I had an amazing opportunity over the past couple of weeks to speak at 2 different youth camps. It was an honor to speak into the lives, encourage and love on these kiddos! We saw hundreds of students give their lives to Christ, confess hidden secrets, be honest about pain and reconcile with their parents. God truly moved heaven and hell and worked in these kids lives in a powerful, life saving way!
I was excited, encouraged and absolutely blown away by what God did, but at the exact same time I was broken, saddened and angry!
I was broken because of all the kids that were cutters. I was broken because of all the kids that struggled with porn. I was broken because of all the kids that drank, used and were addicted.
I was sad because of all the kids that had been molested. I was sad because of all the kids that said they felt worthless. I was sad because of all the kids that hate how they look.
I was angry because of all the kids that lived in divorced homes. I was angry because of all the kids parents that were in the middle of a divorce. I was angry because of all the broken parent – kid relationships. I was angry because many of the kids don’t trust their parents. I was angry because most of the parents didn’t have a regular date night set aside for their kiddos! I was angry because most of the parents had no idea their kids were cutting, using, looking at porn and felt worthless.
most of these kids were not extreme kids or extreme cases. just everyday, ordinary, good kids that grew up in church.
If I had to really nail down why i was so upset over all the pain is because of the breakdown of families, that many kids don’t trust their parents and don’t feel like they can tell their parents what is really going on in their lives.
Parents!!! We MUST get neck deep, dirty, in the trenches and talk to our kids about real stuff and find out what is going on in their lives…
So here is where we will start.
10 QUESTIONS THAT EVERY PARENT MUST ASK THEIR KIDS
- Do you trust me? (why or why not)
- Where have I failed you as a parent?
- What 3 things can I change so that I can be a better parent and build (or re-build) trust?
- Do you feel like you have to lie to me? If so, why?
- Do you struggle with an addiction? (porn, alcohol, lying, drugs…you get the idea)
- Have you ever cut? (so many of the youth pastors at camp were blown away by the number of “good kids” that cut)
- Have you ever been molested? (so many of the kids had been touched inappropriately by friends, dates and relatives but they never say anything because they think it is their fault)
- Do you think your beautiful/handsome or ugly? (Read Psalm 139 with them)
- How do you feel about mom and dads relationship?
- Do you feel like you can tell me the truth about what is going on in your life? (if not, why)
Parents, this is not a time to get mad, frustrated, blame or punish. We have to open the lines of communication with our kiddos, so this is where you simply listen, love, encourage, ask forgiveness and how you can help!!
If you are the parent of younger kiddos, tweak the questions so they will be age appropriate and start building trust and communication at a very young age.
Would love to hear your comments. Do you step into or back away from having hard conversations with your kiddos?
Looking for creative ways to talk to your kids about tough stuff, you might check THIS post out!