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Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Being a "cool" parent

I have always tried to be relevant with my kids and understanding of the culture that they live in.
There have been many times when they have mentioned a tune or a movie or a book, and I will go out and buy that certain "something" and read it or listen to it or watched it.
However, here is what I know:  your kids want you to be their parents, mom and dad, someone they can go to for advise and counsel - and not necessarily their "cool" friend.
A recent article in the Washington Post spoke of the growing phenomenon of "cool" parenting, complete with "selfies" and "Lol's".
Writer Andrews Reiner observes:
"Cool has been morphing from a political statement to a self-serving, at times desperate, need to simply fit in with a culture of conformity.  Nowhere is this more apparent than in the place where our children spend most of their time, the Internet.  A big part of cool today means curating a Photoshop-perfect image in social media, staying constantly looped into whatever pop culture news has gone viral and blithely dropping pithy, snarky tweets and text messages, as if this was the way we talk all of the time.  In other words, you're cool if you are relevant."
The writer sees "cool parenting" as an extension of Facebook "like" culture, a dumbing down of individual morality and backbone, and a pooling of "right" and relevance based on perceived popular opinion. 
I guess my thought to you today is this:  Maybe, just maybe, God isn't calling you to be the "cool" parent that our culture presses us into being - but the man of God or the woman of God the Scriptures consistently prompt us to be.
Do I want to know and understand the culture that my child is living in?  Absolutely.
But do I need to act, think and talk like the culture that is present in America today to be an effective parent?  Absolutely not. 
We are called to raise our children as "unto the Lord," and not as "unto the culture that we live in."
A disclaimer:  that does not mean that you ban your child from any participation in the culture we live in (that's legalism - and candidly impossible) but that you, as a follower of Christ, are explaining culture and comparing it to Scripture. 
Your child will not love you more if you are the "cool" parent.  But they will love and respect you as you are there to counsel them, guide them and encourage them in the ways of the Lord.
Just a thought for a Tuesday.

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