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Parenting Beyond the Rules

The Christian Perspective / Chris Hughes
The Truth Network Radio
July 9, 2021 5:50 pm

Parenting Beyond the Rules

The Christian Perspective / Chris Hughes

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July 9, 2021 5:50 pm

How do we cultivate lasting relationships? Chris is joined by author, speaker, serial entrepreneur, and connector, Connie Albers, to discuss!

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Welcome to The Christian Perspective, where we look in God's Word in order to develop a Christian worldview and modern culture. I'm Chris Hughes, and our guest today is one of our nation's leading parenting experts. You may have seen her on Focus on the Family or many other radio or television shows. Connie Albers is an author, a speaker, and she is dedicated to helping parents and students discover who they are and how they've been created by God and how to cultivate lasting relationships as a family unit. Connie homeschooled five kids, which she deserves a medal for that, and she understands what it means to balance the demands of life and work and homeschool, like many of our listeners.

Connie's authored a great book, and I want you to go out as soon as the program's over today and get a copy. It's called Parenting Beyond the Rules. That's Parenting Beyond the Rules, and I wish I could have met Connie years ago when my kids were little. Mine are in college now, but man, I needed her help, and I know that many of you are struggling as parents. So what do we do in this culture today? How can I be a better parent?

How can I guide my kids to live the life that God has called them to live? So I'm so excited to have Connie with us today, and she shares with us some great parenting tips. Connie, thank you so much for being on The Christian Perspective. Oh, Chris, thanks for inviting me.

I'm happy to be with you today. So what an exciting time we live in, but a very challenging time as parents, and you've got more experience than most of us because you have five kids. So what are some of the challenges that parents and kids are facing in our culture today?

Boy, the list is long right now. It's pretty interesting. When I wrote Parenting Beyond the Rules, we forget sometimes that we create in our family unit what works for our family, and it's run smoothly with our limits and our rules and our boundaries. But as 2020 hit, we started noticing everything changed, the world changed, and parents are concerned. They're concerned about keeping the heart of their child. They're concerned about their children maintaining the values that they poured their life into teaching them, teaching them what matters, Christian worldview or biblical worldview. They're teaching them right from wrong and how to treat others with kindness and grace and fairness. And parents are really struggling right now, not just in America, but across the world as we're seeing with knowing how to navigate this season of cultural chaos. Yeah, and I think a lot of parents' eyes have been open in the past year with COVID.

My kids, I think your kids are all grown now, as I mentioned, mine are in college. But I was just shocked when my kids were in high school at what they were being taught. And when you looked at their textbooks and the things that they were required to read, and also I was shocked at the lack of engagement of parents in the school system. I know you homeschool, but I know you work with a lot of other parents. What can we do to get parents engaged in the culture and wake up and I mean, take five minutes and look at what your kids are being the smut. You know, and I guess everybody thinks I'm old fashioned or crazy or whatever, but particularly like an AP English class isn't Connie. I don't know if you've seen some of the stuff, the stuff that kids are required to read is just shocking. And it's filth. You wouldn't even let them watch on TV.

It's challenging. And most parents don't have a clue what's going on. Well, it used to be Chris, the school system supported and back the parents. They, the parents were the, the, the head of the family. They were the ones that were going to, they were the final authority.

And we see that as a direct affront right now. The parents are told to sit down and shut up. So to your question, you know, what are parents supposed to do? There's three, I will say there's three good things that came from COVID.

There has been a lot of bad things, but three good things. Chris is parents did start to see what their kids were learning because we had an entire nation. They weren't homeschooling. It was more pandemic schooling and parents were scrambling to figure out how to keep their children from losing ground academically, but they did start to see what the kids were being taught. And that was the curtain was pulled back and that opened a lot of parents' eyes.

