7. Focusing Too Much on What Your Family Wants
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“Life-giving” made it into the top 10% of searched words according to Merriam-Webster. It has a place in all major dictionaries and in modern conversation.
People use it to describe what gives them enjoyment and vitality. The term finds its way into talk about needs and decisions in a world of offers and options. We want our family to do and have what’s “life-giving.”
What about being a family who gives life? A family who talks about the needs of others, gives to others, serves others, and makes decisions based on what’s good for others?
What if we raise children with a passion to give life to others, rather than children with their own life-giving choices as the focal point?
Kids listen to our positive parenting talk. They learn how important it is to prioritize what gives life.
But family fixations on life-giving decisions can be detrimental. It’s true Jesus came so we could have full life, (John 10:10) but our focus is not only on living to receive more life.
“Since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another,” (1 John 4:11). When family life focuses only on what’s life-giving for us, we lose perspective on God’s hope we’ll be a conduit of life to others.
8. Over-Sharing on Social Media
Social media is the modern parent’s journal. Before a child speaks, narration starts for the life they lead. Privacy and safety concerns begin with the first share, amplified by details and images. We’re 'gramming our kids and creating an online history telling the story of their life.
In 2016 a British study looked at “sharenting,” parents sharing photos of their kids on social media. At that time, before a child’s fifth birthday, an average parent shared nearly 1,500 images.
The visual trail of promotion follows children and can create challenges as they grow up and decide how to tell their own story.
“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you,” (Matthew 7:12). As our kids grow up, we want to build them up (Ephesians 4:29) with helpful words to benefit them. Kids have to live with the story we tell about the ones we live with.
From the moment we receive the small, swaddled person we call our own, it’s normal to work for a child’s happiness. We do our best in the work of parenting, but we are human.
In our efforts to protect, love, teach, support, nurture, and celebrate them, we may unintentionally damage our children. It may be normal to hide our failings, but by choosing to share the weaknesses with the arrows in our quiver, we point them in the direction of God’s grace for their lives too.
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