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Bill Hendricks: How to Parent This Unique Child

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
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May 10, 2022 10:00 pm

Bill Hendricks: How to Parent This Unique Child

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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May 10, 2022 10:00 pm

To raise your unique child, recognize your particular wiring. Bill Hendricks & his sister Bev explore how to parent through the lens of your giftedness.

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One of the most important reasons for parents to discover their own giftedness, they need their personal experience for themselves of waking up to the fact that they're fearfully and wonderfully made. If I'm awake and alive to that, it gives me much more hope as well as much more strength to get into the life of my child with confidence that there's a beautiful, awesome, amazing person here. That I get the privilege to help them discover who that is. Welcome to Family Life Today, where we want to help you pursue the relationships that matter most. I'm Ann Wilson.

And I'm Dave Wilson. And you can find us at familylifetoday.com or on our Family Life app. This is Family Life Today. One of my favorite things that we did as a family is have good dinners together. I thought you were going to say play football. No, well.

Go to football games. That was probably yours, which was awesome. But mine was sitting around the table having conversation. Oh, yeah.

You love this. OK. Do you remember any of the conversations? Oh, yeah. I mean, you talk about giftedness. One of your gifts is asking questions that draw out the soul of a person.

You're so nice. You don't like small talk. You're like, let's go somewhere with this conversation. Well, one of the questions I asked and I thought, oh, I wish I would ask this when they were younger, was I asked them at the dinner table, tell me what you think about most of the time.

Now, they were teenagers. So I was like, oh, well, I don't know if I want to know everything. But it was fascinating to me because our oldest son said something I never expected. You remember this?

He said, I think about probably 90 percent of the time how things work. I'm like, what? That has never come to my mind ever. This is the I.T. kid?

Yes. This is our firstborn son. And that was his gift. He is wired to understand how things work. And by the way, you're listening to Bev Hendrix got me in the studio with her brother, Bill, who wrote a book called So How Do I Parent This Child? And right away, we've already talked for a couple days about how you two study giftedness.

You even have a center for giftedness to help people understand their giftedness. So when you get in a conversation like this, Bev, this is what you guys do, right? You and Bill?

Every day. Every day you sort of like lean in to help people understand who they are. I would like to think about every day I get to sit on the holy ground of another person and hear what makes them unique and how did God put them together in this world. And that's kind of what makes it holy ground. You two are kindred spirits, by the way.

It does. I know. Because we're talking about that we are made in God's image.

Absolutely. And so this Creator has made each of us and our kids and our friends, our family, uniquely. And Bill, how would you describe when your subtitle is Discovering the Wisdom and the Wonder of Who Your Child Was Meant to Be? And you talk a lot about giftedness. Define what that is for us again. Again, giftedness in its simplest term is what you're born to do.

Okay? Everybody's born to do something. Giftedness is a combination of an ability that is a real ability, like you actually can do it, but also motivation that drives that behavior. They've got to come together. You can't have motivation with no ability. You know, there's a lot of men who'd love to throw a football like Tom Brady, right? It ain't going to happen. They don't have that ability. Dave did do that, Bill. He could throw it like Tom Brady. I said a lot of men.

Some men could. Bill, you probably don't know this, but my job for 33 years was the chaplain of the Detroit Lions. Well, there you go. All right. So I do not have the gift of helping teams win football games because we lost a lot.

But you're only a couple of degrees of separation. Yeah, there you go. Something like that. And then you have people who have ability but no motivation. So you've got to bring those together.

Up here. But we discover in every person there is a set of behaviors. That's exactly what's happening. Your son, for example, I want to figure out how things work. And then he goes and figures out how things work and he's good at it. And he does that again and again and again, which says it's motivated behavior. He never tires of it. In fact, the more he does it, the more he wants to do it because it's always so interesting.

That's exactly who he is. And it's funny because we always thought it's going to be so interesting to see who he marries if he gets married. And the first time we were having dinner, he's very tactile. So we're having dinner with his girlfriend.

