her just this week. In fact, Carolyn invited her to come to the house and have lunch with her. And she shared with my wife, she's in her 50s now, she shared with my wife that, you know, I used to come to church. And every time you saw me, you'd come up and just make a big fanfare of it and tell me how wonderful I was and how beautiful I was and all that.

She said, I cannot tell you how much that meant to me as I was growing up, you know. So other people can enhance the lives of our child and we just need to be sensitive to that. And Gary, maybe more so now than ever, because social media is robbing us of that, right? So if our children don't see us relating to people eyeball to eyeball, if you will, skin on skin, you know, hugging and having them over and having a give and take conversation. They may never know the art of the conversation if we're only on social media. So let's, and I'm not slamming all social media, I'm there. There are some beautiful benefits of it if we use it, you know, carefully. We have a responsibility to show our children the benefit of learning from others where it's not just a soundbite conversation, but it's an ongoing discussion about things that matter. So let's prioritize that because we've all benefited from people who we've chosen to interact with.

Yeah. And I like the idea you shared, if they're interested in engineering, expose them to someone who's been in engineering. So maybe they're in the 10th grade, you know, and now they get a chance to talk to this person who's in engineering. And what do I need to be thinking about now in high school?

What courses should I take or, you know, what about the possibility of getting into colleges and, you know, it's just great to have someone who has already been successful in that career, you know, feeding concepts and ideas to your children about that particular career. Well, let's look at another thing that sometimes happens, and that is the child begins in exposure to other people, maybe at school or sometimes with their peers at school, in which the child begins to value the opinion of the other person more than the value of the parents. How does a parent respond to that?

Right. Such an important question. This is why, first of all, we need to really guard our children and make sure that as much as possible, we introduce them to people who are like-minded, people who have similar or the same values of ours.

We certainly don't want our kids to be, you know, exposed to the lie and to believe the lie. Now, if that happens because they're finding their own people, then again, find out how they're doing that. You know, what access do they have to people? Who are they hanging out with?

And then you have a conversation. Why do you find that person interesting? Why do you believe that person's perspective about life or gender or failure or mistakes? Why do you believe it's okay that that kid dropped out of school? You know, what's honoring the Lord about that? So find out why they appeal to that, and then keep living your truth.

Keep living your truth. Be careful of, you know, anger and certainly you have a right as a parent to place the boundary. Absolutely. You know, you are not allowed to date that person anymore. That's your right as a parent. If they're older, we would prefer that you not, you know, for these other reasons.

But be careful of being so direct in that that the kid won't come to you anymore to say, hey, Peter said this today. So I think you have the conversation. You ask them why it's appealing. Why are they attracted to that? And then again, live your truth. You know, Dr. Chapman, I don't know if you've shared this on your show.

You maybe have through the years. But I think it's fascinating that bankers and, you know, first responders, they never look at counterfeit bills. They only look at the real thing. They never study counterfeits to identify a real bill.

They only look at a real bill. And so live your truth and show your kids that the scripture is not just a Sunday morning thing. But show them your devotional. Show them your quiet time. Show them. I've often taught moms and dads to do part of their Bible study at the dining room table when your kids are awake rather than in your bedroom when they're all sleeping so that they can see that together you're in the word of God. When your kid comes home with crisis, show them what Paul says, what Jesus says, what God would say about this, a verse in the Proverbs that's relevant.

Show them that your truth works. This is Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, author of The New York Times bestseller, "The 5 Love Languages" . Our guest is Dr. Cathy Cook, author of Resilient Kids, Raising Them to Embrace Life with Confidence. It's our featured resource at

Just go to Dr. Cook, before the break, you were talking about living your faith out in front of your children. But a lot of the fears of parents these days is I want my child to just possess their faith. I don't want them walking away from church like so many that I see. And when they get to college, a lot of times that happens. What do you do with that fear? Well, you give it to God and I don't say that flippantly. So you recognize it.

And it is I hear about it all the time. The most important chapter in my book might be the last chapter, which is the resiliency for spirituality, the spiritual resilience chapter. Yeah, so fear is not going to get you in our fear is not a strategy. Fear is not from the Lord. So we trust him with our kids and we do the very best that we can. I think that we need to present the whole of God vibrantly and dynamically. We need to demonstrate that we have a dynamic, full, alive relationship with the triune God. They need to hear us talk about God and his son, Jesus, and the gift of the Holy Spirit. They need to know all that he is, that he's faithful and wise and loving and full of mercy, grace and truth. That he's both strong and gentle.

Because you know what? If we only allow our children to know a little bit of God, when that little bit of God appears to fail them, they have nothing else to rely on. So do they know as much about God as possible? The names of Christ, the attributes of God, etc.

So that they can rely on all of him in their hard times. That's part of it. I would say more, but why don't you react to that and then I'll elaborate if you have time. You know, I find that a lot of time what happens is the child grows up in church, but we haven't helped them develop a lot of skills and practices in life that make the relationship with Christ really strong. And then they get to college and they take a religion class or whatever, and they hear the whole side of anti-God, as it were, and they come home with some of those ideas.

How does the parent, if they come home and share those ideas, how do the parents respond to that? I think we demonstrate genuine sadness. So respond emotionally first. I'm sad for you. And you know, I didn't raise you that way. Yeah, that's true. We respond with sadness because if they begin to believe a lie that takes them away from God, it will not be good for them. And so you should have a sad heart and let them know that.

