PARENTING: The Fear in Not Knowing

The “I Don’t Know Girl” evolves quietly and slowly. As kids face more and more pressure to be accepted and perfect, and more and more rejection if they do something wrong, their ability to make decisions slowly dwindle. The “IDK Girl” struggles with self confidence which encourages individuality.

The fear of making the wrong choice will lead to the possibility of being ridiculed or looked down on. If a teenager says, I want to eat _______ and her friends don’t like that idea, then maybe she will feel like an outcast.

If she likes something on her pizza like anchovies or pineapple, she may hear judgement, she may hear, “gross!” If what I like is gross, then what I am is gross, perhaps??

If the IDK girl wears the wrong thing to school, she fears not measuring up. The WRONG shoes, a shirt NOT bought from the RIGHT place, a purse NOT costing $200.

The pattern here: teenage girls want to fit in, even at the expense of not having their own identity. I see a growing pattern in girls working hard to create a NON-identity, simply wanting to blend in, even mortified if they stand out in any way. Individuality comes at a high price. But so does not being yourself. Constant fear ends up controlling every thought of the young girls of the Y generation.

Fear of rejection
Fear of failure
Fear of judgement
Fear of ridicule
Fear of being alone

Have you experienced girls being judged for trying to establish their individuality?

What do you think is going to happen in adulthood for these girls?

Ummm….I Dunnno

An American teenage tragedy is the inability for a young girl to make a choice. In our society we are inendated with choices. There are five thousand ways to order a cup of coffee, 100,000 thousand different slushy choices at Sonic, 200 options in toothpaste. But somehow, the ability for young girls to be sure of what they like or don’t like is increasingly prevalent.

My daughters and their friends would rather me wear my leg warmers from the 80′s a belt out a Debbie Gibson hit while playin with my rhythm ribbon than listen to my “I Don’t Know Girl” lecture. An “I Don’t Know Girl” is a young lady who lacks the ability to make a decision with confidence. Her answer to every question is, “I don’t know,” or “I don’t care.”

The decisions faced aren’t difficult. Simple things like:

What do you want to eat?
What movie sounds good?
How do you like your pizza?

Which the answers are normally something like:

It doesn’t matter.
I don’t know.
Whatever, I don’t care.

I know it is seemingly insignificant, but to me, every simple decision a girl can make with confidence will lead to bigger, more important choices made with confidence. A girl can learn to have confidence in her decisions by making them. It requires them to step out on a limb, believing in themselves and what they like or don’t like has value.

Do you experience your tweens and teens becoming “IDK Girls” ? How do you encourage confidence in your kids?

Feed Your Soldiers!

I’m committed to a fasting for the month of January.  We are out of food that I can eat, and Michael was off to work in the car.  I was going to be home all day rationing my last banana and eating my 900th potato.  About 30 minutes after he left I heard someone at the door.  My attack pug, Precious, didn’t move or even stop snoring for that matter, so I traipsed downstairs only to find him with his hands full of grocery bags.

As he unloaded them he happily described his finds for me that fit within my diet.  Strawberries, bananas, broccoli, apples, bran.  I love him.  He’s so good to me, undeseveredly I may add.

“I go all over the world making sure my soldiers are fed!”   That was what my husband told me this morning as he walked out the door looking HOT in his uniform, if I may say so myself!

I thought about his comment and how it’s not everyone’s consideration to make sure our soldiers are fed.  Your soldiers could be:

Your Family

Your Congregants

Your Children

Your Employees

Everyone is leading someone, and everyone is led by someone.  We may not have great leadership over us, but that does not excuse our responsibility to lead those under us well.  Our soldiers are dying to be led well.   They need to know that you have their back, that you will take care of their needs if they can’t do it for themselves.  They need to know that you are willing to sacrifice to do what is right and in their best interest.  They need to be prayed for, and communicated with. your soldiers need to know about the one who leads YOU, namely God!

I may make my kids a meal, but do I sit with them and ask them about their day.

I could schedule my volunteers, but never ask them how their life is going.

I might say Hello to every employee as I walk into  my office to shut the door behind me, but did I actually hear their response?

You need to feed your soldiers!  How are you gonna do that this weekend?!