They'd been dating a while and our family. And he's tactile. So he's touching his plate, his straw. He's playing with it. And then he starts to play with her straw. And our younger son says, Robin, what did you think the first time you went out to eat with C.J.? And he's thinking, this younger brother is thinking, do you think this is the weirdest guy? And she said, I looked at him and I thought, he's the most fascinating person I've ever met in my life. And wouldn't it be great if we could see each other like that?

How fascinating. That's why we're doing what we're doing. We get to do that. Don't you all want to go to this institute? Like, I want to go and learn everything. But as parents, we're trying to discover that in our kids.

Do we need to discover that in ourselves first? Absolutely. Absolutely. Sometimes we put parents side by side after they've both gone through this. Husband and wife.

Husband and wife. And we look at the areas of relative complement and the areas of relative challenge. These are going to be challenging because you're coming at really two completely different angles on this. These will be things that you guys will just love doing together. But what so many couples have told me is this is the first time that the differences have been put in a positive way so that I can understand this is the door I need to go in if I want her to pay attention or to bless him. Bill, give us an example of what that looks like, practically.

For a couple? Yeah. Well, the classic one is the partner who's goal-oriented and always has a plan.

Like set the goal, get a plan, work through the plan, check off the goal. And they're married to somebody who's very conceptual. And that person wants to deal in this area of concepts and they see a concept up here of European history. And so they go and they kind of hang out with that for a while. And then it becomes Italian cooking and they kind of hang out with that for a while. And then they get interested in some art form from some backwater part of the world that we've never heard of.

And get into that. And they just kind of go on what we call an odyssey, a conceptual odyssey. And their partner's looking at them going, you're not going to get anywhere. You don't have any goals. And the answer is they're not trying to get anywhere.

That's not what they're about. They're on this odyssey, this conceptual odyssey of exploring the world and just finding out what's out there. And meanwhile, the conceptual partner looks at the goal-oriented person going, well, what a boring life that would be.

Like waking up every morning already knowing what you're going to do. Just take me out and shoot me now. Okay. And what they need to be saying is you're the most fascinating person.

Right. And let me help you plan a trip to do that. You know, so we'll go do that together. I'll like go with the way you're like saying you want to go. But I will make the trip up and plan it out. And when I get there, I want you to build a fire on the beach.

And tell me the story of this ruins that we have just looked at. Yeah. And what I'm hearing you say, and that takes a lot of maturity and humility to be able to look at your spouse or even a friend that's so different.

Because we live in a culture, even if you go on social media, we attack each other's differences. That usually doesn't happen in the first session. Yeah.

Let's put it that way. It takes a while for you. I mean, when Anne and I got married, I mean, every couple has their thing, but she loved that I was laid back. I love that she got things done. Yes. Six months later.

Until you're laid back and she's getting things done and you're going. Exactly. I could not celebrate it. It was a little bit of an indictment. Yeah.

It's like, you know, settle down and relax. And this is why parents should start with discovering their own giftedness. Because you are going to parent out of the lens of your own giftedness, just as you will be a spouse through the lens of your own giftedness.

You cannot not do it that way. You were born to live life a certain way. You will live into the roles of your life through that lens of your giftedness. So it helps to have some insight as to what that is so that you can do it well when you need to be doing it well. And also you understand when your child does things differently than you, which may irritate you or disappoint you or surprise you or otherwise make you think, huh, this person's not doing it like I would do. It's human nature when we get to that point, we go, what's wrong with you? Right. And the answer is, Bill, there's nothing wrong with them. They're just not you. Wake up. I have so many examples of how I did this wrong.

I'm just listing them all in my head. One of them was when our older son, I asked him to shovel the driveway in Michigan, and it could be up to a foot deep. And I thought, as my personality has this bent toward, that's good, hard work. Get out there and shovel that.

That's what you need to do. Well, I go outside. He hasn't even started. He's been out there two hours. And I'm thinking, what is he doing?

He's up in the attic looking for this little snow blower that he's going to fix in order to snow blow this foot deep snow. And of course, I'm like, it's not going to work. It's like that's the dumbest thing. You're being lazy. You're being lazy.

You don't want to do it the hard way, which was my way. Instead, he was thinking, I'm going to make this thing work. And he did.

