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Intentional Parenting - How to be the Mom or Dad Your Kids Need

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
November 19, 2021 5:00 am

Intentional Parenting - How to be the Mom or Dad Your Kids Need

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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November 19, 2021 5:00 am

Are you – as a parent or grandparent –concerned about your kid's future? Do they seem to be spiritual drifting? In this program, Chip wraps up our “Intentional Parenting” series by interviewing our guest teacher Doug Fields. They share practical advice for how moms and dads can navigate the storms of parenthood, and raise Jesus-centered kids.

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Are you a parent or grandparent really concerned about your kids. Have you heard that statistic that 70% of them leaving the faith once they leave home.

We want to help. We want to help you help your kids walk with God become kids of character convictions, and great compassion. So I've invited a very special guest to join me on this program to help you. Thanks for listening to this edition of living only with Chip Ingram Living on the Edges of interventional discipleship ministry featuring the daily Bible teaching of tripping over this program were taking a break from our teaching style here Living on the Edge for something a little different.

In fact, let me try to write back over to Chip to explain going with today's broadcast.

Thanks Dave, what a wrap up the series. We wanted to sit down and talk with our guest teacher Doug Fields and have a little deeper dive into the content pass along some wisdom to some of you that as you listen to intentional parenting and were thinking about. How can I be more intentional in the things that he talked about a lot of questions, how does that look like in your daily life. And so it's a real joy to have a Doug Fields. With this in Doug, you have the quite a journey in quite a career in ministry that give us a little background maybe on little bit about your family ministry and and I heard we have something in common that we have some grandkids so Felson yeah absolutely. Well, it's an honor to be with you. Thanks for the time I my whole ministry is is basically youth ministry.

I have spent about 40 years working in the church in working with families and kids and parents along the way. I've had some encouraging people who have said hey that talk to you just gave to parents or kids you should turn that into a resource and so I've written a bunch of books I started youth ministry company called download youth ministry were resource youth pastors across the world I work with my youth pastor currently add Jim Burns, who is the president of homework and we do a lot of marriage and family and parenting stuff together so I'm I still even a part-time youth pastor at a local church where I live here in Orange County, California. So that's my world that's my gig I'm pretty and pretty boring in terms of like a single focus. It's like kids and teenagers and families. Well, I can say my son was a youth pastor for many years and you were.

You are the man.

He's a senior pastor now and is going to church but in a number of years ago. It was like if you want to know what to do in youth ministry asked Doug Fields and II read is this a typo. Have you written 60 books I you know I loss. I think I've written more than I've read so but yeah well I have over the years, written a little bit but youth ministry a lot of books. Some parenting books. Some marriage books but yet again, people that have spoken in my life and encourage me to not sit on on some of the things that I've learned and I had to pass on. I'm actually maybe like you Jeff, I'm I'm surprised that anybody listens to anything I say or write so I'm just pleased that I'm still alive and the God is using me and I have three my own kids. They're all grown and married, and they like each other and they like Kathy and I am we have three little grandkids that we are beginning to take some of this intentional parenting and just changing the name out intentional grandparenting because reality is everything that that we wrote about in this book and everything have been speaking about in this series applies to grandparents as well. Coaches, mentors, teachers, anybody that interacts with kids, let's jump into the parenting world. Where did this series come out of you. You actually probably taught it first, and in a in a situation. What what birthday yeah I vote series that you played is the one that I spoke at my church Mariners church in Orange County California and it was a three week series to help parents and I have been a student of parents.

I watched good parents. I watch difficult parents.

I watched good kids. I watch Brad you just see what what you learn from families who win and families who struggle but really when we became parents without let's begin with the end in mind and say okay you know we've only got him for 18 years before they go away to college and what is it that we can do and what can we do as parents as the possible obviously trusting God would do the impossible, but so that's where it started just helping the parents in my church, and a little three week series and I walked through the elements of intentional parenting and you know this chip you do that you made a career out of this is that when you help people be better in their primary relationships are super thankful okay so it's not biblical parenting.

