Vol. 3 Issue 24 | June 16, 2017

Vol. 3 Issue 24 | June 16, 2017

Three Things This Week

1. Family First for Phil

What it is: Phil Mickelson withdrew from the US Open this week in order to attend his daughter’s high school graduation, continuing his career-long commitment to put family first.

Why it's inspirational: The five-time golf Major Championship winner has never won the coveted US Open title, finishing second on six occasions. “It’s the tournament I want to win the most, but this is one of those moments where you look back on life and you just don’t want to miss it.” Just like Jack Nicklaus, who said he could have “worked harder” and won more majors but his family was always first priority, Mickelson reminds us dads that there will always be more work to do, but our kids are only with us a little while. So, if forced to choose between family and work, go home. Because, like Tiger Woods, you can be the GOAT, but if you lose your family, does it really even matter?

2. E3

What it is: The Electronic Entertainment Expo is the world's largest video game conference.

Why it's important: E3 offers gamers a huge spread of upcoming games, gear, and console upgrades. It seems overwhelming, but it reminds us that no gamer plays every game: They hone in on favorites based on genres or franchises (racing, action, the next installment in the Call of Duty series, the newly upgraded Xbox console, etc.). E3 heralds a season of anticipation for gamers as they wait for the next round of even more graphically impressive titles. Ask the gamer(s) in your life what game from E3 they look forward to most and why, then watch the trailer (warning: potential graphic violence) in order to better understand why they’re drawn to it. BONUS: To connect and show you care, ask if there are any games coming out you could play together.

3. Yellow

What it is: An app that’s appealing to teens and claims to be “a free and easy way to make new friends” but is being called “Tinder for Teens.”

Why it's important: Like Tinder, the process for connecting with people has been gamified: Swipe right on a user’s photo to connect, swipe left to ignore. Not only does this diminish the value of people to their appearance, but it also opens the door for young people to be connected with predators (it’s not hard to fake a profile or lie about one’s age). In addition, if users connect their Snapchat and Instagram profiles, the users they “match” with are automatically connected via the other social media platforms, meaning that even if Yellow made their community safer, that safety immediately erodes when Yellow is no longer the medium of connection. Be aware of this app and its dangers.


How Am I Doing?

It’s one of the scariest questions we can ask. Asking ourselves how we’re doing requires vulnerability, honesty, and the willingness to admit failure or that we’re not ok. Asking others how we’re doing means willingly opening ourselves to criticism, which can be painful. So asking our children how we’re doing as parents? Yikes! Yet it’s the only way we can measure our progress or make meaningful improvements. You can’t fix what you don’t know is broken! Sure, your children may want you to make changes that you know aren’t actually good for them, but they also may surprise you with their insight, desires, and dreams. In that vein, pastor and blogger Todd Wagner surveys his kids every six months or year so they have a safe and easy way to provide feedback about how he’s doing as a father. The following are 11 questions he uses as a starting point.

  1. What have been some of the best times you’ve had with your dad/mom this past year?
  2. If you had to give me some advice on how to be a better dad/mom, what would it be? Why?
  3. If you and I could sit down and talk about anything, what would it be?
  4. What are some of the things that are making you anxious, fearful, or discouraged right now so I can pray for you?
  5. What’s something you would like to do with me?
  6. How can I help you grow in your love for God and in your ability to serve and live faithfully for Him?
  7. What has been the best thing I’ve done (or that we’ve done together as a family) this last year that has helped you most in your understanding of God and His love for you?
  8. What would you say has been the biggest area of growth for you in the last year?
  9. What have you learned about God/Christ/faith this last year that has blessed you?
  10. If you could grow in any area in the next 12 months, where would you want it to be?
  11. What do you think your dad/mom is most passionate about?

Let us know how it goes for you or if you have any great questions you’ve used in the past. We’d love to hear your stories! Todd was also part of our Parenting Teens Summit, and it’s not too late to watch his helpful interview. See “Last Chance” below for more details.

*Note: If asking these questions in person is awkward or uncomfortable, feel free to print them out or turn them into a Google form. If there has been a lot of tension between you and one of your children, he/she may feel more inclined to be honest when there’s a degree of separation and when assured that you won’t be angry or use his/her responses against him/her. Also, you know your children best, so these questions can be adapted to fit their personalities and your circumstances better.

Last Chance!

Our online Parenting Teens Summit is almost over, but if you missed any of the videos, there’s still time! The Lifetime All-Access Pass allows you access to all of the videos at any time forever, and it’s available for a short time for only $125, thanks to our friends at The Colson Center. Click here to purchase before 11:59p Mountain Time on June 19 to receive this special price!

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