What’s new for families in 2019? Join AMBrewster as he helps Christian parents compare cultural trends to God’s eternal Word.
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Listen to the following episodes on Apple Podcasts by clicking the titles.
“Prepare Your Kids. Don’t Protect Them” (episode 12)
“Kids and Movies: Parenting Your Kids to Success” (episode 14)
“Parents, Kids, and Techtation” (episode 25)
“Apps You Thought Were Safe for Your Kids, But Aren’t” (episode 88)
“Parenting Trends 2018" (episode 124)
“Help, I Just Found My Child with Porn! | what to do when your child’s deliberately or accidentally exposed to sexuality” (episode 147)
“Are There Failure Philosophies in Your Home?” (episode 61)
“Chores | laying a biblical foundation” (episode 154)
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Click "Read More" for today’s Transcript.
Today and next time we have two more short episodes, but they have less to do with learning what God has to say about our parenting, and — instead — looking at the world’s conclusions to compare them with God’s Word.
It’s far too easy to be swayed by the collective groupthink of our culture. We must be vigilant to study the Scripture, test the spirits, and demand that our philosophies of life submit to God’s inscripturated will.
But before we do that, will you please Rate, Review, and Recommend us. It’s super easy to click a star rating in iTunes, and we tell you exactly how do that at TruthLoveParent.com.
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Your few minutes can be an incredible blessing to so many people.
And, speaking of blessings, I’d like to publicly thank Johanna for making today’s episode possible. She’s one of our monthly Patrons, and you can click on the “5 Ways to Support TLP" link in the description of every episode to learn more about our mission, our goals, our needs, and how you can worship the Lord by helping us.
Now, let’s find out what’s trendy this year.
By the way, the transcript of this show will be available, but there will be no episode notes today as this is primarily a critique of a hodgepodge of secular thoughts.
In preparation for this episode I researched a number of outlets and have collected the trends that appeared throughout the articles.
Of course, everyone focuses in slightly different directions, and we all have our axes to grind, but this list itemizes the top 7 parenting philosophies to become popular this year.
We’ll start with the benign and move to the cancerous.
1. Raindrop Names
This particular observation requires little comment, except to acknowledge it.
Names that pack two or more syllables into four or fewer letters have been known as “Raindrop” — especially if their primary constants are soft like L, M, N, R, or the consonant version of Y.
And even though the idea of Raindrop Names has been around for awhile, it seems as if they’re peaking in popularity.
Examples of Raindrop names are Aria, Anja, Liam, Owen, and the female derivation of Erin, which gives me hope that my name (though it has five letters) may become popular again sometime soon.
This is the only dismissible trend we’re going to discuss today, so let’s get into the good stuff.
2. Self Care
In May of last year a Pinterest parent report testified that 44% of moms who use the app said they wanted more “self-care.” They defined this broadly including things like spa treatments and girls’ nights out.
Some have said this is a welcome sign that 2019 parents aren’t interested in working themselves to the bone and that they understand the importance of protecting their health.
But history has taught us that without a proper foundation, anything good can become bad. Should we care for the temples of God? Should we embrace the rest to which God frequently calls us in His Word?
Of course we should, and I believe the modern Christian is deplorably abysmal at Christ-honoring health care, holistic maintenance, and deep rest.
But this “self-care” is also an easy sacrifice to offer on the altar to self.
We often worship ourselves with “me time” and frequently try to escape the more difficult elements of our lives by claiming that we simply can’t take it anymore. A spa treatment is a much more culturally acceptable way of dealing with our stress than a bottle of vodka, but both abuses can grow from the same root.
Also, not only are we the worst judges of our best, we’re also frequently incapable of understanding the value of discomfort.
In many ways I am a staunch advocate of self-care that aligns with Scripture, but I cannot stand behind comfort sought solely for self. And you shouldn’t either.
Make sure your work and your leisure glorify the Lord.
This next one is also valuable to a degree as long as it doesn’t become an answer in itself.
3. Limited Technology
If you remember, I reported that in 2018 many people were trying to establish an online presence for their infants.
However, it seems that products that allow things like “grandparent-only” photo sharing are becoming more popular as parents realize that our digital world is a dangerous one inhabited by predators desiring to exploit the most vulnerable and trusting among us.
On the other side, it appears that many parents are wising up about the dangers of technology and are opting for flip-phones when their children are old enough to need one.
We’ve said a lot about parenting our children around the pitfalls of technology, but I fear many unbelievers are doing a better job helping their kids than many Christians.
I’ll include links to our tech-related episodes in today’s description and encourage you to check them out so we can grow in this dangerous parenting realm.
This same movement away from certain technologies is encouraging parents to utilize fewer videos and lean heavier on audiobooks.
Alexa will now read to your kids just like Teddy Ruxbin did for some of you . . . only in a less creepy way.
However, may I suggest that it would be infinitely better for you to just read the book to your kid yourself?
