Even at the best of times there is nothing simple about raising children. But throw in a million new technologies—new devices and social networks and apps—and things get far more complicated still. This is every parent’s challenge today.
The concept of daycare as a benefit to children rather than a negative hasn’t gone away, and conversations linger around the edges of this window into childhood. For example, President Obama’s state of the union speech this year was criticized for incentivizing working moms with the promise of universal daycare, leading some to wonder if he was implying that stay-at-home mothers are less than ideal.
Even the goodness of boyhood energy is broken by the fall. But in most cases, what if we are getting the diagnosis wrong? What if ADHD seems more like God-given characteristics of what it means to actually be a boy?
Both high expectations and low expectations have the potential to harm our kids, so what is a parent, or a teacher, a coach, a pastor, to do? We strive to be sensitive to avoid provoking anxiety and too much pressure, but not so soft that we lead kids to apathy and stagnancy.
I do believe the Bible calls us to live within our means, so I champion frugality as a way to avoid extravagant spending, meet financial goals, and free up our resources to give to greater causes. But even with these noble motivations in mind, can we take things too far?
Divorce hurts everyone involved. I have spent the last two years talking about the pain I have experienced, about how I have come through the pain to find the joy of Christ. I have shared how God has redeemed my life, brought me back from the death of divorce and given me an abundant life. I have shared the excitement about my future—a future that God is preparing for me that will be far greater than anything I could ever ask or imagine. But, I’ve spent very little time talking about the pain that divorce inflicts on children.
Last week my 3 year old daughter, after eating a snack of crumbly, messy seaweed, came to me and said, “Mom, do you know why I make messes? Because I’m a little kid. And little kids make messes.” She’s right. Little kids make messes. And us parents, well, cleaning them up is kind of what we signed up for.
I'm not praying for young children anymore. I'm praying for adults. But my prayers are not that different. When they were younger, I prayed that they would love God's word, serve Him faithfully, devote their lives to living a life which would reflect God's glory. I still pray for that. I don't really care about much else other than those things, because I think if those are their priorities, everything else will fall into place for them.
Matriculation is years away for the Class of 2030, but the first graders in Kelli Rigo’s class at Johnsonville Elementary School in rural Harnett County, N.C., already have campuses picked out. Three have chosen West Point and one Harvard. “The age-old question is: ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ You always ask kids that,” Ms. Rigo said. “We need to ask them, ‘How will you get there?’ Even if I am teaching preschool, the word ‘college’ has to be in there.”
By 50, I felt blessed in work, love and real estate. Yet some nights I’m haunted walking by the empty room in our apartment. Maybe my mother aced the modern female clock by realizing: You can have it all, just not at the same time.