|Publisher:||Nelson, Thomas, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.80(d)|
About the Author
Debbie Hitchcock is the operations director at Greater Impact Ministries. She is a trainer and speaker for the Daughters of Sarah course and speaks to women’s groups and weekend retreats in addition to blogging on a regular basis. She lives near Cincinnati, Ohio.
Read an Excerpt
With All Due Respect
40 Days to a More Fulfilling Relationship With Your Teens and Tweens
By Nina Roesner, Debbie Hitchcock
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2016 Nina Roesner and Debbie Hitchcock
All rights reserved.
Dare 1ASSESS YOUR PARENTING INTERACTIONS
Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father's who sent Me."
— John 14:23-24 NKJV
Let's begin by assessing your current interactions with your child using a tool that addresses what it means to be a biblical parent. Remember that each of us is created differently, and each of our kids has different needs and bents. What works in one home may not work in another. What works for dad might not work for mom. God gave your child two parents who each think and operate differently, so we encourage you to think about how you operate in concert with one another. You each should have separate relationships with your child, as well as the relationship you call family.
If you are a single mom or your husband is not fully engaged in your family life, take heart. God Himself will walk beside you in the process of parenting, just as He does in two-parent families. Of course, you may have to work at things a little harder as the struggles become more intense through the teen years. We would encourage you to find other adults who might be willing to walk alongside your child to offer the balance and support that you alone can't provide. Above all, depend on Him to supply your needs.
If you are part of a blended or divorced situation, we would encourage you to seek God's wisdom as to whether you should include the divorced parent or how to incorporate the stepparent into this process. God knows the struggles you face. He'll provide a way, as He loves your child deeply.
Be assured that this book does not prescribe a one-size-fits-all mentality when it comes to parenting. None of us was created to be supermom. Our desire is to help each of us be aware of some of the important aspects of parenting that sometimes fall off the radar screen during the busyness of life.
You will see as you go through the Personal Parenting Assessment below that generalized terms are used rather than specific ones to allow for the different experiences that you may have. Please note that the words teen or tween show up interchangeably, since the questions apply to both age categories. You'll also see that the assessment addresses habits and attitudes that the Bible encourages us to practice as parents. Prayerfully consider each of the issues in the assessment as an opportunity for your own personal development. As we allow God to search our hearts and examine our minds in our desire to love our children as the Lord loves us, may He give us wisdom, knowledge, and understanding.
Personal Parenting Assessment
 Do I spend consistent time in prayer daily?
 Do I read the Bible frequently?
 Do I daily make decisions based on what I think would please God?
 Is my heart filled with gratitude for all God has done for me?
 Do I choose to live my life for God more than I concern myself with what others think?
 Do I understand my need for the Holy Spirit living within me, guiding my steps, instead of depending on my own abilities?
 Is my relationship with God a living experience more than an intellectual concept?
 Do I regularly attend church?
 Am I more concerned with being holy or making my teen happy?
 Do I actively discuss spiritual things with my teen?
 Do I help my teen navigate difficulties by going to the Bible?
 Do I let my teen know what I am struggling with (appropriately) and ask for prayer?
 Do I apologize and seek forgiveness from my teen when I hurt him or her or am wrong?
 Do I pray with my teen on a regular basis?
 Am I concise in my communication more than I ramble and go off on tangents?
 Am I considered a good listener?
 Do I handle conflict with a gentle and calm tone more than being emotional?
 Does my teen confide in me?
 Do I communicate positively more than I am critical or sarcastic?
 Do I know the difference between criticism and coaching?
 Do I encourage and support more than I criticize and correct my kids in public?
 Do I only share stories about my kid with his or her permission?
 Do I have emotional control more than I react or judge when my teen opens up to me?
 Do I daily point out things my kid has done well?
 Does my teen perceive me as a positive person more than a complainer?
 Do I seek feedback from my kids about my attitude toward them?
 Do I know how to give advice to my teens in a way that allows them to hear it, and do they often take it?
