When I was pregnant with Nick, at the tender age of eighteen, I knew the value and importance of going to Lamaze class. I don't think my mom told me to go...maybe it was my ob/gyn...regardless, although I was very, very young, I knew I needed to go to class in order to learn how to (a) give birth and (b) learn the basics about being a "good" mom.
Fast-forward five years, and I distinctly remember not being able to wait until I was "pregnant enough" to go to Lamaze with my husband Tom. Even though I had been through birth before, and was living day-to-day as a mother already, I relished the thought of sitting in a room with other people about to encounter the same emotional, physical challenge while being led by an instructor who would guide us in all we needed to know about taking care of the babies who were about to come into our lives.
My guess is that if you are a parent, you attended some type of birthing/parenting class before the arrival of your child as well, right? And, if you are like me, you've said (or thought) on numerous occasions since that time, "I sure wish this kid came with a manual."
I currently have two grown boys, a son in high school, one in middle school, and a daughter in elementary school so the preteen/adolescent years have been, and continue to be, a stage of great parenting concern wherein I truly desire some structured direction and reassurance. Especially as we continue down the path of increased technology, teen drug/alcohol use, teen relationships with same/opposite sex.
That being said, I want to share some information about a terrific parenting program Tom and I spent time working through last spring which I feel was very helpful for us as the parents of multiple kids in or near the teen years.
Here is a short clip from the parenting program's author (a man who has worked with teens and their families with behavior/academic/social/drug issues for the past three decades), Mark Gregston of Heartlight Ministries.
Mark runs a ranch for troubled teens in East Texas, speaks all around the country on the topic of raising teens in our current, very confusing culture, and wrote the program I am sharing with you called Tough Guys & Drama Queens. In a nutshell, this program for the parents and/or grandparents of preteens and teens, is a DVR/small group discussion series with topics such as: Why Traditional Parenting No Longer Works, Stop Controlling/Start Trusting, and my favorite...Clear Boundaries.
Adolescence is a crazy stage of life for our kids...and for us as parents. That's why it makes a lot of sense to set aside some time to discuss and plan for the challenges we all face as moms and dads of this incredibly complex generation of kiddos.
I want to suggest you investigate this program further by checking out Mark's website, www.heartlightministries.org. Tom and I hosted a group of three other couples in our home, four consecutive Friday evenings. There was a little reading and some questions that needed to be answered in between sessions (minimal time, I promise) and a lot of honest group discussion about the fears, challenges and triumphs we face raising middle and high school age kids today.
I would be happy to answer any questions you might have, or even help you organize a small group session. Please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org