Alien Parenting: A way to love your kids that is out of this world!
Frustrated with how to parent your pre-teenage or teenage child? I was. And I’m going to tell you a story as we begin and give you a preview of what’s to come in our Alien Parenting class.
For some people, 2008 was a financial crisis. For me, 2008 was a parenting crisis. I realized I had three pre-teen and teenage children, and I didn’t know how in the world to relate to teenagers as well as I thought I did.
Keep in mind what was happening in 2008. Smart phones were starting to come on the scene. Texting was fairly new. Our children were being raised in a digital world, and I am an analog guy. My daughter, Ashley, was born in 1993. My daughter, Anna, was born in 1996. My son, Jacob, was born in 1999. They argue about how Ashley is in a different generation, one that remembers dial up and life before the internet.
Digital world aside, I didn’t know how to relate to teenagers. I didn’t know how to talk so they would listen or listen so they would talk. I would ask questions like, “How was your day?” and wonder why I only got “Fine” as an answer. Could there be a better way? If there was, I didn’t know it. Lynn Armitage knows how I felt:
Feel like aliens snatched the joyful child you gave birth to and raised effortlessly (for the most part) for about 14 years, and then left this unrecognizable creature in her or his place? She’s moody, he’s smart-mouthed; she’s standoffish one minute, then free-spirited, he’s loving and affectionate one moment, then crass the next? Or maybe this happened much sooner--at two or three years old--and you wonder how you’re going to survive with this alien in your house the rest of your natural life!
What parent of teenagers hasn’t wondered, “Who has snatched my child into their saucer and replaced her with a alien in a human suit who doesn’t know how to act like the human I thought I was raising?”
I was a father of three teenage aliens. When they first materialized in my house, I was afraid of them. After battling with the aliens for many years, one day I looked and realized these were my children given to me as gifts, not as wards to tolerate until they came to a less awkward and more comfortable age.
We’ve been through a lot together, and I’m writing this book for me, my wife and children and other families that have gone through a lot of battles between the aliens and the parentians. I’m no longer afraid of the aliens. In fact, I really kind of like them and no longer wish I could freeze them in suspended animation until they are 21.
I used to fear being a father of alien teenagers. Now I don’t. These blog posts and Alien Parenting class will show you why and how you can overcome your fear of aliens and enjoy growing up with your teenagers.
We’re going to work around the concept of loving our kids in ways that are alien to our culture today. They are counter-cultural, biblical ways to love our children. How do we begin to learn parenting that is out of this world? (John 15:19) How can we be families that live in this world but are not of the world? How can we protect our children from the evil one (John 17:15-16)?
Here are some questions we’ll discuss at our Alien Parenting class Wednesdays at The Journey Outpost, beginning September 19, 2018.
What is your parenting style and are there biblical models of parenting?
What does it mean to abide or walk with God together as families?
Why is it so important to grow with our children?
How are we to protect our children from evil?
What are ways to talk so our children will listen and listen so our children will talk?
How can we return to seeing our children as gifts when they get to be teenagers?
How can we move from “raising” children to growing up with our children?
Greg Taylor preaches for The Journey: A New Generation Church of Christ. Greg's wife, Jill, teaches math at Broken Arrow High School and Tulsa Community College. Greg and Jill have three adult children, Ashley, Anna, and Jacob. Greg is the author of many books, including his latest co-authored with Randy Harris, Daring Faith: Meeting Jesus in the Book of John.