Emancipation / Independence | Part 5


The Process of Raising an Adult Part #3 – The Teenage Years

The middle school and high school years are the final moments to for your child to be practicing being responsible with their independence.  You can utilize what we call the bulls eye approach with this independence practice.  This means giving them little bits of independence and when they prove trustworthy you can give them a little bit more. If a teen breaks trust you can just back up the boundaries for a time until they prove trustworthy again.  You can check out more on the “bulls eye approach” by clicking here.


Emancipation / Independence | Part 52017-10-26T14:14:33-04:00

Emancipation / Independence | Part 4


The Process of Raising an Adult: Part #2 – The Elementary Years

For the elementary school student, there are obviously still boundaries for their protection, but a parent can still be looking for more ways to put personal decision making into their training program. For example, choose to look at the “getting out of bed in the morning ordeal,” not as a nightmare but a training dream! Learning how to get up and be responsible in the morning is a huge part of independence. There are probably many college freshmen who secretly wish their parents spent more time on this area when they accidentally sleep through their 8am class.

Another area that a parent can start training more independent decision making for the older child, is chores. Chores teach responsibility as well as life skills. There is also financial decision making that comes along with allowance. Parents need begin to give their children the opportunity to make decisions on their own and then be there to hold them accountable and talk through the decision. Teaching saving and spending is a great way to do this. Even when there are decisions that you think are not the best, allow them to make them. Learn to “discuss and release” with the small things because obviously for safety sake there are a lot of decisions we can’t allow our children to make.

Allowing our child to fail is one of the hardest things to do as a parent but part of the process in training independence. Be there to support and train through the small mistakes!

Emancipation / Independence | Part 42017-10-26T14:16:15-04:00

Emancipation / Independence | Part 3


The Process of Raising an Adult: Part 1- Keep the Goal in Mind

It is easy through out the parenting process to get discouraged through the long haul.  One of the ways to fight that is to keep our eyes on the goal and take baby steps towards independence.  We can begin to train our child in independence even in the early years as they begin to ask for it.  There are many ways to train a young child in independence.  It obviously begins to happen naturally through the toddler years.  They begin to feed themselves, dress themselves, and potty train.  We can utilize this time in their lives to help encourage them in decision making.  We can be intentional, even though it may not be time effective, to allow them areas to train in independence such as choosing their own clothes. Practice in decision making can also be trained in this time, for example learning to pick up toys before getting out new ones, which teaches responsibility.  A parent of an older toddler can allow them little areas of independence in learning to play by themselves in their room.  There are many small areas that may be a few extra minutes of training for a parent but so worth the baby step in teaching a young child independence.


Emancipation / Independence | Part 32017-10-26T14:14:07-04:00

Emancipation / Independence | Part 2


Raising A Non-Conforming Adult

Why is this concept of independence so important?  It impacts way beyond your child eventually being emancipated from your home.   We want our child to be able to make decisions “independent” of what the culture around them is deeming acceptable.   We are reminded in Romans 12:2, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”

This is such an important concept for us as parents to focus on because it not only impacts their relationships with others but their relationship with God.  They have to be able, as leaders, to rise above what others and culture dictates is ok and learn to seek what God says.  This is an area that we can begin to help them with as they learn how to cope through peer pressure in the tween years through the teen years.  Keep in mind that this process is a slow two decade long training as we begin to emancipate them more and more.  It’s a marathon of training all through the parenting process not just a sprint near the end.

Keep checking back this week as we start to look at practical ways to help your child learn to be more and more independent.

Emancipation / Independence | Part 22017-10-26T11:21:01-04:00

Emancipation / Independence | Part 1


Independence vs. Dependence

When our children are born they are completely dependent on us for everything.  This phase of infancy is for relationship development.  We are there to meet their needs to begin to model God’s provision and that He will never leave us or forsake us.  Dr. Sears suggests, as the child leaves infancy and goes into toddlerhood this is the time to slowly, over a decade long process, create independence.  The goal is to train an independent thinker, independent “doer” and independent follower of Christ.  We want to train leader who can go out into the world and be used by God to change the world.  There is a necessary slow moving process for training each child to become independent and emancipated, where we as parents “pass of the baton” to God.   This takes choosing to take charge of the parenting process, rather than allowing the culture around you dictate the parenting lesson plan.  We will spend the rest of this week breaking down the planned emancipation process.  Make the choice to be intentional about raising an independent child, choose to parent on purpose.

Emancipation / Independence | Part 12017-10-26T11:20:10-04:00

T-Minus 2 “Relationship Management”


In the previous months we have discussed the topic of dating in great detail.  As we look at our final checklist for launching our children into adulthood this area needs to be addressed again.  There are several issues with dating that can come up for the college student if they have not been trained how to process through them before hand.