Although it's very biblical is not encouraging parenting all that super encouraging is not even practical parenting or positive parenting help me with. That's a pretty interesting choice of words intentional.

What what's behind that is you think maybe even tied into where you see parents struggle yeah well it could have been called any of those biblical parenting encouraging parenting the whole bit odd reason I chose intentional parenting is because I I think parents need to aim at something and be intentional. You know, the psalmist says teach us to number our days, so that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Now, what's the flip side of intentional flipside potential is to you know reactive or quickfix parenting which you know you and I know is easier, but is not as effective. So there's nothing secret behind it is just saying parents only to pause you slow down and I want you to think about your endgame know that's not a new mean that you know in business people know their exit strategy. When you and I went to college or graduate school.

We knew how many classes we had to take to get to that finish line. And I'm suggesting the same thing parenting like what is it that you want to do intentionally all the time to help what you can do as a parent to help your kids in the succeeding grow to be healthy young adults. Where do you see parents struggle most or maybe even in a teenagers can struggle when it comes to them being intentional with sort of all the all the noise and all the distractions yet. It's a great way to say it chip.

There is a lot of noise lot extraction of the just. Even you as a communicator you know we had to change the way we communicate because you know people can't sit and listen like they they use to.

I think one of the biggest issues right now is kids feeling isolated because the it's really easy you know I was at a restaurant this morning and I just looked up from where I was sitting and there was six people in this restaurant and they were all down on the phone and three of the people were at the same table. So, meaning that they weren't even engaging with one another.

They were on their devices and so I think what happens. Even though you're on your device. You can be connected to anywhere in the world you and I are one click away from all kinds of information resources and everything but even the were one click away where we we are isolated because it's so much easier to put your head down and be by yourself and escape on you know kids on YouTube or gaming or whatever might be, as opposed to when you and I were kids, we didn't have that and you had to go outside and interact and play in on the front yard. Write a bike. Today's kids are like why would I ride a bike, and I can get on my phone and Huber any work where want to go so I think that's one of the biggest issues is isolation. I was talking to a man just yesterday and he all the kids coming back to school and happen to be a an instructor and now think about 18 months and because we live in California.

Many of our schools have been shut down basically honor all for the majority of that time is a middle school teacher and he need to set up. I walked back after a week of classes just heartbroken. None. The kids make eye contact. None of them look you in the eye, nor do they look each other in the eye, they've almost lost the ability to to do that so talk to that parent who says I don't want this for my kids and I know their own screens too much, but I'm not doing very well at forget being intentional, being consistent with dialogue, communication and my kids growing as a person not been glued to the screen.

Yeah, well, quickfix parenting just turn on the screen and let them go and so were asking for something different. So, intentional parenting, it isn't. It is not in easier route to take. I tell princes all the time like you of the easy route being intentional parent is not an easy route but you are the parent that means you own the device you own the you develop the resources to create the device that it is a gift and not a privilege of being in this family and you would never give a car to a fourth-grader and just hand over the keys to her car, but you know I mean my kids been out of high school for a decade or more. But when they were in high school you know we we set a boundary at ninth grade. You didn't even get a device until you are ninth grade.

Now, it was not a very popular position right but now my kids who are married and have children of their own have come back in. Thanks Kathy and I are having some boundaries and some rules and some discipline. Note no child is given.