He did. Which really was harder. Harder. Harder, but he found life. Harder before it got easier.

But for him, that's joy. And I think for teenagers, we get especially frustrated because we feel them pulling away. So talk about how do we even begin when we may not even like who they seem to be right now? You're listening to Dave and Ann Wilson with Bill Hendricks and Bev Hendricks Godbey on Family Life Today.

We'll hear their response in just a second. But first, I wanted to let you know about how you as one family can make a difference. There is a community of honestly heroes called Family Life Partners who believe in our mission and give financially every month. And thanks to some of those generous champions who have come alongside us as a ministry. Right now, if you sign up to give monthly, you not only will receive all the benefits of our partner program, but your donation will be matched dollar for dollar for the next 12 months. And that helps families strengthen their relationships with God and with each other.

So that means if you give $25 a month, the impact is actually $50 a month. And on top of all that, when you give this month as our thanks to you, we'll send you a bundle of resources, including two books, one by Gary Thomas called Lifelong Love and one by Kristen Clark and Bethany Beale called Not Part of the Plan. So become a monthly partner, have your gift doubled for a year, impact families for the glory of Jesus Christ and get a bundle of books. You can give right now at familylifetoday.com or by calling 1-800-358-6329. That's 1-800-F as in family, L as in life, and then the word today.

All right, now back to Dave and Anne with Bill and Beth. Ideally, you don't want to start in adolescence trying to like your child. Good point.

That's not the most optimal time to do that. I feel like we lose the magic of childhood so quickly. Like when we first find out that we're having a baby, when we first have them, it's just all joy and just, oh, this is amazing.

And so quickly, it just kind of flattens out. And I would really encourage parents, wherever you are, try to get back into the joy. Receive the gift, unwrap the gift. It's right in front of you.

It's happening. But it's like you can delight in that gift if you choose to and figure out what's right with this child. That's my mission today.

What is right with this child in front of me? And they'll help you out with that because they can't not not be this person. But what's right with them may not make all that much sense to you.

What do you mean by that? Well, we give an illustration in the book of here's a mother. She's got to get to work, got to get the child a daycare.

Come on, let's get in the car. A little kid, you know, three years old, four years old, comes out the door and stops and kneels down. And there's a roly poly.

What a fascinating creature. And this kid's fixated on the roly poly. And the mom's going, oh, my gosh, we're going to be late.

And she wants to grab that kid. Come on. And you've just lost a golden moment. Now, I understand there's schedules. Got to be responsible.

But what if what if you said 30 seconds? I'm going to come and I'm going to just kneel down with my child and go, what are you looking at? Mommy, look. Oh, it's a roly poly. Yeah, Mommy.

God, when I touch him, he rolls up. That's why they call him a roly poly. Really? Yeah. Huh. Thank you for showing me the roly poly.

You know what? We need to get you to school because Mommy's got to go to work. When we come back home, maybe he'll be there and we can take more look at him.

Thank you for showing me. OK, so you get the kid to school, you get to work. Bill, could you be my dad? You're all 30 seconds late for the meeting. And somebody says, well, welcome, you know, obviously disturbed that you showed up 30 seconds late. And you say, oh, I'm so sorry I'm late. I had a very important family matter.

I had to take it care of him. That's genius. It is true. And it's true. The fact that you're telling me that you don't like this child, there's things you don't like about him, or you're waking up to a teenager you don't like, tells me that you've not been paying attention to what is right with this child. Something is right with this child because it's been written into them.

So you already know that that's not true, but you don't like them. And I feel like as a parent, this is like an engraved invitation to figure out what is it other people would like about him or her. To get a little bit of detachment sometimes helps. Let me look at this child as if it was not my child or listen to someone else that really likes this child.

What is it? Because I also find as a grandparent that to watch these grandchildren and watch how the mother is reacting, which is how I would have reacted, and now as a grandmother, I have so much distance, I can see it. I can see she's just taking a lot of time here.

She's putting things in a bag and she's that person, you know? So I can honor it. But one of the things you can do as a grandparent is often help your daughter or your son to see this and say, you know what I've noticed about and give it again a positive language.

