Shiloh Christian School Newsletter
Vol. 5 Issue: 23 "NWA'S PREMIER PRIVATE CHRISTIAN SCHOOL"
LEADING THE NEXT GENERATION OF STUDENTS
“When it comes to our kids, we’ve been guilty of the soft bigotry of low expectations.” - George Bush
This excerpt comes from Tim Elmore's latest Growing Leaders blog post. It has some unique thoughts and perspectives that we can think about as we lead our students through the educational process.
Tim Elmore: LEADING THE NEXT GENERATION
The New Trend in Parenting
Today, I not only see a new generation of kids, I see a new generation of parents. In some ways, life is better, but in many ways, life is far worse. In the wake of the pandemic, many of us have shifted so significantly to protect kids from difficult, uncomfortable, or painful experiences that their arrested development will have a detrimental effect on their adult lives. In the name of compassion, we’ve become controlling.
Psychologists have a term for these caregivers. They are “over-functioning parents.” They mean well, but they intrude on the work that professionals do with their children. As a parent myself, I recall days when I wanted to make suggestions to my kids’ teachers, coaches, drama directors and principals. Discussing this with my friend, Gary Davison, a veteran high school principal, he shed some light on one possible explanation for over-functioning parents. He mused:
“I wonder if some are stealing the dopamine squirt from their kids by doing things for them.”
This may sound preposterous to some, but I think there’s a kernel of truth in Gary’s hypothesis. Often, we love the satisfaction we feel when stepping in to make things right, correcting those teachers who don’t seem to get it, and smoothing the path for our children. On top of that, we’re scared for our kids. So much seems out of our control, and we’re not sure how to lead kids in today’s world of smart technology, predators, and distractions.
After speaking at a parenting event, one mom approached me and said, “I know I shouldn’t be a helicopter parent, but it feels so good to me. It’s what I want. So, I’m going to keep doing it.”
Three Reminders to Stop Stealing from Our Kids
1. They don’t need us to do things for them. They need us to equip them to do things.
One high school administrator told me that a parent called to request a class change for her daughter. When the administrator asked why, the parent replied, “My daughter’s former boyfriend is in her current class, and it’s hard for her.”
While this is understandable, the parent’s request would only temporarily make things easier now, yet harder later for her daughter. The long-term answer for challenges is seldom to remove the stressors. Rather, it’s to equip our kids to manage them. My parents would have said to me:
“This is your chance to learn how to navigate difficult situations.” They would have shown empathy, but they would not remove the problem for me, knowing that if they did, they would leave me ill-equipped for the future.
2. They don’t need us for information. They need us for interpretation.
A school principal let me know that parents of his students consistently give the answers to their kids—for homework, for hacking tests, and for extracurricular activities. Once again, this helps students in the short run, but fails to teach teens self-reliance.
Kids no longer need adults to get information. Thanks to Google, Siri and Alexa, they can access information anywhere, at any time. Instead, kids need us for interpretation. We must help them make sense of all they know by providing a schema to filter input and furnish a worldview that enables them to see the big picture. Our end goal should not be to teach them what to think; we must teach them how to think. When they consume content, we must help them gain the context. This is what Generation Z and the Alpha Generation desperately need.
3. They don’t need us to control them. They need us to connect with them.
Let’s face it: we will never be able to control the attitude of a teenager. That’s a myth. We can, however, seek connection with a teen, and thereby deepen our influence. Connection at the heart level is what they want and need most from those in charge. Influence and trust come via relationship, not rules. When there’s a trusting relationship, most teens make decent choices. If we demonstrate that we genuinely want to know them and that we want to authentically trust them, they usually lean into the relationship.
I read recently on social media, “The problem is: anyone can have kids, but less than half are able to raise them well.” This is frequently because we’ve not taken the time or made the effort to build a bridge by crafting a relationship that can bear the weight of honest conversation.
It’s time to stop stealing the satisfaction of achievement from our kids and let them show us what they can do. Twenty years ago, President Bush said it best: “When it comes to our kids, we’ve been guilty of the soft bigotry of low expectations.”
Lead NWA well this week!
- Dr. Keith McDaniel
START YOUR WEEK IN WORSHIP!
INDOOR ATHLETIC FACILITY NEEDS
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CHICK - FIL - A LEADER ACADEMY
SHILOH CHRISTIAN QUIZ BOWL TEAM
BE A PART OF THE VICTORY WALK
Our 6th Annual Shiloh Christian Track and Field BBQ Dinner and Cook-Off Fundraiser will be held on Tuesday, March 7th!
If you want to compete let Josh Barrett know! firstname.lastname@example.org
SHILOH CHRISTIAN BAND
SHILOH CHRISTIAN ROBOTICS
SHILOH CHRISTIAN PHYSICS
SHILOH CHRISTIAN ATHLETICS - HERE COME THE SAINTS!
SHILOH CHRISTIAN YOUTH WRESTLING
MEET OF CHAMPIONS!
SHILOH CHRISTIAN BASEBALL
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