Thank you for that in the moment you thanks mom and dad you are you someday you should write a book called intentional parenting because the way you discipline is so honor it so parents, I'd say you're in charge of the screen you would never give a car to a fourth-grader so why would you give the phone to a fourth-grader without any set of rules and boundaries, and I think I think it's one of most dangerous things we do is we give young kids access to the world without any boundaries and boundaries actually communicate love and indiscipline so you know chip you know this as well as I do that my role as a parent when my kids were growing up is really not to be their friend. Yes, and I think that's are a lot of parents struggle of a new you want to build good relationships so right now we have great relationships with our grown kids and I mean we just we feel like you're stealing other people's blessings because our kids still like to be around us, but we were not we were not there. Our goal is not to be a friend of the goal is to develop a great relationship with them so that someday we would be their friend and so you know if parents can't enforce consequences there just never going to be effective parents. The one line I really as I was listening to your series EE made a comment. It was along the idea of one of the major problems in families are kid centric families. In other words, families are run by where the kids want to eat and what sports are the kids playing one of the kids want and like asking for and five euros. Do you want this or this or this and I'm sure there's an ego stroking their but we would you just role-play now about how do you handle that because the people listening right now are going. You just described my life totally. The problem with kid centric parenting is that by the time those 6570 days are in the child has moved out of the house. Will we now experience chip is what is given the term big grain of divorce at meaning gray hair that people are getting divorced and later years because their whole marriage was based on parenting and so the problem with that is that if everything is about the kids and nothing is about your relationship, you're not can be on the same page. Even raising the kids and one of the most loving things you can do is to improve your marriage which you know maybe is another discussion another time.

I think parents gotta understand that the health of your marriage is going to affect the little you know longevity of the health and maturity. The spiritual development of your children.

So that's, when I say you kid centric parent Army, where all indoor kids. If it's a we all love our kids but we have to love our spouse. If we want to fully love our kids so no I think is that's critical and I'd I do think as I say to a lot of guys that I meet with his if you get lost in your work and she gets lost in the kids and you both wake up about 2025 years later if if the if that's what it's built on, man.

It's a crisis.

It makes the empty nest. One of most tragic times in your life and yet one of the one of the things we do that help our kids feel really secure is guess what your mom is more important and you your ads more important than you and kids learn they can't work you when that's truth is, well, that's right, that's right. I was actually just talking to some married couples and I kinda did this aside and I said you know whoever the working person is when they come back home. You know and and it's difficult to do. But you know I would always just go straight to my wife and and you note.

I was like you I'm going to hug her first I'm going to kiss her first I'm going to come and sing the song when a man loves a woman, I won't say it is painful, but it was fun in my house and my kids knew that when dad comes home he goes right to mom and that sends a message even at an early age of you know what is the most important.

You know you talk about the kind of discipline that's honoring that is both fun and firm of all the topics when I ever talk about parenting. People just want to go to. Would you guys forget the chatter help me know how to discipline my child, it's not working. Would you be a little bit more specific maybe than play out some scenarios about I get a tantrum when I take the phone away or limit screen time with the preteen, I have a teenager who basically slams the door.

I don't love you, you know, it's my phone. It's my life. I think it's a super hot topic and you know in the series.

I think I joked that we tried everything we tried spanking. We tried not spanking. We tried allowing the kids to spank us enough and pick everybody's on this journey of what it what it looks like but I think it couple practical principles is have to be clear about the consequences ahead of time so I call this discipline by choice.

So an example would be if you if you don't get your homework done.

You don't have any screen time and that's just, you know, we agree to that ahead of time and the child says okay I get it. I understand you on the you on the screens anyway. I can live with that rule. Now, not expecting our kids to do backflips and thank us for those rules with excitement, but they lease group agree upon that. Then when here she doesn't do their homework and there on the screen. Then it's my job to enforce the consequence. But here's here's the great thing about clarity ahead of time is that now we teach kids responsibility in decision-making, which ties into really kind of their self-confidence and their own esteem and value like he when I make decisions there can be good consequences that I'm not a victim of of this world.