That helps a lot. We just celebrated our oldest granddaughter's seventh birthday and she was with us in Orlando and she went because she loves the idea of becoming a surfer because she watched the Bethany Hamilton movie. What's it called? Soul Surfer. Soul Surfer. And she would always play like she had one arm because Bethany had her arm bitten off by a shark, which I'm thinking, why does she like this? And she wants to be a surfer. We celebrated her birthday and everyone in the family, she has four kids in their family, everyone spoke what they loved about Olive and what they thought she was good at. And it was interesting, wasn't it, Dave, to watch her face light up.

In light of this conversation with Bill and Bev, I hear that conversation differently than when I was there a couple of days ago, because what almost all of us said to Olive at that dinner table, which was awesome, it was at T-Rex restaurant at Disney Springs, so there's reptiles everywhere. But almost all of us said, but I didn't catch till right now, which I think is why she loves the movie and Bethany Hamilton's story, you are brave. You try hard things and you don't quit. Even getting on a surfboard at seven years old, she's done that in several areas of her life. And that's what Bethany did. She's an overcomer.

This should have been the end of her surfing career. She overcame, and I'm sure that's why Olive, whether she actually becomes a surfer or not, she loves the giftedness that's in Bethany that says, I can overcome. Well, and what you just described is what they call grit and resilience, which they're saying now is like the best possible thing for a child to have. So it's wonderful that you can affirm that in her rather than her successfulness, because God's all about our fruitfulness, not our success. And we live in a society that very much affirms success. And we work with a fair amount of parents who have children with disabilities. How do they receive giftedness?

How do they figure that out? One story is in the book that we actually tell about a mother that I knew personally and her little girl, who's now 34. But sometimes it's not the story that you might want. But to be able to really believe that all of our children are God's goodness to us, believing that there's something good in this child and on purpose is really so humbling to believe. But these people teach us about our own children and Bethany Hamilton's mother probably could write a book on that as well.

I do want to ask this though real quick. If you're a parent and you've got, let's say, a teenager that's sort of acting out and you've seen this pattern, what would you say to the parent is the best way to try and recapture this child becoming who God made him to be? Would you say start affirming their giftedness?

Definitely. And I can speak to this personally because I had a daughter who was very oppositional during teenage years. And it was almost like having a borderline kid in the house all of a sudden, which of course they say that that age group sometimes looks real borderline.

Like it's I hate you, don't leave me kind of thing. I don't think I handled it well. And I'm guessing there's a lot of parents that are listening that are in that place and thinking I'm not handling this really well. And I think to be able to kind of step back and think I'm the adult and what I want to communicate is exactly what Ann was reading out of Psalm 139.

You're beautifully and wonderfully made, marvelously made. How do I recapture that? And thinking I'm missing this in my own son or daughter. So how to be intentional about that. Go back to paying attention again, just like you did when they were young. Ann, one of the most important reasons for parents to discover their own giftedness, and we talk about how to do that in the book, they need their personal experience for themselves of waking up to the fact that they're fearfully and wonderfully made.

It's very difficult to help my teenage son or daughter that's really driving me nuts. If I've never personally experienced that for even me, I'm trying to help them somehow wake up to something that is still kind of a foreign category to me. And I need to go back to that core essential, what I call the good truth about who we are. Goodness knows we all have bad truth about ourselves, right?

Our pathologies, our sins, our weaknesses, our train wrecks. Most people are very much in touch with that. What they're not in touch with is what we call the good truth about who they are. And the giftedness is very much a part of that good truth. To wake up to the best of who God has made them to be.

If I'm awake and alive to that, it gives me much more hope as well as much more strength to get into the life of my child with confidence that, you know what? There's a beautiful, awesome, amazing person here that I get the privilege to help them discover who that is. Maybe it's about just going, watching them do what they love to do. Like when they're out on a field playing soccer or whatever, and you're in the audience. And maybe you don't go as much, but they don't even want you to go, they say. But you show up anyway just because you want to be there. Or maybe you write something to them instead of just speaking words. Sometimes you have to be a lot, go in another door.