 

 

 

Homecoming Queens

This past weekend was my daughter’s first homecoming.  We searched for the perfect dress and shoes, and then she found the perfect date…her boyfriend.

Friday night was the football game where she cheered, and we sat and watched the homecoming court be presented.  And in true Miss America gasping in surprise style, the homecoming queen was crowned, and everyone cheered….and then the homecoming king, and everyone clapped.  Then on to the third quarter.

 

Never crossed my mind that THIS was possible.  And most people aren’t giving a second thought to how this is shaping the future of our culture.  Most people will shake their head in disgust but won’t voice their thoughts or opinions, beliefs, morals or values.  Most people will just accept it.

I’m not like most people.

I’m certain there may be a person or two or two hundred out there that I would offend, but nowhere in this world or even in the Bible does it state that we deserve to live a life without offense.  Jesus himself was the biggest offender, for some of you reading this, His very name might offend you.  Regardless, I will say this:

I’m heartbroken at the direction this country is going regarding the acceptance of same sex relationships. I’m heartbroken at the fact that there are more and more and more and more and more young girls and boys struggling with sexual confusion because they are living a life disconnected, desiring love and acceptance and can find it now where except in the homosexual lifestyle.

After the dance, my daughter shared with me the lesbian couple who attended the dance.  One wearing a dress, one wearing a suit…spending a majority of their time in the bathroom with one another, putting lipstick on each other and giggling.

I’m saddened that the damaging affects of beginning an alternate lifestyle so young will leave a lifetime filled with hurt, disappointment and tremendous self-conflict.  My heart breaks for these two girls, for those who support it and for my children who will be influenced by lack of standards and truth.

The continued progression of acceptance of same sex relationships will affect our church as well–more specifically our student’s and children’s ministry.  Kids as young as 10 are discussing bi-sexual and homosexual issues they are faced with at school.  It is an influential and imperative time for moral development, that needs to stand on the platform of truth found only in Christ Jesus.

How is your student ministry or maybe even children’s ministry, handling same-sex and bi-sexual issues?

Combating Sibling Rivalry

“Good little boys don’t do anything but make their sisters happy!”  -Phineas and Ferb

There are lots of things on TV that I hate.  I hate Jersey Shore.  I hate the horror shows.  I hate teenage pregnancy glorified.  And I hate siblings who hate each other.

Almost every show, specifically on Nick and Disney depicts brothers and sisters not just arguing, but specifically trying to sabotage each other’s lives.  Evil little sisters out to destroy big brothers, little brothers who would do anything BUT protect their sisters.  It’s absolute insanity, and we knew that it was all affecting the relationships of our own children.

I don’t remember EVER hating my brothers–EVER.  Perhaps in a moment of aggravation, I perhaps may have thrown utensils at my older brother, perhaps. And Perhaps I may have locked him out of the house a time or two, but never EVER did I hate him.  I adore my brothers and I know that no matter what comes in this life, they will always protect me and take care of me.

We put our foot down with our kids…no more…not gonna happen.  Disrespect ugliness, hateful talk- NO MORE!  We tried:

::REASON

::BIBLICAL FEAR

::PARENTAL THREATS

::GROUNDING

::MONETARY FINES

and then we did the worst possible thing ever that brothers and sisters would ever face and it worked.

We forced them to sit down across from each other, hold hands, and share their feelings.   [actual exercise is posted in comments]

WHAT!?

Yep we sure did!!!

We knew that a HUGE part of our kids’ problem in their relationship was the lack of compassion they had for each other.  Living in total selfishness, they cared only about their own feelings, their own entitlement, themselves.  The only way to push through that was to move them into a place where they could genuinely care for each other, and begin problem solving.  They had to get to a healthy place in their relationship where they could understand each others pain and fears!

It took a little over an hour.  It required each of them to risk trusting that the other wouldn’t make fun of them.  They realized they had similar fears and angers.  They watched each other cry, and both hated me and my husband together–creating an alliance.

Do they still argue? Sure.  Do they sometimes feel as if the other one hates them? Yep.  But now, they talk through it instead of screaming and slamming doors.  Now they have developed compassion and are living a life in Christ of mercy and grace, love and genuine concern for each others lives.

What do you do to help sibling rivalry issues in your family?