And so what I think parents do chip that is difficult for kids because they don't have the emotional maturity to deal with this is that we get mad posture up. We yelled back at them and then we pull consequences out of the air yet. So we say things are looking you are grounded from your phone for a month and you know the kids in shock because that was never talked about ahead of time and were just so mad in the moment and I think you know one of things I encourage parents do when it comes to discipline and now everything is age-appropriate. Your discipline has to change as your kids change like you can't discipline a teenager the way you discipline the toddler they changed. You also have to change but clear ahead of time boundaries and then you have to you know you have to enforce it, and I would encourage them just having lived the same world with you is that when my kids got to be teenagers and you know there there developing and there's going to be pushed back and there were certain things where you know no matter how much you talk it's not like there's 50 different things that you have challenges with your kids right and then there's three or four. Sometimes it's homework sometimes and sibling rivalry.

Sometimes it's an attitude or something and I remember just getting to where sitting down with Mike, my teenage sons and thinking hey guys, you know, we have such good times. I'm on lock.

I'm done with all this frustration so we just listed. Here's the three behaviors they were twins.

So when you beat up your brother and am not literally, but pretty close or when you you know completely blow off your homework or when it whatever and we we just listed those and then I asked him you know I'm I know you guys want to do what's right but so far it's not working. Why don't you write down right now for me.

Let's make a contract of what would help you obey, and it was crazy. I watch what they wrote Nina we both signed it and everything in it was way harder than I would've been and I still remember my one Sunday. The starting team and then it he made a major bad decision and his consequence because he decided was grounded three days was in this practice and but it was like man you played basketball in high school and college son. I know how hard I feel so bad for you is this first line was you can't do that to me and I remember leaning back and kind of smiling gun.

I would never do that to you that member. This is what you decided and I just want to emphasize, but that can be true of an eight-year-old with you know whether they you know went to a friends house or what they logged on or didn't logon, or when they use the phone or don't use the phone think it's this picture that I watched you play out for parents to say you can be calm, but you have to be in a good word intentional and and set these things up in advance and I think the challenge of it is, then when you're really tired and don't feel like enforcing them doing it yes and you know you gave a perfect illustration with your boys and so listen there like okay that that can work for preteens because they have the emotional maturity and the intellect to to follow through and to see that it was the choice. What about with toddlers well I think with toddlers is that you have to still in force because if they learn from mom or dad that you're not gonna deliver on your promise they will milk that for into their teenage years. So for example the counting game that we've all heard like don't let me get to 31230. Didn't you hear me and then we yell in the account again and now it's for.

And then we moved to five know you need to remove the child calmly from that situation, deliver deliver the consequence and sometimes we don't do consequences chip because it's just hard for us. I guess I I didn't want to leave the party early or we just got to the amusement park and now it's gonna cost well yeah that's like the said quickfix parenting is a lot easier than intentional parenting but it is it is, it's clear it's concise it's quick it's call there you go guys that almost knows I got a sermon there quick to play that back so I know what that is.

You know it were not as parents we are not police officers. So we don't have to give out the ticket right away and I encourage parents to put yourself in time out. And sometimes when I would say to you, my son or daughters. I would say your mom and I can talk and were to meet in an hour or that our by themselves was more painful then maybe with the consequence was that it gives us time to deep breath and regroup and think through you know you not trying to ruin your kids life you're trying to hide them with love and so when I calm down I can then be much more empathetic and loving and grace filled in my consequence, but they're still going to hate you again this practice. I'm sorry but you know you knew that at a time and that's how life works.

Talk a little bit about parents being on the same page when it comes to the discipline because our most let's just call them intense conversations as a couple and and I think there's there's some I don't think it's just the chip and Teresa show. But you know being on the same page when one enforces the consequences and the other doesn't. Or or one has consequences that are just like a bit over the top and there's no room for any mercy may be something to at least touch on because when the kids discover there's a crack in the armor between the two.

We all know, what happens now.

It's a super good point. See you so good.

That's why you on the radio for so many years just take it right to where we live. I do know that one of the great difficulties in marriage and parenting is been on the same page. Kathy, my wife and I were the same way. In that I was a little more strict and Kathy's personality. She sees both sides to everything.