And the more that you're paying attention to them and what opens their heart, the better you are at doing that. I remember when one of our sons, we were just, we're a lot alike actually. We both can be pretty intense, and we would butt heads a little bit. And so I remember saying to him, I feel like I'm bugging you. I feel like you're irritated by me. And so I'd really like, and I said, I think I'm pushing all your buttons because I get my feelings hurt, and then we just kind of collide. I said, so I'd really love us to go out to lunch maybe every other Sunday just to reconnect.

You know, and he's kind of rolling his eyes a little bit, which again hurt my feelings. But it was such a good time, it gave me time to pray, gave me time to really watch what he was good at. As parents, we can start getting into a rhythm of seeing the negatives and griping, complaining, critiquing.

And so in that lunch, by God's grace, I could speak the greatness that I saw in him. Like from the time he was little, some people would say he's bossy, you know? And I think we need to be careful.

That's a negative label. Exactly. He likes to tell people what they should do. Yeah, he would be out on the trampoline and everybody, all of his friends would come in and say, hey, Cody needs a drink, hey, Cody needs a sweatshirt.

And I said, where's Cody? He said, well, he just told us to do it. And so I said to him, like, it's amazing the influence you have over your friends. Like when you say things, people will do it.

That's the gift of leadership. And so for me to call out the greatness that I saw in him, it bonded us. And I saw like his spirit would open up a little bit more and it would reconnect our hearts.

And then by a couple of weeks more, we needed to do it again. Have you guys found that that's important? The one person that they want to affirm them is mom and dad.

That's the two people that they really want. They want to be seen and known and heard by those people. You also in that not only affirmed him, but you made him responsible. Son, you have a leadership gift and you called it out and you described it. By doing that, you only affirm, yeah, you got a leadership gift. It put him on notice, huh, when I tell people to do things, they actually do it. I need to pay attention to that. I'm responsible.

What if I tell them to do the wrong thing? Oh, yeah. But you saved the sermon. That was so great. If you had tried to make that into a teachable moment, you could have just detonated the whole thing.

Yeah. And I would just add being Anne's husband and watching her with me and with our boys. I'm not exaggerating. Every room we walk into, whether it could be a lobby of a hotel, she will find somebody, see their giftedness, walk over to them. I've watched it a thousand times and say, man, you're really good.

I just watched you do this. And it's so interesting to watch this. She's like a magnet. They're drawn to her.

Nobody else matters. She's a giftedness whisperer. She saw it.

Well, think about it. She's doing for them what their parents probably never did. And so just saying that, I want to say to Anne, what a great gift, but that's our calling.

Absolutely. That you have helped us identify over the last couple of days to say that's what we're supposed to do as parents. And believers. With our children, but even as a Christ follower, with anyone. We should be the light to be able to be the voice of God saying, I created you beautifully. And we get to say that to somebody.

You are God's workmanship, poema, God's poem, God's masterpiece. If we could look in the mirror and believe that ourselves, then we'd be able to communicate that to our kids and others. Absolutely. And I think sometimes this is the best way to take the things we did not get and make it into a positive and think, I would never want anyone else to feel that way. Let me be this in a positive way for someone. And it's like God can use that brokenness to kind of make you flourish in that way.

Yeah. That's good. You have helped a lot of people. Thank you very much, Bill and Bev, for being here. Thank you for inviting us to be a part. of who your child was meant to be. Again, you can find that at familylifetoday.com or by calling 1-800-358-6329.

That's 1-800-F as in family, L as in life, and then the word today. If you know anyone who needs to hear today's conversation, you can share it from wherever you get your podcasts. And while you're there, it really helps us out if you rate and review us. Tomorrow, we're going to hear from our very own Dave Wilson about having a plan for our kids and asking ourselves the question, What am I launching my child towards? Those kinds of questions about the future shape the way we parent today. Now, I hope you can join us. On behalf of David and Wilson, I'm Shelby Abbott. We'll see you back next time for another edition of Family Life Today. Family Life Today is a production of Family Life, a crew ministry helping you pursue the relationships that matter most.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-20 12:40:13 / 2023-04-20 12:52:03 / 12

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