So that's a good thing. Another good thing that came is parents started spending more time with their kids. You know you and I both know whether you're homeschooling your kids in private school or public school, families were on the go constantly and we would see each other passing or maybe, you know, we would have dinner together at a fast food restaurant or sometimes we would have dinner together at the table, but largely everybody was doing their thing. And since coronavirus hit, parents were now spending more time with their children. They were playing games, playing board games, the old-fashioned things that families used to do. They would eat together more. They would do recreational activities together as a family. So that's another good thing that came from this is just the family unit was spending more time together. And another positive thing is people started to realize suburban life, there's value to that. There's value to kids being able to go out and play in the neighborhood and kids being able to have some space, you know, space in the backyard to play dodgeball. So while there are some good things, Chris, the negative things like you said, I remember when my kids, now my kids may have been homeschooled, but there is a myth about homeschooling and that's like you're home all the time doing school, which is kind of like further from the truth.

That's like a we have to debunk that myth. But my kids all went to university and they went on academic scholarship and, you know, even then the information that was told to them that was required in freshman comp or the conversations or the discussion groups that they would have to have, kids had to answer according to what they thought or what was expected of them to please the professor to get that A. So the hoops that they have to go through now it's just it's going all the way down to elementary.

You know, we used to be worried just about what was happening in the teen years. Now we're seeing stuff that is being taught to these children at elementary ages, things that are totally against the values of I would say the majority of Americans and parents are scratching their head because just recently we see that kids are now being punished if their parents do stand up and speak out. That introduces a whole new conundrum to raising children and standing up and speaking out. Yep, kids are embarrassed and they're shamed and really ridiculed if they don't go along with what's going on in the schools.

I know you live in Florida. In North Carolina, I know every state's probably different, but in North Carolina there's a requirement that every public high school student has to take, and I'm not giving the correct name for it, but it's basically like a health class and there's nothing wrong with that. But through the course of the curriculum throughout the year there's about a two-week period where they teach a very in-depth, I mean it's in-depth, basically a sex ed core in the curriculum. And I've been amazed at the number of parents that I've told about this that had no clue that their kids were required.

And Connie, it's a very graphic, you know, I don't have a problem with teaching biology and basics and all, but I really, in my opinion, you know, the detailed sex education should come from the parents, not from somebody that you've never even met at a school system that is teaching in many cases very graphic homosexual acts. And so through the five years, not because they were slow just because of age differences, we were spanned about five years at the high school, during that time I was the only parent who opted out. So you have a choice under state law where your kids don't have to go during that two-week period. But my kids were sent to the library and then they were made fun of by their other friends because they were not, you know, a lot of pressure was put on them, you know, are you some kind of religious nut?

Why are you not in the class? And teachers are not always as friendly either. So parents just don't have a clue what's being taught and they really, really need to pay attention. You were talking about COVID and how families were doing things together.

And boy, we've really seen a change in the past year. And it's also something that I think is going to spur more interest in homeschooling. But what can parents do Connie now that schools are going to go back in the fall and how can we spend more time? I know something we did as a family is supper time was kind of a sacred time.

You know, not not always because of sports or club events or whatever. Can you always eat together? But do you think that separate or trying to pick one or two meals at least a week where families sit down and put away the cell phones, cell phones, the table, that kind of thing? What are some things parents can do now that the parents are back at work, the kids are going to be going back to school soon?

What can we do to keep that relationship going and try to spend time with our kids like we have during COVID? I think what you said is so wise. The supper table, the dinner table, you know, even if it's at a restaurant, whatever, you know, works. Those dinner time conversations, what I write about in and really advise parents to do is not only do you put the devices away, but it's also not the place or time to bring to air everybody's grievances. You want that to be a time of just listening to what the kids are going through, what they're doing, who they're, you know, what their friends are struggling with, what they're what they are learning, ask questions, listen to learn, I always say not listen to, you know, correct them and set them straight on their manners and you know what they shouldn't shouldn't be doing.

So that is incredibly important, Chris. The other thing is just be more discerning as you start to pack your schedule. You can you've seen how there's been probably a less stress because you're not running all over the place. Be slow, be very slow and intentional about what you allow to take the time. And when you are on your way to ball practice or dance lessons or whatever, you know, your child's involved in, then use that time wisely. Don't let the kids be sitting on their devices while you're in the car. Talk, ask them questions.

