Audra Krell

On Purpose

Archive for the category “Parenting”

On Healthy Competition

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Photo courtesy of @iStockphoto

 

You hear it from teachers, instructors, coaches and especially from experts on boys.

"Competition is natural." 

Just because it's natural doesn't always make it acceptable. For example, I may naturally have some gray hair, but that don't mean it's right!

Competition among family members can be one of the most detrimental relational experiences. In competition, there is always a winner and a loser. Efforts to gain approval often lead to constant striving, winning at any cost and low self-esteem.

In competition, someone always feels left out, second best, last or undervalued. In families where the members experience these emotions, certain members will give up, give in and withdraw. It's difficult to be a strong family when one or more members are always striving to be the center of attention, or the "winner" if you will.

That said, competition is a great way for the family to bond. The natural competition occurs in trying to better the family as a whole. Setting goals, dreaming together and succeeding at family projects, strengthen family ties. 

Those are the ties that bind.

Strong families play together, and win as a whole, so they'll stay together.

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Nobody Kicks our Can

The whine of the garbage truck squealed  for too long in front of our house. I had overfilled the large receptacle and walked to the window with dread. Sure enough, the driver was out of the truck, picking up trash. Just as I went to help him, he reared back and kicked the can five feet.

“He just kicked the can down the street,” I yelled to our 14 -year -old son as I hurried to find my shoes so I could outside to have a word with him. At the very least I was going to call his superiors to complain; nobody kicks our can.

By the time I got to the end of the driveway though, the can sat upright and the trash truck was gone. I picked up the remaining trash and turned to go inside. 

I was met by our huffing 6', 215 pound seventeen -year -old. When our middle boy saw me go outside, he went to rally his brothers.

“Where is he?” 

“He’s gone honey, but he picked up the can,” I said.

“I’m going to find him, you don’t do that,” he said while looking up and down the street.

“It’s okay, let’s just let it go.”

It was like talking down a prize- fighter facing his biggest opponent, but somehow I convinced him to go inside.

As we walked back, I was struck by the protective hearts boys have. I am so used to defending them, protecting and softening the blow, that I didn’t even question charging outside to confront a visibly angry man. 

In Ephesians 5:25, God commands husbands to love their wives. A big part of loving is protecting. I realized my boys are not going to kick into protection mode the day they are married. It is up to me to allow them to be the protector; to respect the way God has wired them to treat all women. 

When they are young, we encourage imaginary play that allows them to be the hero. As they grow and playing pretend isn’t as acceptable, opportunities to singlehandedly save the world are put away with childish things. 

Our boys are 17, 14 and 12. The need to be the hero in a world where there aren’t many, is more critical than ever. The acknowledgement of their warrior hearts and the way God has wired them is validating, freeing and respectful to a young man.

The “angry trash man” was an opportunity to let the boys defend and protect. I have to proactively look for situations where the boys can be heroes.  Then someday, they'll  be heroes to their wife and children.

 

Know Groundwire

What I wouldn't have done to have a group like this when I was a teenager. Groundwire uses technology to connect young people with the gospel of Jesus. 

I'm passionate about our millennials and young people. Sadly, they are considered the lost generation. I love promoting the work the good folks of Groundwire do, because it lines up with my personal mission. I write so that no one feels abandoned. 

Groundwire exists to bring our young people home. If you are struggling with cutting, eating disorders, depression or other problems, log onto Groundwire for Spiritual coaching and a safe place where you won't be judged or shunned.

Day or night, someone is waiting to talk, pray, encourage and listen. www.Groundwire.net

Leading Millennials

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Thom S. Rainer has a great article here on what millenials want in a leader. Through his article you can learn who our Millenials are and more details about what they are looking for in a leader.

I have a huge heart for Millennials, as Steve and I are raising 3 later born Millennial boys. I love to study articles like Rainers, because it's important to learn about what their generation is seeking.

For me, learning turns into leading. Millenials are looking for gentle spirited mentors, as well as authentic and down-to-earth pastors, politicians and the like. My favorite quality in Millennials is their zero tolerance policy on lying and inauthentic people. If you consistently lack integrity and are manipulative and deceitful, they will leave you. Forever.

Honesty wins every time. It's a good policy to implement for every generation.

In what ways are you leading the Millennial generation? 

 

Dull Scissors Talk

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I dreaded the start of school, because our oldest is a senior. During the last weeks of summer, he began to frustrate me with his choices. I asked my husband what our son was doing and he said he was asserting his independence. He was getting ready to move on.

"What? He can probably get ready to move on the night before he leaves for college." I said.

My husband gave me a half smile and shook his head, knowing there was no reasoning with me.

I thought about it and decided it was time for the talk. No not the talk, the old dull scissors talk.

So I caught him alone one afternoon and kept it brief. 

"This year is going to be very hard on me," I said. "But I don't want to spend it with you trying to prove your independence and us fighting all the time. So I'm simply going to give you a lot of independence and freedom. You bend a little for me and I'll bend a lot for you. I will let you go when it's time for college."

He agreed and seemed relieved.

We'll still disagree and get frustrated with the other's perceived lack of understanding. But I will start cutting the apron strings. (You young ladies can thank me now and later!) 

I just never said I'd use the sharp scissors. It's a momma's prerogative.

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