So when I would wanted to be alike. I think you know I think they need, whatever I think he needs to miss three days of practice and I want her to say you know Doug you are you are obviously filled with God's spirit wise and discerning right now. She could see it from the child's side and it was you know we had some we had some good conversations and tensions related to that in there.

Here's what we came to it's kind like when we try to make a choice to go out to eat like I'm 50-50 you it's it's your turn and she would give. She always chooses the nicer place and I was going to choose. But it was her turn and I think there are times where we've said like okay you know it's let's were going to have to agree to disagree and were going to go with with my consequence. This time, but were going to go United United because I have heard my kids say, like the run into the you know, family room and said dad mom is so mad she was yelling at me, and I actually was in the kitchen and error I heard them talking in the kitchen. She was yelling she just wasn't. She wasn't happy you know.

And so my kid translated that into yelling, but I was right there with her so I was able to defend that and say sweetheart that was your your mom being frustrated, but there was, she would definitely was not yelling and so anytime we can be on the same page were just can be more effective and I think that is really important and I and hours work year may be similar. My wife is very merciful, very compassionate and kinda all that's you know I feel so bad for them and and then we would get things from my kids like you know of other leaders in the church. Their kids don't have to do what you know and and and so I know these people and they love God and their kids get to do a BC Indian. This is a line I give to parents that you might want to use some time I would row calmly say after in a learning over the years. Well I just love you more than they love their kids already said my 10 you might might my dream is it 10 years from now you'll be way happier than you are not happy today because of what were doing.

Every parent looks better from a distance. Your kid will always point out what other families are doing and how that's not fair that you and you just can't. You honestly can't believe that because it's just not true when you know I remember my daughter saying I'm the only one in eighth grade who doesn't have a phone and she went seventh and eighth grade she went to a Christian school, and I spoke at the chapel. One time I said I'm just curious if you're in eighth grader and you don't have a phone where you stand up and isolate family meeting.

Parents are out there and it wasn't my only meal.

There were several kids there were standing up and it was my godly sweet eighth grader who is now no missionary in Kenya who thought she was the only one so your kids are going to compare you to other families you're going to compare yourself to other parents and other kids and all I can say about comparison is that everybody looks better from a distance and your comparing what you know about yourself which is everything. I mean, I know all my faults and my failures and my fears to what I don't know about the other person what I hear you doing is laying the railroad tracks and having parents say NPR kids being responsible and honest and, learning consequences, and making decisions.

United at the end of the day whether they got to go to, you know the party, or whether they you know got the need is coolest toy forgot a phone as early as other people of those things will pale as your kids grow up and yet what we live in a day, at least in in my little section of the world. I've got a lot of parents whose kids. They took him to church and drop them off, maybe even send to Christian school and maybe this kinda gives back to the very last thing I want to talk about.

They wanted their external morality and their academic success to be sort of shining and they tried somehow to sort of outsource that in some ways, and what the kids didn't pick up and they would they would say this now as their 25-year-old or 27-year-old, or the one back from college to really has no interest in their parent's faith. Who doesn't buy into their morality and their heartbroken and saying to me chip you know I wow I don't think they caught my faith because we went to church but they didn't see a passionate follower of Christ in me. Could you talk about maybe just the role of of modeling and what you do if you're that person going I I almost wish I hadn't turned onto this broadcaster. This podcast because what these guys are talking about I just I'm shamed over. I've blown it.

Is there still hope, and if so what are you what it what you modeling how do you do it now. Yeah, you brought up so many good things there well I think if you want your kid to at the end of that 6570 days to be walking with Jesus. Then, in today's culture. You have to walk with Jesus, that it is not you can drop them off to the youth ministry and say we have been baptized, sanctified and dry cleaned and I'll pick him up like they are watching you mom and dad 24 seven. Your life is under total surveillance so they're not just watching to. We spent an hour church there watching.

