blog-banners-001Drones are very popular these days, especially in taking photos and videos during weddings. They’re cool, fun and take amazing shots.

But when it comes to parenting, it can become uncool, not fun and unamazing when done in the wrong way.

screen-shot-2016-09-29-at-7-15-39-pmDrone parenting is hovering around your kids and staying with them as much as you can so that you know their every move and hear their every conversation.

Just to let you know, when your kids are infants, toddlers and grade school, you have to hover over them. They need you to guide, lead and point them to the right direction.

However, when they get older, it won’t be as feasible and practical.

Drone parenting is when…

– You go to every high school party they attend.
– You listen to every conversation they have with their friends.
– You try to read every tweet, sms, Instagram comment, telegraph app message and the like.
– You watch every viral video that they watch on Facebook or You Tube.
– You filter every reading material they come across with.

To be clear, I am not saying to detach yourself from being involved in your children’s life and leave them to figure things out for themselves. But at the same breath, we have to know that we can’t hover over them 24/7.

From 0-6 years old, our kids are in the telling stage.
We tell them what they should do most of the time.
“Brush your teeth.”
“Time to sleep.”
“Eat your vegetables.”

From 7-12 years old, our kids are in the teaching stage.
We teach them to start making small decisions on their own.
“Blue shirt or red shirt?”
“Batman or Superman?”
“Cheese fries or Barbecue fries?”
But obviously in major things, we still have huge inputs.

From 13-18 years old, they are now in the training stage.
We train them to become more and more independent.
“Just take Uber going to your friends house.”
“Study for your exams on your own.”
“Determine how much you’ll save and how much you’ll spend.”

From 19-adulthood, they are in the coaching stage.
Our role as parents is to just coach them when the have a question.
But since they’re adults, they have to be empowered to make their own decisions.

The older our kids get, the less dependent they will be on us.
However, our goal is for them to be more dependent on God.

screen-shot-2016-09-29-at-7-00-23-pmAllow me to pray for all the parents reading this.

Heavenly Father, thank You for the honor of raising, training and discipling the next generation right in our home. We don’t always get it right and we end up doing dumb things. But, Lord, in our hearts, we desire the best for our children. Teach us to be sensitive to Your leading, obedient to Your Word and teachable in our moments of inexperience. By Your grace, we will be the best parents for our kids and by faith, we will see a generation rise up that will please You with their lives.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.

I had dinner with our Senior Pastor from our Every Nation Church in Christchurch New Zealand.  Brian (who is one of our fine campus ministers at Victory Fort) and I listened as we learned a lot from Bernhard Wewege.

Here are some of the parenting tips we learned from him:

1. LOVE YOUR SPOUSE.

Your children will grow up very secure as they see Mom and Dad sincerely take care of each other in good times and bad.  They will not articulate how secure they feel especially as young tots, but this is going to be very clear as they grow into adulthood.

2. GET INVOLVED.

Know your kids’ friends.  Find out what they like and they don’t like.  Learn the things they love doing.  Study your kids and get into it.

Recitals.  Sporting events.  Graduations.  Exhibits.  Musical shows.

Be sure to be there.

3. LEAVE ROOM FOR MISTAKES.

As parents, we don’t like our kids to commit the same mistakes we committed in the past.  We try our very best to protect them so they avoid the pitfalls that life may bring.

Unfortunately, we can’t be GOD because we are NOT.  We can’t be there 24/7.  We just need to keep pounding on the principles we desire to lodge in their hearts and hope that when the time comes, they’ll have the wisdom to apply what they have learned.

4. MODEL FAITH.

We can’t tell them to live for God if we ourselves don’t.  Devotions in the morning can’t be forced.  They are modeled.  Prayer times are not mandated.  They are exemplified.  Believing God for greater things can’t be decreed.  They have to be exercised in front of our kids.

Model faith in Christ.  Remember, much of it is caught not taught.

5. PRAY.

There is no greater parenting tip than to pray for your kids everyday.

Pastor Bernhard talked about praying for your kids’ hearts to have a tenderness toward the Holy Spirit.

Why?  Many times, they actually know right from wrong.  It is the tenderness to the Holy Spirit, to listen to His voice and prompting, that will make them have a desire to obey God and do the right thing.

I am so thankful for mentors like Pastor Bernhard who we can glean from and learn from so we can become the parents God designed us to be.