And here's the key. If you ask kids about their friends, that's a gateway into being able to find out what's going on with your children. For instance, you know, ask him, hey, how did your friend do on that test? I know you said they were struggling or they're really struggling with their brother or sister or maybe a friend at school that's been picking on him.

How is that going? And in a very matter of fact, non I'm going to I've got an answer formulated and I'm going to give it to you right away. But do you want to use that time wisely? And then the other thing, because I know so much of what your program is about is parents are you know, there's going to be a cost when we stand up and speak out. But our children are watching us and learning.

They're learning. Do we put our money, you know, do we put our money where our mouth is? Are we willing to stand up for what is true and right for them for their future? Because that's really what we're, we're looking at now is a radical change in how we the construct of the family unit. And if if parents tell their children one thing, and then they hear them or watch them live a different way, we're sending a mixed signal.

So there is going to be more of a push and a challenge for parents to kind of skate that fine line where their kids aren't ostracized, made fun of, picked on, bullied, shamed, or even kicked out of school, because of maybe what their parents are trying to, you know, get involved with school boards or whatever. To do that, but at the same time letting them know, listen, there comes a time in and every, you know, in our lives where we have to, to speak to the truth and do it in love and do it in gentleness. But these are what this is the values that we believe. And this is why always tell your children why you're doing what you're doing and why you believe what you believe.

Yeah, that's, that's really important. I've always told my kids, you need to know what you believe and why you believe it. And people, many people in culture today don't know, particularly Christians, because so many pastors don't really preach the whole inspired word of God. So even if you're going to church, you're not always learning things that you should learn.

And most Christians never read their Bible every day. So, you know, I think it's important if we claim to be a Christian or whatever we claim to be, we need to know what we believe and why we believe it and be able to give a defense. But before I get off the supper thing, I mean, you've met me, Connie, you know, I'm, I'm a short fat guy, and I like to eat, but I found that food is a real opportunity. You know, one, to get the kids, you know, cook, you know, so don't just cook the meal, but have them come in and cook with you sometimes or have fun. But, but when you're talking about asking about friends, I would encourage our listeners, invite some of your kids friends over for supper once in a while. You know, you're not drilling just, and you don't say, well, I don't know how to cook.

Anybody can boil a hot dog meat or make a taco or order pizza. It doesn't have to be a gourmet meal, but then you become friends with your kids' friends and, and you get to know them and you learn more about who they are at school. Cause you know, they're not the same necessarily at home that they are at school and you learn more about them. And I think that's just very helpful.

And, and I enjoy eating and getting people together around the table. Well, you were talking a while ago about how we speak truth in our kids' lives and, and, and try to train them properly. What are you seeing with kids that are going away to college? I read a lot of studies that say that particularly Christian kids, a huge percent, never go back to church once they go away to college.

And, and because of the indoctrination that's taking place on so many college campuses today, what can we as parents do to instill the proper values that we want to instill in our children, and then hopefully stay engaged with them so that when they go to college, they won't lose that faith that we have tried to bring them up to, to have. Well, you know, you have two amazing children that are in college and I've had the pleasure of meeting your daughter. And I think you could address the, I think you're doing exactly what you're asking. And that is you're intentional, Chris, about spending time with your kids, communicating, connecting with them. And we have, we have so much opportunity to communicate, communicate with our kids, whether it's, you know, Voxer or text messaging, or, you know, there's like a new app, a new app or walkie talkie that keeps us connected constantly. So when your kids are older, one of the things that we would do is we have, we still have a group thread and we'll, we'll constantly be popping in with texts of, hey, this is going on. This is what we're struggling with. So-and-so is going to be doing this, pray for here, pray for this, pray for me here. And ask questions as you, you do, you know, your, your kids, our children are being bombarded with a way of thinking that is being presented as factual, accurate, and anything that is different is wrong.

