Senior Pastor Dave Stone of Southeast Christian Church says that we experience three ‘seasons’ while raising our kids. The first six years is about discipline. Setting boundaries and laying the framework for who’s in charge. The second six years involves training. Managing expectations and navigating new waters. The final six years reflects coaching. I believe that this is where we need to be completely transparent with our kids. Share our life experiences, our struggles and our solutions. Coaching is where young people can recognize (and hopefully learn!) the difference between discipline and self discipline.
Growing up, I never had coaching, or training. I had discipline (and ridicule). I always knew when I screwed up and how bad it was. I never knew how to fix it. My folks didn’t offer real solutions nor did they share life experiences with me that was somehow relative to what I was facing. I was not prepared for life when I moved out. Any idea what ensued? More discipline! It just continued. Not until I was ready for something different and was able to find some well anchored men to ‘raise’ me, did I began to see what training and coaching were all about. And I was 23 years old! Those men changed my life. They shared everything with me. One on one!
When Dave Stone was sharing his message with me, about the 3 seasons, it reminded me of the importance of relationships.
Jesus spoke to 5000 people one day and then a (single) woman at the well, the next. Don’t be so busy chasing crowds that you neglect individuals.
Slow down, participate and engage in relationships (with your kids!). I’m fortunate that I have several men to mentor and coach. I have a team of professionals that I coach daily. It’s exciting. It’s not nearly as exciting as training my 11 year old and coaching my 17 year old daughters. We get to bump into walls together, make mistakes together, learn together, grow together and laugh together. It’s fantastic. Last night while I was setting up some files for my oldest daughter on her macbook, my wife was coaching her on finances and budgeting. They spent half an hour or more talking about saving and budgeting. How many 17 year olds do that?
At the end of the evening, my daughter made mention of self discipline. Making tough decisions to save, setting goals and attaining them. While my coaching isn’t finished, I know that we’re well on our way and that my girls will be well equipped when they move away from home.
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