MTV’s Insights about the New “Kid-driven” Family

Before I dive into today’s topic, I wanna throw something out there. Today’s blog title doesn’t mention “contest” … so I’m going to see how much you guys are actually paying attention.  😉  I’ve got some giveaways for you: I’ve got my hands on the brand new special edition of the classic Academy Award winning The Ten Commandments, the one with Charlton Heston as Moses and Yul Brynner as Pharaoh. It’s just been rereleased on Blu Ray and DVD. I’ve got a copy of each (1 Blu Ray and 1 DVD) that I’m giving away. I’ll also give away 5 copies of my new parenting book, Candid Confessions of an Imperfect Parent.

Winning will be simple. Use the comments feature on this blog to post a comment about the subject at hand today– MTV’s take on the modern family (see below). Do you agree with their conclusions or not. At the end of your comment, you must mention the city and state you live in, and whether you would prefer the Blu Ray, the DVD, or my book. I’ll draw 7 winners 24 hours from now. (WINNER NOW POSTED AT BOTTOM)

Onto the subject at hand:

My dad just finished reading my parenting book, and today he forwarded me a relevant article from Fast Company Magazine, titled, Are You M-Ready (about the generation of older teenagers and young 20-somethings known as Millennials). The article interviewed an MTV VP whose job is to research the drives, desires, passions, fears, etc. in the lives of teens today (so they can market to them).

The entire article was intriguing, but the part I found the most interesting was what he described as “tectonic forces” that move beneath much of what defines the uniqueness of this generation.” The first “force” he described was the recalibration of the nuclear family and, as consequence, the way this generation was parented. Where the old family was parent-driven, the new family is more a democracy, if not even kid-driven. Personally, I totally agree with this observation, as probably evidenced by my youth culture window article this week, Raising the Bar, where I lash parents with questions, asking them, “Have you completely given up?!!!”

Here’s MTV VP Nick Shore’s description of this family recalibration. He says it well:

 

A century of “parent-centered” nuclear family has steadily been under-going a paradigm shift, and may have just passed the tipping point. The nucleus of the family has been moving towards the child, and Millennials look like the first generation raised in that new nuclear family structure. No longer the hierarchical structure with authoritarian parent “leadership,” the new family is flattened to a democracy, with collective (if not kid-driven) decision-making process. Parents are more like best friends, life coaches, or as we at MTV call them “peer-ents.”

75% of Millennials in an MTV study agreed that “Parents of people my age would rather support their children than punish them,” 58% agreed, “My parents are like a best friend to me.”

No longer is it necessary to “rebel against” authoritarian parents to individuate, engage in acts of self-expression, or push at the boundaries. As one youth psychologist we work with pointed out, “Parents don’t say you can’t go to the party, they create safe spaces to consume alcohol, they say Can I pick you up afterwards?, Here’s money for a taxi.”

Sound familiar?

I’m glad to hear Nick provide some of the reasoning why parenting are lowering the bar. It’s simply because… they aren’t in charge anymore. Little Brianna is in charge, and by the way, she wants the new iPhone… today!

Thoughts? Do you observe this? Are MTV’s descriptions of parents (in this article linked above) and my description of parents (in this week’s Youth Culture Window article) fair?

WINNERS:

Sherri in Red Lion, PADVD winner

Danielle in Tyngsboro, MA- Blu-Ray winner

Patrick in Marion, Indiana- Book winner

Nick in Orlando, FL- Book winner

Jake in Butte, MT- Book winner

Pete in Glenwood Springs, CO- Book winner

Micah in Salina, KS- Book winner

About Jonathan McKee

president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over twenty books including the brand new If I Had a Parenting Do Over, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid; Sex Matters; The Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket; and youth ministry books like Ministry By Teenagers; Connect; and the 10-Minute Talks series. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, TheSource4YM.com and TheSource4Parents.com. You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.
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43 Responses to MTV’s Insights about the New “Kid-driven” Family

  1. Sherri says:

    Sadly, I agree with your blog comments. I’m a youth ministry director serving approx. 30 students. I see it all too often, the kids are completely in control of all decision making … good, bad, or ugly. The parents have taken a backseat and in my opinion would rather be friends with their kiddo than be a parent that has to make uncomfortable decisions that are in the best interest of their child. I hate to admit that I sometimes fall into this mode with my own teenagers. Not proud of it and thank God for pointing it out to me.

