A father told psychologist Michael Anderson, “You wouldn’t believe what my daughter has become. Ninety days ago, she was an A-student. She was in the church youth group and did anything we told her to do. Now she’s smoking and drinking, shoplifting, and does anything her friends tell her to do.”
Michael responded, “The only thing that has changed is who your daughter is listening to.”
In working with the family, Michael knew that the father had never encouraged his daughter to think for herself, only to follow instructions. When she stopped listening to mom and dad and started listening to her friends instead, it looked like a radical change was underway when, in reality, her priorities had shifted.
The ultimate goal of parenting is to launch our children into the world ready to make good choices, to maintain healthy relationships, and to handle the rigors of the adult world all on their own. That process is often counterintuitive.
Think about what you focus on in your parenting right now. Is it to get your kids’ outer behavior to look a certain way? Or is it to help them build strong inner character? Discipline is only truly fruitful for children when it teaches them self-discipline.
If you feel like your parenting isn’t producing the character in your child you’ve expected, I encourage you to tune into our Focus on the Family Broadcast “Rethinking Your Parenting Strategies” and our guests Michael Anderson and Dr. Timothy Johanson.
They’re sharing practical strategies for teaching and training your kids for adulthood.
Michael is a licensed psychologist, and Tim is a pediatrician. Both men have spent decades studying how kids grow and learn. They have some very interesting and out-of-the-box ideas that can transform your parenting.
Michael Anderson and Dr. Johanson have co-authored a book called Gist: The Essence of Raising Life-Ready Kids. I’d like to extend an invitation for you to become a special partner with us through our monthly “Friends of Focus on the Family” program. When you do, I’ll send you a copy of Michael and Tim’s book as a way of saying thank you for touching others with the love of Christ. To make your pledge, or for more information, click here or call 1-800-A-FAMILY (232-6459).