 Does my teen seek me out for advice?
 Do I communicate openly with my teens more than I give them ultimatums?
CONFIDENT AND ASSURED PARENT
 Do others perceive me as confident and God-dependent rather than arrogant, aggressive, controlling, manipulative, timid, or fearful?
 Do I feel courageous enough to do what God wants me to do?
 Do I have a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline?
 Do I know God's purposes for my life and trust He will help me succeed?
 Do I engage in difficult discussions in a healthy way, or do I avoid them or handle them aggressively?
 Am I confident in the decisions I make as a parent?
 Do I know when and how to let my teen fail and when and how to step in to help?
 Am I confident that God has things under control, so I have no need to manipulate others to make things happen a certain way?
 Do I apologize to my family members, including my kids, without making excuses or blaming someone else when I make mistakes?
 Am I preparing to launch my kid into adulthood more than trying to control his or her behavior?
 Can I receive criticism, praise, and negative or positive feedback about my tween or teen without taking it personally?
 Do my family members trust me?
FAMILY RELATIONSHIP ARCHITECT
 Am I connected to my kid's other parent in a healthy relationship?
 Do I openly discuss concerns for our kids with the goal of reaching a unified decision with the other parent?
 Do I have peace more than I struggle with a blended family where relationships aren't clearly defined?
 Do I suggest ways to engage our kid in a deeper relationship with both parents separately and together?
 Do I understand and actively model healthy relationships with family members?
 Do I pursue learning the desires of each family member and encourage support by other family members?
 Do I encourage healthy communication with extended family either by providing opportunities or solidifying the boundaries?
What About You
1. What feelings or thoughts emerged from doing the evaluation?
2. What do you think might have triggered the emotion or thought?
3. Can those feelings and thoughts be trusted? Why or why not?
4. Choose two areas that you feel most led to work on at this time. Why those?
5. What would happen if you were able to grow significantly in those two areas in the next forty days?
6. What would that mean for you, your tween or teen, and the other parent?
7. Take some time to pray and ask God to give you clear insight regarding how things would be different if you were able to make changes in the areas you would like to grow in from the assessment. God desires to strengthen us to be the best parents we can be. Invite Him to walk beside you on this journey, revealing ways in which you can grow and be better equipped to handle the trials that come in the parenting process.
Pray with us:
Lord, I confess I don't know which way to turn half the time. I have trouble discerning Your will in the middle of the average day. I ache to have healthy relationships with the members of my family, to bring glory to You this way. I also confess I am often more concerned about things working out the way I deem is "good" than I am with what You might have in mind. I try to control. I don't know You well enough to only care about what You want. I want more peace and less angst in our family. Help me be a peacemaker; help me be courageous enough to follow You. Fill me with Your Spirit.
Help me disciple my kids well, and, Lord, may they know You. Bring them into relationship with You, O God. Thank You for Jesus. I fully know You are also a parent. You know and understand sacrificial love better than any of us, so remind me of that. Remind me that You love my kids more than their dad and I ever could. Help me trust You in that.
It's in Jesus' name I pray.
Dare 2REVISIT YOUR CHILDHOOD
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
— James 1:2-5
Tracy stood outside the van wishing life were different. She was tired of the same race week after week.
"Tyler, you are going to make Jonathan late for practice! Junior high basketball is different. The coach expects us to be on time or Jonathan won't be able to start in Saturday's game. Get in the car right now!"
"But, Mom, I wanted to get my cars," six-year-old Tyler whined as he tried to open the van door with a juice box in one hand and his dinner bag in the other. Reaching down for his case of cars, he accidentally spilled his juice on the carpet of the van.
"Tyler, look what you've done!" Tracy yelled. "Your dad just cleaned this van, and now you've ruined the carpet. I'll never get that red stain out. You knew we had to leave! Get in here right now, and get that seat belt on! You are making Jonathan late!"