    Red Lion, PA DVD

  2. David Wanat says:

    I think MTV is right about the family being kid centric. I think the motivation is parent selfishness. “I don’t want to deal with fits and fights, I just want them to like me. I’m sending them to school to be raised, I don’t want to work at parenting.” I call it parental cruise control, what ever the easiest path is, that’s what will happen. Parents want instant fast food style results from their limited parenting efforts, and going along with what the child wants is the easiest

    Book

  3. Nick Stoyer says:

    MTV’s observations are spot-on when describing the current parenting paradigm. As a teacher, I run into this problem on a daily basis. I believe it is, at least in part, rooted to the erosion of truth and the high value we place on self-esteem. No one does anything wrong, it is just different, nothing is incorrect but it is simply unique. They are no losers only winners. My generation believes “anything” is possible so let people (including your kids) find their own way of living and doing things and judge their success by how they feel. Many of my peers believe it is possible to be your child’s best friend and be a parent. However, the trends we are seeing show otherwise. Teens need and want parents to set boundaries. They need to hear words, not just of Grace but also of Truth. It is amazing how much a teen responds to consistent loving authority and discipline when it is implemented by honest parents.
    Orlando, FL Book

  4. Tyler V says:

    Jonathan,

    Great post. I would love to receive a book, and I am in Greendale, WI.

    I see this pattern in my youth ministry. Parents just seem scared to parent. Consequences, discipline, and authority just don’t seem to be present. When do you think this trend started?

    Thanks!
    T

  5. Patrick says:

    As a 21-year-old ministry major, I’m kind of in the awkward generation before the one mentioned in this article, and it shows. My oldest sister (10 years older than me) was disciplined heavily, and my parents were very much concerned with keeping her safe. Once they began raising me, however, they started to shift towards trying to be my friend. They supported any party I wanted to have, and tried to make sure I had fun with my friends, while still maintaining a semi-strong sense of authority. I’m looking forward to seeing how my generation will parent their kids. I’m hoping it’s a lot better!

    -Patrick
    Marion, Indiana
    (I’d prefer the book, but a DVD would be great too!)

  6. Greg Dowell says:

    Ugghh… Don’t get me started!

    I can’t understand why a 10, 11, or even 12 year old would need a cell phone.

    I absolutely agree with your blog post. I see it in my ministry all the time. I have had conversations with students when asking where they were when they missed confirmation class. Their reply is “my mom and dad let me decide if i want to go or not”.

    It happens with club sports (travel teams etc) where the parents are constantly serving the children, being soaked up in their sports which quickly turns into their god.

    I think what we need is not parents hoping their 6th grader will be the next future pro-baseball star, but focusing on making sure they and their children have a God-filled life before having a god-filled life.

    Greg-
    Lake In The Hills, IL – Book

  7. Mitch says:

    Interesting insight. I agree that this is where our society in general is at. I see both sides in our youth ministry. We have a few parents who are leading their kids to have values, but others are taking the “I want to be their friend” route.

    Menomonee Falls, WI
    Book

  8. Marc says:

    I tend to agree with the slide toward kid-centric families, although i don’t know if its as detrimental as it may first seem. Obviously the parents creating safe places for kids to drink are not being good parents, but these parents have been around for years. A “democratically” styled family system might just be a way for parents to allow for their kids to voice more opinions and work together to create shared goals and family standards.

