Today is the final week of my Generation Z class. I am not going to lie, the study and preparation for this class has been one of the most formative endeavors I have done in over five years. I am blown away at how quickly culture is changing and it is impossible to keep up. I am not talking about understanding Tik Tok or the millions of different Youtubers out there speaking into our kids’ lives. I am talking about the core of the culture that is unseen, but moving us all whether we are aware of it or not.
(You can take a look at my notes and bibliography here if you want to know what has helped shaped me this last month.) What is incredible is that this is just the tip of the iceberg and we must dive deeply in so we can help navigate our churches and families well in this moment. And even more, have no fear, but be filled with hope because the gospel is good news in every situation, in every culture, in every part of the world, in every time, and that is especially true for us!
With that being said, I wanted to share with you my last piece from this class, some pro tips for parents in helping their kids and their soul navigate these tumultuous waters. Without further ado…
THE TOP 10 PRO-TIPS FOR PARENTS WHO ARE RAISING GENERATION Z:
1) Regarding Technology: Its time to turn off the phone, manage your router, leverage apps like “Disney’s Circle” or iOS “Screentime.” You must continue to help them like you did when they were toddlers. All of their life is in the cloud. You will never see it. So, now, more than ever, you must pay attention to their heart and demeanor, not just their grades.
2) Regarding Sexuality: Sexuality is a core part of all of our identities. Our students are just now developing this major part of their life. Do not freak out. It helps to separate out the identity formation part of their sexuality from their actual putting it into practice. 😉 All of us must work with all of our might for our kids to not objectify one another or be fine with being objectified.
3) Regarding Spirituality: All of our kids, including our church kids, have a spiritual worldview that is very far from orthodoxy. The truth is we work really hard to cram our values down our kids’ throats. We do it with sports, education, recycling. We must do it with our faith. Plus, we have to celebrate that it is our faith that actually gives us the right framework to talk about and tackle all of the issues that matter most to them; environmentalism, sexuality, racism, #metoo, immigration, justice, art, music and human dignity!
4) Its time to work out your own garbage: You have made plenty of big mistakes throughout your life. Just because you were in idiot in your teens and 20s doesn’t mean that you can’t call them on their mistakes. Also, you don’t have to share them with your kids. In fact, you shouldn’t. When they grow up and are worthy of your deepest darkest, then you can share with them. And if you are compelled to do so, then do it in a way that frames it through your transformation in Christ. All that’s to say, you are allowed to have convictions and rules around sexual activity, drugs, drinking and whatever else was part of your past that you would be horrified for them to find out about.
5) We can’t protect kids from mistakes: In fact, we stunt their development if we protect them too much. Kids need to try out their freedom as well as experience the full ramifications of their choices, both good and bad. Failing freshman math is awesome for their development. Try it out. It will actually save them in the long run!
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Source: Church Leaders