And I strongly recommend this move away from video. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a time and place for it, but it should be intentionally Christ-honoring, and never a babysitter.
Remember, there is no silver bullet or magical incantation that will shield your kids from all the evils of this world. The first episode I shared below is “Prepare Your Kids. Don’t Protect Them.”
Just like simple viruses, when you shield your children’s immune systems from them, their natural defenses aren’t allowed to work the way God intended. Then later in life, if your children were to be exposed to the same diseases they could have easily overcome as young people, they rack the adult body and exploit the atrophied immune system.
Should we protect our children from influences and attacks they are not yet prepared to meet? Yes, but we only do this as long as it takes to prepare them to meet the attack. We cannot shelter them forever. At some point they must be ready to stand with God and be victorious.
Make certain that your family’s interaction with technology and entertainment is rooted deeply on God’s reality.
4. Parenting Styles
We’ve frequently discussed the only parenting style that glorifies God, but mankind is constantly on the lookout for a replacement for God’s plan.
There are two new ideologies coming to the fore this year.
The first is Lawnmower Parenting.
A college professor described these parents as “mowing down” any and all difficulties ahead of their children so that they needn’t ever experience adversity or discomfort.
Anyone with a functioning cerebral cortex and cursory knowledge of history and science should be able to see that this type of parenting does nothing more than create weak, incapable, narcissistic, sociopaths who lack any ability to function in this world physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually.
But this isn’t so much a parenting style as it is a parenting tool.
The Dictator Parent will mow lawns in an attempt to control their environment and bend it to their will.
The Joker Parent will mow lawns because they can’t abide the thought of their special snowflake taking too much heat.
The Doormat Parent will mow lawns because they don’t think their children are capable of being more than they are.
And Judge Parents will mow lawns because they enjoy attacking anything and everything that they are not.
Lawnmower Parenting isn’t a new style, it’s a learned ignorance that’s the product of our culture’s Failure Philosophies.
But there’s also Authoritative Parenting. One article described this parent as not being “too strict/rigid, but . . . not a total pushover” either.
Diana Baumrind is the lady who was given the unearned honor of coining this term (I say “unearned” because countless Christian parenting experts have been using it for decades including my friend, Mark Massey).
She says that this type of parenting is “flexible and more democratic, a balance-focused approach.”
One article explained it this way, “Having expectations for kids, but providing them with the resources and emotional support they need to succeed; listening to your children and pivoting based on their opinions; placing limits on their behavior and fair and consistent discipline when rules are broken.”
On the surface, this may sound like a more academic definition of Ambassador Parenting, but there are key distinctions.
First, we need expectations, but the Ambassador’s will be God’s High Biblical Expectations.
Second, we should provide our children with all the needed support and resources to succeed, but those will be defined by God’s Word as well.
Third, we do need to listen to our children and pivot — or should we say, “rotate” — but not based on their opinions. Again, it must all rotate around God’s revealed Truth.
And of course, fourth, we should place limits on our children’s behavior and provide fair and consistent discipline when rules are broken, but we should do so out of worship of God and not ourselves or our children.
But parenting styles aren’t the only things being redefined this year.
5. Family Redefinition
Let me quickly name two new derivations.
First, I feel the uncomfortable need of giving focus to a system called “Fed-Up Families.”
These are families where everyone is fed up with the historically accepted forms of labor division. Mothers are fed up with fathers who refuse to notice the dirty diapers. Fathers are fed up being the one who can’t stay home more often.
Basically, it’s one more pathetically selfish attempt to get what I want.
But, I mention it because, again, as couples and families we need to know why we do what we do. We must have a biblical philosophy. I agree, more men need to change more diapers. But I also believe that each of the family members needs to embrace the chores that they do best and that they can offer to God as an act of worship. And they shouldn’t feel abused or mistreated that the family depends on them to fulfill those tasks.
I say more about family chores in episode 154; hopefully that will be a blessing to you.
The second new family model is called “Partnered Parenting.”
It used to be if a parent were unmarried, they were single. However, now we have fathers and mothers living together and producing children without ever taking the step to get married, but they’re not technically considered single because they’re in a relationship.
This trend should surprise no one, and must be rejected by those who love the Lord because such relationships do not please Him.
People living as husband and wife should be husband and wife.
Of course, we don’t reject those living in such families, we love them and try to introduce them to Christ, but we do not applaud nor embrace such lifestyles.
Now, I mentioned that we were going to talk about 7 parenting trends of 2019, but I’m going to save the last two for next time.
They are hugely important topics with which we need to grapple.
So, please share this episode with your friends, check out “5 Ways to Support TLP,” listen to any episodes you may have missed, and feel free to drop us a line at TeamTLP@TruthLoveParent.com.
It doesn’t matter what direction the world goes, we must purposefully follow after Christ, but if we’re not careful we can be blown around by every shifting cultural wind.
So, in order to stay firmly grounded in God’s Truth . . .
I’ll see you next time.
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