    Fort Wayne, Indiana
    Hoping for the dvd

  9. Marc says:

    oops. meant to type ‘blu ray’, not dvd, after my previous comment

  10. Laura Hoffert says:

    I think parents are overwhelmed at the culture and societal shift since they were kids and now have a “well my kids are going to do it anyway” attitude. Kids now a days have so much freedom and choice to do what they want and it has over flowed into the homes. Parents no longer feel like they are in control. So they supplememnt control for enabling their child to do what they want but safely. MTV has already brainwashed our kids could it now be affecting parenting style?
    Bethlehem, Pa – book

  11. Jennifer Roloff says:

    I completely agree that the family dynamic has changed. My dad was as strict as could be; of course I don’t suggest being a complete disciplinarian, though it is better than having a parent that doesn’t care enough to discipline. I found that out at a young age when I moved in with my mom. She was the parent that allowed me to host my own party where at 15 I almost drank myself to death. She was trying to get me on birth control before I even thought about having sex. I don’t know why or how a parent can act that way. Do they really not care? I think they just don’t want the hassle of having an argument and having to stand firm on handing out consequences. This generation is also growing up without manners or respect. It’s really sad. I wonder how the next generation will turn out. Hopefully, they will learn from their mistakes and the mistakes their parents made.

    Sacramento, CA
    Blu-ray

  12. Jon forrest says:

    This “child in charge” idea has gotten so upside down I detect an unwritten rule that says parents exist for the children. While, I’d die for my daughter, I am not her “yes” machine. Nor am I her genie. A little stronger than her, but only to grant her wishes.
    Anything free… Book.
    Nashville TN

  13. Danielle says:

    This pretty well scares me. We run the youth ministry at our church and for the most part our students have parents who PARENT. They end up being well-balanced kids who by the time they’re seniors in high school are able to make wise choices. Sure, there are some parents who are run by their kids – and it’s almost out of fear. Parents need to realize that their kids will respect them when they’re older and value their friendship. If you ruin your kids by allowing them free reign – they’ll resent or uber-depend on you when they’re older.

    And frankly – as someone who doesn’t have kids yet, this scares the daylights out of me. Why? Because I know my kids are going to have to deal with the teasing of being the one of their friends who has “that parent” who “never lets them do anything”. Hopefully at the same time I’ll be able to help them understand the “why” – but peer pressure & teasing is still hard 🙂
    – Tyngsboro, MA

    Blu-Ray or Book, either one. 🙂

  14. Susan Daggett says:

    I agree that the modern family is more kid driven. I see kids misbehaving and the parents just say it’s the kids personality. Sadly, I somewhat was more of a friend than a parent sometimes.

    Mount Morris, Michigan
    Blu Ray

  15. Shawn says:

    I totally agree! I have been dealing with this for years in my student ministry. Parents who don’t want to parent, and have bought this idea that their kids can make informed decisions on life at any age. I have a couple parents who openly joke and make light of never disciplining their students and getting them whatever they want. It really messes with their view of God too. If parents don’t set boundaries and consequences then God, who does, becomes a bully.

  16. Roger says:

    “Peerants”, yup that sums it up quite well. I am now a grandparent and I certainly parented differently than my parents…but not much. My job is being a family minister at our church and I have watched a number of families lean toward being “peerants” instead of being authoritative (read confidant) parents.
    Thanks for the work you continue to do to open our eyes to what is going on today in our culture.

    book
    Roger Brown
    Newport New, VA

  17. Michelle says:

    I’m known as “that parent.” My 14-year-old says, “Mom, all my friends think you are so strict.” And then she follows up with, “But they think you are so cool.” I wear the “strict” title proudly.

    Sadly, of course, I see the same things everyone else in the world of youth ministry is seeing. Kids who rule the family. I don’t see it as a democracy though; it is kid-run. Sports rule families’ calendars. Nothing else matters when there’s a sporting event.

    I do love the term MTV coined “peerents.” That completely rings true. I have parents who come to me, asking ME to discipline (“talk to”) their kids because their kids won’t listen to them. One parent told me that the pastor and I need to come down harder on her son because she doesn’t know what to do. Sad, sad, sad.

    The youth ministry team is now beginning to offer weekly parent meetings for parents to get together and discuss issues that affect their kids today. We hope this evolves into a training time for parents (i.e., how to have faith conversations with your teen).

    Thanks, Jonathan!

    Howard City, MI (I ordered the book, so a DVD would be great!)

  18. Jay says:

    It’s a harsh realization, but this IS the sad state of the “modern family” for the most part. Whenever I have gone into a church, I have heard the same comments from parents, “Can you please make my child(ren) like your children?” But because our house has not bought into the child-centric philisophy, and most times the requesting parent has, it is an impossible task.