A family sit-down dinner in the evenings seemed to be a thing of the past. Tonight Mark was picking up Lindsay from her swim practice after he finished his workout at the gym. Tomorrow night Tracy had to run to the grocery store and do the swim carpool while Mark got Tyler to tae kwon do and picked up Jonathan from his basketball practice. Sometimes the weekends were even worse with all-day swim meets that seemed to last forever!
Dropping into bed that night, Tracy leaned over to kiss Mark good night. As she laid her head on her pillow, she voiced her thoughts. "Why do we do this to ourselves? All this running seems to be a waste at times. It seemed as though every time I turned around tonight I was yelling at Tyler. Some mom I am."
Mark tried to console her before they both fell asleep exhausted.
Tracy called Mark the next day at work to see if they could spend some time together without the kids after Saturday's swim meet. "I think we need to talk about the treadmill we are on as a family. How do we get off? Do some thinking and praying about it, okay?"
Over a quiet dinner that Saturday, Tracy and Mark talked about the way things were and each of their concerns. They looked at all the positives as well as the downsides of the family life they had created.
"You know, Mark," Tracy ventured, "I may have figured out why we do this to ourselves. When I was a kid, I wasn't allowed to do any sports. My brothers played everything they wanted to, and it wasn't fair that I had to sit at home while they were out having fun. I always said that all my kids would be allowed to do the activities I wasn't allowed to do when I was a kid." She paused thoughtfully, then continued, "I remember you saying once that your dad made you quit every sports team you played on because something would make him mad. Is that right?"
"Maybe that's it. Maybe we've allowed our kids to do whatever activity they want to do because we didn't get to as kids. Subconsciously, we're trying to right the wrongs we think our parents did to us."
"Wow, I never thought about that. You might be right. Maybe we need to start thinking a little more about the legacy we want to leave to our kids and grandkids."
Bottom line: If we take a second look at our own childhoods, we can learn a lot about our current parenting.
We are all affected by our childhoods through the legacy handed down from our parents. The opportunities we were never given or the pain we were forced to endure can cloud our judgment. Even if we think we grew up in ideal circumstances, once we reach the stressful years of parenting, we sometimes find ourselves rethinking those idyllic childhood memories as reality starts to show up in our own parenting. Things we vowed we'd never say or do become things that haunt us, or we choose to ignore problematic behaviors from our children in fear that we will become just like our parents.
However, maturity and wisdom will flood into our parenting if we are willing to sift through the past honestly, discarding the unhealthy while finding and implementing that which is based on solid biblical principles. Doing this simple activity will shine light onto some of the lies we have believed that have become filters through which we see our current situation. The awareness that comes from this will provide the opportunity to do things differently. Sorting through the past can take a long time, but the habits we foster as we choose to learn from it can positively impact our own children and the generations to come.
What About You?
1. Take time today to ask God to bring an experience to your mind that has impacted a choice you've made in your parenting. Who was there? When was this incident? Where were you? How old were you? What happened? If this is something that happened many times, just pick one particular occasion and describe it as best as you can. Do it in a way that allows you to relive that moment.
2. What possible reactions do you have in your current parenting because of that one event? For example, in Tracy and Mark's story, Mark might react to his father's previous actions today by thinking, I can never speak to a coach about my son because I'll end up getting mad and I don't want to put him in a position to have to quit a team. If you were Tracy, your takeaway from your childhood could be, I was a girl who couldn't do anything outside the home, so I'm going to make sure my daughter gets every opportunity she wants no matter what the sacrifice. Set a timer for seven minutes, and make a list of all the reactions you may have due to that incident.
3. Write a prayer of release for yourself in your journal, letting go of your natural reactions to your circumstances and asking God to take away any unhealthy thinking you've developed. Ask Him to renew those thoughts with truth.
Pray with us:
Lord, it doesn't matter if my childhood holds fond memories or is riddled with pain. You allowed the past to be part of who I am. Help me make sense of the road I've been down and the childhood experiences that have colored my thinking about how I am to behave as a parent.