How do you how do you respond to the homeless person on the side of the road when you're driving you do make comments about them. Like all that you just get a job do you shook me up there watching everything together, not just saying hey you know Jesus is Lord, and he died on the cross as a payment for my sins so I can have eternal life. That's fabulous but another saying is that made any difference in you and not you have to be a perfect Christian because I think a perfect Christian, or the appearance of a person perfect was it just creates intimidation to kids they can't live up to that standard, but one who is I you know son, I am doing my best to try to follow the person in the teachings of Jesus and I yelled at you and I shouldn't yell you and I just want to say is I deal with God's forgiveness in my life. I want to ask for your forgiveness and so you know you don't. I mean if you are reading devotions with them every night before they go to bed that's fabulous if you yeah I'm just saying you don't have to be the perfect Christian parent.

You just have to be really have to be transparent you have to be living out your faith that I am a follower of Jesus, and I'm trying to keep my eyes on him and son you know I'm I have this one doubt I want to share whatever's age-appropriate like you take them on your journey with you and and and make it about Jesus focus on Jesus and not on the word Christian all because I think Christians mean so many different things today soon as you say your Christian people. Alderson put you in a Campo out what you can a believer what you're going to do about parents talk to kids about Jesus. Tell him how much you love Jesus and you're trying to follow Jesus and and then at the end of the day. You did the best you could do like that's what I wanted to. I just want us you not i.e. you were very gracious in your introduction about books and things like that my kids. I'm not even sure they've read one of my books I and I and I don't want to be remembered by that what I want to be remembered by is that you know for 18 years and now with their children, Doug and Kathy Fields. You know we were parents and we tried our best and same time we try to best to love them and also to follow Jesus great words of wisdom Doug, I would add to that, you know, we always have to remember that we can create an environment and we can model imperfectly following Christ, but all of our kids have little choosers and they get to own their choices and so part of.

I think what a lot what you talk about in terms of consequences point if we don't start early and do that and pretty soon they don't think they're there. Choosing makes a big difference in the can dig pretty pretty painful holes that are very challenging to get out of. And yeah, there's hope you know this great hope and God still does the miraculous things in can begin wherever were at, which is I'm always was encouraged by kites like Moses that really, really didn't get it get in the game and in a good way until he was 80 years old so well and think about that for the parents, or a listening ear like a it's too late for me.

You know my kids are already out of the house know it's not too late for you, now's the time to be affectionate to be honoring with your words to create memories with them to apologize like you know when this is the hard part of parenting I'm looking at my own kids.

My kids they don't remember like years one through 10. It seems like you mean they have no have some memories but you know, I know when they're talking about my memorials at my memorial service really can be talk about the last decade of my life is that's what is in their memory. So if you think it's too late. It's not too late, poured on parents pour it on great word Lord is Doug and I close with those listening to us who you are speaking to you about being the kind of mom, dad, did you give them the grace to accept your forgiveness Lord, would you would you bring thoughts to their mind right now about what they need to do if they have little ones are teens or preteens thought about what what are the boundaries that they need to agree on what I think of those who kids are already grown God. Whether it's an apology you're a lunch or just an investment. I met so many men successful men in their 40s and 50s are still waiting for their dad to say I'm really proud of you.

I really love you to actually verbalize it. Lord you you know you're speaking to people, would you help them today, not tomorrow, but intentionally today to take some steps toward being more the parent wanted to be an Doug and I ask you to do that in Jesus name practical conversation about the issues. Some kids are facing in the 21st century listening to Chip's interview with our guest teacher for this series Doug field as we close are you looking for a more practical way to be the best.

You can be that. Let me encourage you to order a set of our new intentional parroting cards. This resource was developed alongside Doug's teaching and covers the 10 specific areas you talked about in the series. So whether you need to learn how to discipline be a better encourager or discover how to have serious fun.

This tool will help you be more purposeful in the lives of your kids to order your set of our new intentional parroting cards just go to LivingontheEdge.org or call AAA 333-6003 that's AAA 333-6003 or visit LivingontheEdge.org app listeners tap special offers: selects time for everyone. This is the same. Thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge


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