    The saddest reality of the whole child-centric family is that you see the parents decide when the child reaches late high school or college age that it’s NOW time to begin parenting, which is an impossible task due to years of creating the bad habits of the child-centric family.

    People wonder why society seems to have a lack of respect for authority…well here in lies the problem.

    By the way…starting reading Confessions and love it! I am wanting to do a Parent study/discussion utilizing it! So please pass on any copy that might have gone to me to someone who does not have it.

  19. maryanncarroll says:

    It’s the new sad reality – I do agree with this. Kids/teens are driving the household, and I see it as a recipe for disaster. I am not a parent, but a youth worker. I see that the lack of guidance and TRUE parenting is a disservice to the young people we see every week in our ministries (especially unchuched friends of our church members). We must all remind ourselves – it’s not about being their friend. It’s about acting as a guidepost and providing positive, relevant and Christ-centered direction to young people. Without it, they’ll function as adults without key tools that can help them make good, healthy decisions. I hope parents reading this blog entry and all our comments will share with their peer parents as a way to remind them that their primary responsibility is to raise good people – not be their kid’s friend.

  20. Aaron Vance says:

    Jonathan,

    I completely agree. I’m young myself, but it seems to me that just a few years ago things were different. Maybe it was just my family, but I sure didn’t get a say in the things kids absolutely control these days. As a father of a one-year-old girl, leader in teen group, pastor of a spanish church, and missionary to South America, my wife and I have had long discussions about how we will rebel against the norm. We’ve got to raise kids that are less narcissistic and more compassionate. Less focused on getting and more focused on serving. Less selfish and more giving. It’s a huge task, no doubt.

    I’m in Dawsonville, GA — Would enjoy the book (I can use all the help I can get lol)…

    Thanks for what you do. I like reading your blog.

  21. Kelly Sykes says:

    Totally spot on! I believe that many parents of this generation do not undersand that “No is a complete sentence!” They are afraid to say no because they are so needy themselves that they have reversed parental roles…they look to their children to fill spaces that are inappropriate for children/teens. There is an incredible spiritual void that many parents do not recognize and children/teens are pushed into filling those holes.

    Parents are also afraid to let kids fail or struggle…a sense of entitlement is generated and then when kids go out into the real world they are vastly unprepared.

    The scriptural order of the family is totally out of whack for the vast majority of families in this country. I would be willing to bet that most families do not even know what this scriptural order is. God provided this order for a reason…Children need parents who can love unconditinally (agape), nuture, and set appropriate boundaries. They do not need parents who try to be their “best friend.”

    Kelly Sykes, Blairsville, GA….DVD

  22. Jake says:

    I think that there is definitely a tendency toward parents wanting to make their kids happy and avoid the hassle of an argument. I’m not a parent, so I can’t totally relate, but I have wondered if part of it is the parents living vicariously through their kids. For instance, they look back at their time in school and don’t hav egreat memories, so they try to provide their kids with what they feel like they missed. Maybe they resented having strict parents and made the decision that they weren’t going to be that way. Another thing that I see often is parents who just don’t care. They aren’t involved in their kids much at all and so their kids just do whatever they want to do.
    With that said, I also see a lot of parents who do not let their families become kid-driven. I think that its probably a pretty even split in the families that I deal with between the two.
    Jake Butte, MT…book

  23. Teresa Smith says:

    I am the religious education director, (head Sunday school teacher) at a Catholic church. I have been having numerous conversations with parents about the behavior of their kids. In the course of our conversations, I usually mention cell phones, music and tv. I am amazed at the parents that have no idea what their kids are doing. Not only don’t know, but don’t want to know because they would then need to take action.
    My other concern is that there is no family time to discuss morals and family values. Kids are going from one place to another, with a cell phone or ipod in their ears. DVDs are on for the younger set. What happened to the family car being a place for conversation?

    I remember my mom telling me, 40 years ago, that you can’t be your child’s friend. You can discipline and guide a ‘friend’. Parents need to take control!
    Teresa Smith, North Platte, NE…book

  24. Brenda Hickey says:

    I sadly agree that parents aren’t parenting. They don’t get that they have a responsibility to their children to show them tough love. Kids need direction. They need to know that their actions will lead to consequenses. However if the parents are allowing the behavior to continue and even promoting it then how will their child raise the next generation? It is hard being a parent, especially when your kids ask for things just because everyone else has them. Parents cave into this all the time, even when they know it is not the best for their child. They do want to be the cool parents and the real tragedy is that we have a society of teens with no values, no morals. Parents need to keep giving their child the tools needed to defend against the “normal” behavior of today’s society. They need to stop taking the easy way out of parenting and stop saying “It is just what kids do today”. MTV knows what they are talking about. It is just sad that they can’t be the change needed instead of the one who feeds into this very harmful behavior.

    Brenda
    Bellevue, Ohio – book

  25. Tony Wyatt says:

    I totally agree with your description of parents amd MTV’s. As a youth pastor I have recently heard several students say that their parents are like their friends and not parents. I also sent your blog about raising the standard of parenting to several parents yesterday. It was right on!

    Tony Wyatt Springfield, Mo- book (to give to the students parents)

  26. I would have to agree with both the MTV article as well as your blog post. My wife is a teacher at a Christian School where she experiences students moral and ethical standards are no different, often times, than the world. I experienced this as a youth pastor in the students attending the youth ministry I was leading. As a youth pastor, one can only impact a student so much, whereas a parent has a greater influence on their children. As parents, we have to RAISE the Bar.

    My name is Mike Wells from Sanborn, NY. I would like a copy of your book, “Candid Confessions of an Imperfect Parent”, Jonathan.

  27. Pete Schaffner says:

    Two thoughts come to mind. First, using the word picture of raising the bar makes me think of high jumping. The goal was to jump over the bar and win. The MTV article helps us see that the game has been totally changed. Parents once had the goal that they would influence their children to become well adjusted, contributing members of society. Now it seems that the goal is that they raise friends. This change shifts parents from being good FOR their children to being good TO their children. The new goal is to be LIKED by your kids, at the expense of TRAINING your children to be adults. My wife and I lead parenting classes both in and out of the church and it seems that the difference is minimal between the two on how parents are being coached.
    Glenwood Springs, CO Book

  28. Chris Miller says:

    I am sad to add my 2 cents to the comments… MTV is right. I have seen this way too much. My little girls are 1 & 3 and my wife and I are trying at this early age to help prepare them for real life where authority exists and it is not easy to discipline, but it is nescesary for them to be ready for life after living with mom and dad. Not to be preachy, it is just so frustrating to see parents take the easy road and then see their teens suffer the consequences of not knowing how the world works. It’s gonna be interesting to see how this generation will lead and raise their kids. Will they see the mistakes of their parents and change that direction?

    On a positive note, there are parents who still do it right. Their kids aren’t perfect, but they end up being the leaders and influencers in our group. Also – I have compassion for the parents where they let their kids rule the roost. They must feel overwhelmed and it’s possible that they don’t know any other way. Jonathan, they just might find a copy of your book in their hands as a gift from their church… I just hope they will be open to the message and see it as a help, not judgement. Thanks for your book as a resource for me as a parent and as a youth pastor!

  29. Chris Miller says:

    Sorry – forgot to leave my info for the contest –
    Chris Miller
    Kingsburg, CA
    Book 🙂

  30. Jessica, Denver CO says:

    So in light of this, how are we supposed to parent; to raise our children in a Godly way, when the parents surrounding us are meerly enabling their children in life instead of actually parenting them? When they are more concerned about ticking their children off than actually raising them to be respectful of authority; successful individuals with values, character and and of sound judgment – in the world, but not “of” it? This just makes the task of a Christian parent all the more formidable…

  31. Josh says:

    I completely agree with his assessment of parenting today. It has really lead to a decline in the perception of all authority figures now, be it teachers, police, government, the church etc. The driving force is “I want what I want, and I want it right now. It doesn’t matter what you think about it at all, because I want it.” So, instead of parents standing up to this, they allow it to take place, which just means it happens all the more. Granted, there are still exceptions to this in that there will always be families that are trying to do things the right way. Where the parents set the rules, the children have enough respect to follow their parents, but there is a relationship between the two that fits in healthily between the dictator and the best friend.

    Bloomington, IN Blu-ray or book

  32. Erin says:

    I’m 25 and am not married and I don’t have kids, so I can’t really speak from personal experience. But, I have to wonder if some of this kid-centered parenting has anything to do with the state of marriage relationships today. It seems as though the parents who struggle with this most are also the ones going through divorces, are cohabiting, etc. Maybe the idea of “friending” your child is a way to compete with the other parent. That’s not to say the traditional nuclear family is immune from this issue.
    I’ve also run into parents who give their kids a lot of power in making their own decisions. However, I don’t see too many parents giving their kids a real option whether they want to play an instrument or a sport. I think if it’s important, for whatever reason, to Mom and Dad, that’s what they push to their kids. If church and faith isn’t a priority for Mom and Dad, it probably won’t be for the kids either.
    Ultimately, I think MTV is right (which probably helps explain why much of their programming is aired – parents don’t supervise kids’ TV watching). But I also think there is room for some balance between strict parent and over-lenient friend. That genuine loving relationship is vital, but loving enough to guide and discipline is vital, too.

    Kingsford, MI
    DVD (I preordered your book 🙂 )

  33. Chris Litt says:

    Unfortunately, parenting has become a “go along, to get along” type of mentallity. Rather than, “these are the rules, they’re there for a reason, you’ll thank me one day” mentallity. We see discipline issues, and upset students when we simply say “No, we aren’t going to allow that” or “we can’t behave like this”. They have older friends at home (parents), so they don’t have an athority to answer to. MTV, sadly, has their finger on the pulse of this one.

    Sweetwater, TX
    Book

  34. Tracey says:

    Great article and the responses are right on. My 19 year old daughter is on the Standards Board at her sorority, because of her office and recently had to “police” the door on a weekend when their chapter advisor was visiting, so girls that came in late after partying would be quiet. I asked why they just couldn’t tell them to not do that, and her response was “You can’t tell them what to do.” A perfect example of kids who have had the parent as friend. I have always told my kids, this is not a democracy in our house, it is a monarchy and I am in control! I do not let them rule the roost, we have rules and I say no to things. I see too many of the parents of our youth, and of my friends try to be friends with their kids, not parents. It is a disaster waiting to happen. What will become of our society? How will these kids hold jobs? I shudder to think about it. I hope more people start to believe that kids need discipline, rules and boundries. I am a single parent, but even when I was married, we both agreed, (and still do) that our parenting style was going to be one of firm but loving discipline and consequences to disobedience.

    I am from Aurora, Il and would love a DVD. 🙂

  35. Sarah D. says:

    I see this all the time in my youth ministry. While I do have a couple families that parent more traditionally and raise the expectations bar for their kids, most families seem to enable their children. I have one family in which the parents like to make excuses for their kid in confirmation rather than holding him accountable for turning in his work; they even blame me. While parents need to have a positive relationship with their kids, it’s not a friendship, or shouldn’t be. God disciplines us according to the Bible, and He gives that example for parents in teaching their children to follow Jesus. Jesus didn’t make excuses for people. He paid the price for our eternal punishment for sin and still left the temporary consequences in the world for us to learn from our mistakes. I fear that with current parenting trends, the future leaders of our country will not be leaders at all but immature excuse-makers who are likewise spiritually immature because they never had any other discipline in their life, let alone spiritual disciplines!
    Book
    Farmington, NM

  36. Jeremy Hetzel says:

    Jonathan, I am a dad of three young kids. While I am most certainly in charge, it’s hard. So, I agree, but disagree, with MTV’s viewpoint. I believe that parents are giving more control to children…but I believe it’s because they want to be free to do what THEY want. Families may be becoming more child-focused, but that’s only because parents are acting selfishly and want to take the “easy” route and make their kids happy. They want to be happy. They want their kids to be happy. Think about all the news that came out recently about Billy Ray Cyrus and Miley. Billy Ray recognized he should have been more of a parent than a friend. It’s a parenting epidemic. Parents need to know that they need to do the HARD thing and raise kids right! 🙂

    Colorado Springs, Colorado. Book please!

