Monday, September 21, 2009

Different Parenting......

We have all run up against another mother that parents their child differently than we do. I always try to respect what they are doing. Aside from beating the crud out of a kid, I usually just shake my head and walk away. I don't want someone interfering with my parenting and I will respect someone else's style, even if I don't agree with it. Sometimes, though, I get totally perplexed.

I am a youth leader at our church. We have some kids whose parents don't come to our church, but the kids do. Most are fine with that, we don't sacrifice cats in the basement or require you to give up your oldest child for service. It's just a non-denominational bible based church. Nothing weird going on. But I have actually been to the church, and researched the children's programs before enrolling my children in them. There is a family whose teenagers are fighting with their parents to come to youth group. The parents let them go to church camp, go on a mission trip, cross state lines with us, but now, they are "too into" it, and it has to stop. Too into church. Too into getting close to God. Too into not fighting with each other and doing good. Not that they are perfect or that our youth group spits out perfect kids, not gonna happen, but we are trying to get God into the center of these kids lives.

So riddle me this.........why? I want you to know that when these kids have asked me, I always tell them, that though this is hard, they must respect their parents. I do not encourage them to disobey their parents or sneak out or anything. Nor does any leader, we respect the parents role in the family. We have offered to speak to the parents to address any concerns to no avail. We are going to be doing a purity bible study in small groups for both the boys and the girls. I would love my kids to be exposed to that. I read the book and I am blown away at the challenges that this study encourages these young people to address and handle. I think it is going to be amazing.

I know I am "in" the church, so my view may be skewed, but when my kids wanted to get involved in this group, I researched it. Just like I would soccer, or band or whatever thing they were interested in. That's my job, so I don't understand any parent who would say NO, and not do their research. It also confuses me that these kids have freedom in just about all areas in their lives, just not for God. There are worse things these kiddos could want to be involved in.

Share your opinions, am I off base, right on, or should just stay out of it. Again, I have always encouraged these kids to, above all else, respect their parents. Let me know.

God bless you and yours.


Anonymous said...

What is that??? We had the same experieince in our high school youth group. One family in particular sent their daughter just until she got really close. Then when it was important to her, they used it as a special privilege to control her and would not let her go as punishment. Like "you can't go to church because you didn't make your bed last Tuesday". Very weird and totally counterproductive to encouraging a young woman. She invited them, and asked them to all pick out a different churrch as a family. But no - if we aren't going you can't go. Nuts and so frustrating!!

Dawn Cartwright said...

Only because you asked for advice (I try to not to give it unsolicited!) Leave it alone and pray. This is always a no win situation and you will turn out to be the bad guy. Besides, it's always awesome to see how God can turn it around without us. Love you and what you are doing for kids!