This was our theme for Family Camp this past weekend presented by our Pastor Don Ng. Inspired by the book written by Reggie Joiner and Carey Nieuwhof. So inspiring, i just purchased on ibooks.
While this is a Christian influenced book, each chapter is relevant without Christian belief and can easily be understood and ideas can be applied by any parent. What makes this book different than other parenting books is that it does tie in Christianity which is helpful to those who can relate to the scripture and connect it to a real life situation.
For the next few blogs i will highlight points made in each chapter that are mostly directed to parents of young and teenage children. But also great little reminders to help everyone improve their family relationships.
The first chapter introduces the Orange Parent. If you paint with red, you will only see red. If you paint with yellow, you will only see yellow. If you combine the two, you will see orange. Become an orange parent. Red represents the parent who provides unconditional love, and yellow are those in your child's circle who can help them grow (From a Christianity point of view, yellow represents the church). Joiner is saying widen your circle of influence. Two people cannot really raise a child on their own. The people around them will help shape them and impact their future. So choose wisely. This of course ties into the church family etc. But for non Christians, this still applies. Seek those in your schools, neighbors and friends who can also be a mentor to your children. Assuming these individuals share the same goals and moral interests that you have.
Children can share ideas, concerns, questions to someone other than their parent. We as parents cannot be everything to them. Kids may feel the need to seek advice from someone who is not responsible for them and who isn't making the rules.
This past weekend was a living example of what this chapter meant to me.
Our camp schedule over 2 days comprised of family/group activities, arts and crafts, sports, campfire and adult sessions. During the (2) 90 minute adult sessions, our kids were sent to join a children's program. The leaders for our children are teaching, disciplining and playing with them while we are in session. The beauty of this is that they are members of our church who we see weekly and are recognized as friends and family. There's familiarity and respect. It's like having more aunties and uncles!
Joiner says, when you widen the circle, the goal is to have other trusted adults in the lives of children before they need them so they will be there when they need them.
Our pastor pointed out, not many congregations have the capacity to do this. The foundation of our church is comprised of many who have been members for over thirty years and have brought their children and now their grandchildren. I know that growing up in our church I had significant mentors in my circle that are still available to me today. It's an invaluable experience and I hope our kids will find their persons of influence and in turn be an influence to others.
Here are the main points covered in 8 chapters:
1. Widen the circle, invite others to invest in your children.
2. Imagine the end. Focus your energy and effort on the issues that will make a lasting impact.
3. Fight for the heart. Create a culture of unconditional love in your home to fuel the emotional and moral health of your children.
4. Create a rhythm. Tap into the power of quality moments together, and build a sense of purpose through your everyday experiences.
5. Make it personal. Allow your kids to see how you strive to grow so they can understand how to confront their own limitations and pursue character and faith.
A word from Carey Nieuwhof: