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A Work in Progress: Walking with Jesus

Worried about the problems our children are facing? Don’t panic!

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I have read a lot of articles recently which have the apparent aim of putting the fear of God into parents everywhere. If they are to be believed, our children are in for a terrible time. They are growing up too quickly. They spend all their time in front of a screen of some sort or another. They are inactive and overweight. Once they hit their teenage years (or even before that), they will inevitably be drinking too much, watching porn online, having sex with each other (a lot), and being pressurised into doing things they don’t want to do. They will have no respect for themselves or other people.

Depressed yet?! I was starting to feel somewhat helpless and despondent when reading the latest diatribe on this subject from some journalist or another. That same morning I walked to work as usual along the footpath that runs along the side of our local secondary school. As usual, I shared the path with a gaggle of teenagers on their way to school. As usual, I nearly passed out from the heady fumes of Lynx, testosterone, perfume and hairspray as they passed me. But then I was struck by a thought. These teenagers looked pretty happy. Most of them were smartly dressed and talking amicably to one another. Some of them even smiled at me and stood aside to let me past. Granted, a few dropped litter on the ground and I’m fairly sure that a group of girls were laughing at my animal-print rucksack, but then I probably would have done if I was them. Carry on reading…

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Free to Fly- The importance of loving our children unconditionally

Pretty much all parents would agree that they’d like their children to be happy. Many would say they would like them to be successful, too. But how do we define success? I think we need to be careful about over-emphasising the achievements of our children. Let me explain what I mean by that.

If we focus too much on their achievements, be they academic ones or in the field of music, drama, sport or anything else, they can start to believe that that is what defines them. We so often pigeon-hole them- ‘She’s my brainy one’, ‘he’s my little budding footballer’, ‘she got all the looks in our family’, ‘he’s the funny one’. If we’re not careful they start to adopt these titles for themselves and thus place limitations on their expectations of what they are capable of. Carry on reading…

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