  37. Joe says:

    The thought that we have reached a tipping point in this paradigm shift to child centered families is disturbing. Although any statistics from an MTV survey would certainly be skewed they are indicative of reality in many families today. At the same time many families are fighting to remain “traditional” and it will continue to be interesting to see how the Millennials effect culture in the next generation. Lord help my teenagers!

    Joe Pittsburgh PA Blu-ray

  38. Micah Crosley says:

    Hey Jon,

    I see the cart put before the horse so to speak so often today. As a Millenial myself, at least I think I am, I can tell a huge difference between the way I was raised and how my sisters (who are 6 and 9 years older than me, were raised). I was a latch-key kid, and basically could do mostly what I wanted when I was younger…I made my mistakes in certain arenas of life, and then there were other areas, like drinking, smoking, and drugs that I never even touched. Sure I had opportunities, but over and over, my reasoning for not doing things I shouldn’t was “what am I going to tell my parents?” or “What would my grandparents think?”

    While I may have been a latch-key kid, one thing my parents did a pretty good job of was talking with me about God and living for/like Jesus quite often, and apart from church. Driving in the car, hanging out from time to time, lunches and even things that came up in their daily lives, it was just a natural thing. I think that’s the difference.

    I see so many parents nowadays that their kid knows more about God than they do…mainly because, the parent doesn’t have “time” to focus on God or reading the Bible or many times even coming to church. First things have been put second, and when first things become secondary, we lose out on both first and second things.

    I’m in the middle of reading “The Silver Chair” and when Aslan told Jill to repeat his instructions over and over, and when she awoke and went to sleep, lest she forget them and not pay attention, it immediately brought to mind Deuteronomy 6.

    And that’s the problem today, and I think it’s been a problem since the time of Deuteronomy 6, instead of putting God’s ways first and communicating/instilling them at every opportunity, God is drowned out by media and everything else that clutters up our “Time” that we don’t have enough of, because we don’t pick and choose and prioritize how we spend it.

    And so, rather than raising the bar, parents can easily be overwhelmed and just say “Well, if their going to do it anyways, I want to make sure they don’t get hurt…” Often times, because they feel like one of their legs has been cut out already by their past, and then add in the other leg being cut out by media essentially telling students their parents don’t matter (at least in anything important or values) for anything other than what they can get from them. Anyways, just a few thoughts. Thanks for the brain food!

    Salina, KS
    I’d like a book if I get drawn. Thanks

  39. Ray foote says:

    I have seen this change happen before my eyes, I am in the same agw group as these parents ans what I see is many of my peers having had their first child in high school they think that if they support their kids instead o cm. parent they will be thw “cool” parent everyone wants to hang out with.
    That lead to this child lead family.

  40. Donna says:

    Jon, we have been talking about this very subject in our church for quite some time. I am children’s pastor at my church and have 2 teens and a 20 yr old of my own, along with a 7 yr old. It amazes me how many families, especially within the church, are afraid to parent their own children. I agree with you and with MTV’s article. We are currently trying to come up with new ways within our church to empower parents to bring up their children according to the Word.

    Springfield, KY
    blu-ray

  41. Randy says:

    Jonathan as I minister to Military youth in an overseas area I don’t seem to notice this as much. It may be becuase of the Military background and the enforced higher order of things that they are use to living with. Parents do try to be close to the youth however it is difficult as they don’t understand them and as you very well know they are different. This makes it more difficult for the parent to be “FRIENDS” as they are totally out dated usually. Our youth also being in an Asian culture know the parents are in charge as it is instilled daily! I do however notice the MTV trend mentioned with youth that I see when I am in America and I do not agree with it. My wife and I raised our 2 daughters in a mannor that we were close to them however they always know we were their parents and in charge. They shared with us close things and we always had and still do have close personal talks. It is a balancing act and parents in my opinion MUST be parents FIRST and friends as a bonus. BE BLESSED ALL!

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