We need to help our kids learn how to properly balance relationships.   Some teens really struggle with the concept that relationships are only one aspect of their lives.   When they become all consumed by a relationship the other areas of their lives begin to suffer.  If teens do not learn how to balance relationships  there can be drastic consequences as adults.

A second area that we need to help our kids with before they leave our home is knowing boundaries with the opposite sex.  Again like we have talked about in great detail in past months, the consequences for casual sex in today’s culture can be devastating.   Because of this we need to spend lots of time with our kids on this area so that by the time they leave our house they are well prepared.

T-Minus 2 “Relationship Management”2010-07-29T21:07:43-04:00

T-Minus 3 “Time Management”


In today’s fast paced culture, teaching our children how to use their time wisely becomes an important job that can make or break the college years.  Teaching Time Management to our children can help them to cope with the many distractions that campus life can have. With the instant access to information that the internet provides, there are many benefits for today’s college student.  For example, research for class papers is made much easier.   However, there are many things that may distract the student and eat away at their time. Online gaming has become a major problem and there are even some students who can become so addicted to gaming that they can’t keep up in their classes and will end up dropping out.  There are many other social activities that are available on the college campus that if not balanced can also effect the  grades of the student .   This is why in later high school years we must begin to allow our teens to manage their time.  We can be there to encourage the good decisions and help talk through the poor.  We must allow some freedom for our teen to make their own decisions in this area and possibly learn from their mistakes at home, with parental coaching.

One area that may work for a test of a child’s time management skills is bedtime.  As your child hits the  high school years you can experiment by  giving them a later bedtime.   As they approach their senior year, depending on their responsibility level, you can also see how they handle having no bedtime. This will begin to train them how to be responsible with their time and sleep schedule.

T-Minus 3 “Time Management”2010-07-28T20:36:08-04:00

T- Minus 4 “Money Management”


There are so many college freshman who hit the college campus unprepared for what life is about to throw at them.  There are several of these areas that with a little time spent, we can help our kids avoid some of the damage done by bad decisions made in the college years.    Like we have said previously, beginning to prepare them for some of these areas requires us to train and then step back and allow our children to make decisions.

One of the hardest areas for those college students who are untrained is money.    Because of the cost of tuition and other financial responsibilities that go along with college, many students struggle to make it through those years.  It would also seem that credit cards may be a challenge for the unsuspecting student.  It is imperative that we teach our older teen, not only how to budget but how to use a credit or debit card responsibly.  This may require that we help them open a checking account as they hit the later high school years.  It is important that they practice with in the safety net of family.  Keep in mind that many college students leave college with not only student loans to pay off but other debt as well.  Sometimes this can be avoided with a little bit of training and practice.

T- Minus 4 “Money Management”2010-07-27T19:59:03-04:00

Ready for Lift Off?


Before they send a shuttle into space, there are countless things that are checked and rechecked; there are practice run throughs.  The shuttle may even sit on the launch pad for awhile before the actual launch. Then the count down begins.   There are so many factors that can affect the launch of a shuttle, even down to the weather.

There are several lessons to be applied to parenting here.   Like we have talked about all month, the “launch” of a child into adulthood should be a process with just as much meticulous consideration.  As a child is approaching their “launch date” or the end of their high school years, we as parents need to be looking at our checklist.   This is the time to fine tune our preparations.   We will be discussing a few of those fine tuning elements this week.  Just like a shuttle ready to launch, as your child approaches the launch pad their foundation should have already been laid.   But remember it is never too late for last minute preparations.

Ready for Lift Off?2010-07-26T20:47:02-04:00

Maturity Matters


As we continue with our theme of “training to launch”,  we  need  to discuss a major issue- the maturity of the child.  Yesterday we touched on the fact that boys and girls mature at different rates, but even children of the same gender will mature at their own pace. What this means for parents is that the parameters placed around one child at a certain age may not work for the next child even if they are the same gender.   This forces us as parents, to know our children very well so we are able to determine what they can and cannot handle.  For example, one of your children may be very responsible and mature enough to handle driving  a car at the age of 16. Lets say later on one of this child’s siblings, who has now reached the age of 16, wants to start driving the car like the older brother or sister did. This child, however, has not proven that he or she can handle the great responsibility that comes along with driving a car.  We must then make a decision because now not only are they taking their life but the lives of others on the road into their hands.   This is a “launching point” that must be evaluated for each child.  If a child is not ready, then there needs to be goals placed in front of them so they can prove that they are mature enough to handle any given responsibility.  As children grow there are many areas like this one that need to be evaluated for each individual child.  There cannot be a “one size fits all” for these areas of parenting, that require certain levels of maturity to attain.

Maturity Matters2010-07-23T20:27:02-04:00