You know, I'm sad, I'm disappointed. And then again, what's attractive about that to you? I think we prevent it partially by making sure that the disciplines of the faith are because we have a relationship with Christ. I don't pray so that I feel like I'm a good girl. I don't pray to check it off a list. I used to when I was a new believer. Gary, I was a religious rule follower. I prayed, I read the word, I gave, I served, I worshiped, I did all the things I was supposed to do. And I'm pleased that I did because it starts as a discipline, and then it becomes a part of our character.

Why? Because we are in a relationship with Jesus. I pray because I want him to know what's going on with me in my words, if you will, and I want to know what he thinks about things. I read the word because it's a life letter, love letter from my Creator to me.

I don't read it because my pastor recommends we read this passage this day. So do we demonstrate for our kids again that it's a relationship? That's how our religion is different. It's a relationship. Do we demonstrate that? And so when they come home with their fear again, is it a relationship issue? Or again, have they developed a rule-based mindset? Do they want to feel better about themselves by doing something?

I'm also going to say boldly, and this would be a whole other hour, but I'm going to say it. If you're a believer and you're stuck in sin, it's easier if you're no longer believing in God. So I think there are students who come home from college who found themselves looking at porn, developing relationships that they know are not healthy for them, they are not putting forth effort in an English class, and they know it's not right. It's easier for them. If they're being convicted and it's awkward for them, it's almost easier for them to say, hey, I'm not going to believe in God anymore because then I can get away with whatever I want.

And that's tragic, it's common, and we even as adults have to be really careful of that. Yeah. I remember when my son came home, having taken his first class in philosophy at the university, and he said, Dad, I want to read something serious about Christianity. I said, okay, great. So I gave him one of Francis Schaeffer's books, The God Who is There.

Love it. So he went on later to major in philosophy with a strong faith in Jesus all the way through. I say that to say that's an idea also for parents to say, well, yeah, it's an interesting perspective. Why don't we read some other people's perspectives on that?

And if the parent doesn't have books that they think would be good, ask your pastors, because pastors probably could recommend a book that would be good for them to read on that subject. So you're acknowledging, yes, there are people who believe that, but let's read the other side as well. Because many times when they go to college, they've never read a serious book on Christianity.

Yeah, I agree. And if I can say this to Dr. Chapman, if this is happening, I want to ask you to really consider the college choice you've made for your kids. I know from being on the faculty at Summit Ministries and teaching, I do a lot of teaching to the 16 to 25-year-olds, they don't all have to go to college, and they don't all have to go right out of high school, and they don't all have to go to that college because they've owned a sweatshirt since they were six. We have to be very discerning and very careful.

They are impressionable in these ages, and there are some colleges out there that have definitely decided to teach the lie. And, you know, I would say with respect that that's on us if we let them go there. So let's be really careful and really wise. Why? Because we love them so much. I love you too much to allow you to go to that college. It's not easy, but that's the role of the parent.

So true. Well, let me change the subject. You talk about an experience you had in Africa of observing a newborn giraffe. What did you learn from that experience?

This will be fun here. Let's kind of close the show with a happy note because that was really a hard conversation we just had. You know, I was so, so pleased to be in Niger, Africa, working with some missionaries, and I went to a giraffe preserve, and we discovered there was a giraffe about to give birth, and the guide drove us in the Jeep over to where he believed the giraffe would drop the baby. And we arrived probably 10 minutes after the baby was born. And it was miraculous, Gary, because it would try to raise its neck, and it was like a piece of spaghetti. It would get its neck a little bit up and then flop back down and then try again to get it a little bit back up, and it would flop back down. It was desperate to nurse. It knew because God is amazing that it needed to stand up and nurse. It was camouflaged.

It was almost invisible. And that mother giraffe, who was gigantic, bent down to lick some of the fluid off the baby every once in a while. But never helped the baby stand. That parent, that mom could have, you know, taken its very strong head and lifted the whole baby to its feet. But no, the mom knew, I'm going to watch and I'm going to wait because in the struggle there is victory. When the giraffe figures out how to stand on its own, it's going to feel good about itself, and it's going to know how to do it again because the mommy's not always going to be there.

It was profound. It would bend down. It would protect.

If we made noise with our cameras, it would just jerk its head over toward us. The mom was so aware and so protective, but allowed the baby to learn on its own so that the baby would be able to keep doing it. And I think that's what we need to do is be aware and be alert and be available, but let our kids struggle because that's how their endurance grows, that's how their faith grows, that's how their character develops, and that's what we want. Why do we have weak children who are giving up quickly?

Because we haven't let them benefit from the struggle. It's where we get our muscular strength, both for our heart and for our mind and for our faith. Well, that's a good place to end our conversation today, and I want to thank you for being with us. And thank you for writing this book, you know, and for your ministry, you know, Celebrate Kids.

So many books you've written and speaking all over the country, and obviously in other countries as well. So thank you for being who you are, and I know that our listeners, many of them, are going to get this book on resilience, and it's going to help them because I know that many parents are struggling in this area. So again, thank you for being with us today. Thank you for the honor of being here.

I so enjoyed it. Once again, the title of Dr. Kathy Cook's latest is Resilient Kids Raising Them to Embrace Life with Confidence. We have it linked at our website, Again, go to And next week, I'm going to take your calls and questions about the love languages and relationship struggles. Don't miss our February Dear Gary broadcast in one week. Our thanks to Janice Backing and Steve Wick for their work behind the scenes. Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman is a production of Moody Radio in association with Moody Publishers, a ministry of Moody Bible Institute. Thanks for listening.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-20 19:58:09 / 2023-02-20 20:18:51 / 21

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