I mean, it's not even up for debate or question. And so what I have found with all of my kids went on to college, and stepping away from the faith was, we just really focused on the relationship of, of having with our kids, our kids might make some mistakes. You know, now it's dangerous when they make mistakes, because it's, you know, can haunt them for the rest of their lives. But letting them know that no matter what, that no matter what, you're there, they can trust you, they can confide in you, you will love them unconditionally, and that the doors of communication will always be open, that you, you're there to help guide them, to help give them advice, and help them with the decision-making process. And they are growing into the person God has made them to be, and they will have to make the final decisions, that there is this time where they have to make the decision because they've assumed the responsibility of adult life. But that happens when we have this strong relationship, like you have with your children, that they can come to you and say, you know, I heard this in, you know, psych class, or I heard this from my professor, and I don't know how to answer it. And, you know, my children are now out of college. We still have those conversations, because the living in our society is a challenge right now.

You're not really sure which pronouns, you're not really sure what words are okay today that might be banned tomorrow. And our kids are very in tune with that. And they're highly aware that one wrong move could cost them their career. And so when they know that mom and dad are the anchor, and we remain steadfast, that they will be able to navigate this cultural chaos and come out on the other side with a stronger faith, because they've been refined through fire. Yeah. You know, something that's been interesting for me, and I'm kind of going down a little rabbit trail with on something you were referencing just a minute ago, is now that my kids are not in high school anymore, it's been a real adjustment for me to try to make that transition from being like the authoritarian parent to to, I mean, I'm still a parent, but, you know, as adults, I want to be friends with my kids as to my kids also. And, and so, you know, I think it surprised them some because I've shifted my daughter's like, you know, what's up with you?

You used to tell me this, this or this, you had to do it. I'm like, well, you're an adult now, you know, and you have to make your own decisions. And, and I'm going to be like you said, you know, I want us to have a relationship where she can talk to me and my son can talk to me and, and give advice. But, you know, in the past, I gave advice pretty much whether it was wanted or not. And, and even last night at supper, my son was talking about something and, and I said, I just want to be clear for say, are you asking for my advice?

Because I'm not going to give it unless you're asking for it. And that's kind of surprised him the transition. But I'm trying to learn as well. And it's not always easy as a parent to know how things change as the kids get older, and you have to, you know, start to let go of them, which is very difficult at college. It is, you know, it's funny, because I often tell parents, try to see through the lens of your child's eyes, they, they see a world of opportunity, they see a world of hope and possibility, their world is, you know, their lives are yet to be lived, you know, they've only got so much experience under their belt. Whereas we've, you know, gone through some tough times in our lives, and we want to spare our children from some of that maybe some of the pitfalls that we have had to encounter and walk through.

And that's, they're going to have their own. But if you like you had said, and I thought you said it so well, it is a transition. It's like a beautiful dance. And you're trying to learn how to move in a way together so that they accept that responsibility of adulting, which is scary.

And you know, it's fun and adventurous, but it's also scary at the same time. But we have to remember, Chris, our kids, just like with us, what we have taught them is inside their brain. I mean, when they think about something, oftentimes they think about, well, what would dad have said? What would dad have done?

What would mom have done? What was that phrase mom and dad always used to say, they can't get us out of their head. And that's actually a good thing, because that means we've spent a life, a childhood at least, pouring into them, teaching them right and wrong and values and what God's Word has to say about matters of conducting and living life. And so when we turn that tassel and we make that transition, I love how you ask them, so do you want my advisory? You just want to like vent. Do you need to externally process?

Just kind of tell me what you need. And that is going to take some adjustment for your kids and for yourself, because you love your kids. Yeah. And that's what's been normal. I was sitting here laughing as you were saying that you were in their head. Just last week, my daughter was like, Dad, you're in my head all the time, even when we even went around, because I know what you're going to say if you say something. And she said, just what you said. It was really amazing what you just said. She said, you raised us the way that you believe God wanted you to raise us. And she said, but I know you were my protector and you didn't want anything to go wrong, but I'm an adult now and I've got to make some mistakes and I got to learn from myself. And that really hit home with me.