Father, I ask that You bring a specific incident to my mind from my childhood that has taught me about parenting. Whether good or bad, it doesn't matter. I want to understand the truth about the childhood I experienced so that I can be the parent You desire me to be. Show me any lies I have come to believe as a result of this incident. Reveal to me how this one incident impacts how I currently interact with my kids.
Oh, how I desire wisdom as I go through the ups and downs of parenting. Teach me Your truths, and release me from the falsehoods I've come to believe throughout my life. Help me parent through the lens of the Holy Spirit.
In the precious name of Jesus,
Dare 3FOCUS ON GOD'S VISION
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
— Jeremiah 29:11
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
— Proverbs 22:6 KJV
One of the most difficult things about parenting is letting go of the expectations we have for our children. We often come into parenting with a ton of baggage. We either choose to avoid a number of aspects from our own childhood experiences or, even if we felt safe and valued, have not put the good things from our childhood into practice in our own parenting. Sometimes we wrap our identities up in our kids' behaviors and their achievements, or lack thereof. We worry about what other people think of us instead of realizing our children are not really ours, that they belong to God.
The phrase "train up a child in the way he should go" from Proverbs 22:6 (KJV) literally means "teach him according to his palate." This means we need to get to know our kids deeply and understand how God created them, then do our best to facilitate growth in the ways God created them, instead of focusing on what we want or think they should be.
This is not an easy task or perspective to continually hold.
It's incredibly important, however, if we want to do what is right in God's sight to develop the people He has entrusted to our care. We should not take this responsibility lightly. Equally important is realizing God has a vision for us too, and our parenting is a context through which He will grow us. Desiring to grow in our parenting brings glory to God and helps our relationships with our kids.
Excerpted from With All Due Respect by Nina Roesner, Debbie Hitchcock. Copyright © 2016 Nina Roesner and Debbie Hitchcock. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
What You Need to Know Before You Get Started xiii
Deal with These First: Expectations xxii
Dare 1 Assess Your Parenting Interactions 1
Dare 2 Revisit Your Childhood 8
Dare 3 Focus on God's Vision 13
Dare 4 Push the Reset Button 17
Dare 5 Be Careful with Your Words 22
Dare 6 Communicate Respect Early 26
Dare 7 Stop Yourself 30
Dare 8 Take Care of the Temple 35
Dare 9 Counter the Culture 40
Dare 10 Refrain from Casting Blame 45
Dare 11 Speak the Truth 50
Dare 12 Parent with Perspective 56
Dare 13 Leap Outside Your Comfort Zone 62
Dare 14 Encourage Rather Than Nag 67
Dare 15 Use Humor When Things Get Hot 73
Dare 16 Stay Out of God's Way 78
Dare 17 Practice Thankfulness 84
Dare 18 Be True to Your Word 90
Dare 19 Offer Compassion Instead of Judgment 95
Dare 20 Give Your Kids Grace 101
Dare 21 Take Time to Listen 107
Dare 22 Coach Your Kids on Navigating Conflict 112
Dare 23 Parent Ahead 119
Dare 24 Talk Your Kids Through Disappointment 124
Dare 25 Drop the Comparisons 129
Dare 26 Invite Their Friends In 134
Dare 27 Separate Your Identity 140
Dare 28 Avoid the Blame Game 145
Dare 29 Respond with Calm 150
Dare 30 Remove the Mask 155
Dare 31 Deal with the Person Before the Issue 161
Dare 32 Respectfully Consider Your Kids' Requests … 168
Dare 33 Model Friendships for Your Kids 173
Dare 34 Respect the Rites of Passage 178
Dare 35 Teach Your Kids to Self-Process 183
Dare 36 Be Sensitive to Other Parents 188
Dare 37 Release Yourself from Worry 194
Dare 38 Encourage Self-Discipline 200
Dare 39 Point Out What Is Right 206
Dare 40 Be a Relationship Architect 209
New Beginnings 213
About the Authors 220