And you just said the same thing. So that must be God telling me, I need to stay out of it a little bit. Well, Connie, we've only got a few minutes, but there's something really important going on. And I didn't dedicate enough. We've got to have you back. I had like two pages of questions. I've only gotten through not even a quarter of them. But so you're fascinating.

I want to have you back sometime. But before we wrap things up, there's a real big issue today in society called critical race theory, or some people, if you hear it on the news CRT, which kind of goes hand in hand with cancel culture. Before we leave, can you talk about, if you don't mind, I don't know if that's covered completely in book, but CRT and cancel culture, how's that affecting our kids?

And what can we do to help them? And this really is going to kick in, I think, when kids go back to school in the fall, when they've been away for a year. Tell us about cancel culture and CRT. Yes, well, unfortunately, CRT is being mandated from the federal level, from the National Education, the big teachers union, they're, they're wanting this and every school system everywhere. And so there is a big fight against that because the majority of parents don't want their children judging other people by a color of their skin. They, they don't kids don't see color kids just see kids, somebody to play with on the playground, somebody that come to, you know, to get to know the folks that are going to play in the neighborhood and, and and do projects together. So children just see things differently than what the teachers are trying to, or I would not even say the teachers as much as the unions. So the critical race theory is not going to go away anytime soon. And it is an area where parents are going to, I strongly encourage parents to talk to their kids about it, get knowledgeable, gain, read the reports, read what they're, they're proposing, go to the go to your school board meetings, go to your different school settings, and ask what it is and what they're teaching. And then have those conversations with your kids so that they understand truth, you know, what, what is being taught versus what is true?

Is it true? You know, there's, there's things about that, you know, can stand some changes, but we don't want to dismantle our entire country. And so we have to be careful with that. cancel culture is one of those things that your kids get older, especially your children that are in college, they're keenly aware. And it's causing people to be less people as in teens, and college kids, it's causing them to be more mindful of the words that they use, which, you know, that's actually not a bad thing, because we have seen a lot of abuse of words, and labels. And I believe that it's making our kids more mindful of the words that they use and how they describe things, what they post on social media, they're more attuned to, you know, what, maybe I don't need to post my little rant on social media, or make a tweet about it.

Maybe I'll just keep some of my personal thoughts to myself, or share them with my family, or maybe a trusted friend. But it there's that is not a bad thing that our kids are wising up to what could possibly come their way. Mom and Dad, those of you that are listening to this program, pray for your kids, pray fervently for your children, pray fervently, your children have discernment that they have wisdom, that they have strength of character, that they know, they they treat others with kindness and grace.

And they know when to speak and when to be quiet. That is going to be a critical thing because when we when we're on our knees, when we're praying to the Lord, and we're asking the Lord to intercede on our children's behalf, He answers our prayers and He will protect our kids. That's so true, Connie.

Thank you so much for being with us today. Listeners, I want you to go to Connie has so much great parenting advice, that's C-O-N-N-I-E-A-L-B-E-R-S, She also has a podcast, it's called Equipped to Be, and you can find it anywhere you get your podcast, Apple iTunes, Google Play, or wherever it may be. And right now, I want you to go to Amazon as soon as we get done here, or wherever you buy books and get her great book called Parenting Beyond the Rules.

That's Parenting Beyond the Rules by Connie Albers. Connie, you are such a blessing. I want to have you back and thank you for being here with us today. We appreciate you so much. It's my pleasure. Thanks, Chris. Well, folks, thank you for joining me today. I'm Chris Hughes, and this is The Christian Perspective. Thank you for listening. I want you to subscribe and like our podcast, and please share it with your friends on social media. Now let's go change the culture for Jesus.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-23 13:25:30 / 2023-09-23 13:36:47 / 11

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