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Raising Kids To Do Hard Things

Written by Dr. Kyle Barrett, Director of Spiritual Formation.

Tuesday you received details about a parenting seminar called Raising Kids to Do Hard Things by Gregg and Brett Harris.  Their goal is to give parents tools to help them as they seek to raise motivated kids who take on challenges and finish what they start, all for the glory of God.  Registration is closing soon, but you can find out more about the seminar (HERE).  I hope many of you will take advantage of this resource.

Over the next few weeks, we’re going to unpack several of the key ideas presented in the seminar.  Today we want to work through some of the dangers of being unmotivated.  Our aim as parents is to raise kids who do the right things for the right reasons, regardless of whether or not we are there.  The reason for this is that we understand that bad decisions and wrong motivations have consequences.

What are those consequences?  Gregg Harris highlights two:

Unmotivated kids are easily distracted.

Life can be like a carnival with many things clamoring for our attention.  Without self-motivation, our kids fall prey to distraction, which means the potential of a lot of wasted time and energy both for them and for us as parents.

Unmotivated kids are easily recruited.

A lack of motivation can also be compared to going to the grocery store hungry…and without a list!  If you’ve ever done this before then you know that you come home with a lot of stuff that you didn’t necessarily plan to buy but couldn’t say no while walking down aisle after aisle of options.  If our kids go through life without self-motivation they are much more likely to be pulled into actions or ways of thinking that they might not otherwise be.

Harris says, “The best way to say ‘no’ to foolish distractions and dangerous recruitments is by having something wise and wonderful to say ‘yes’ to.”  We want our kids to have something compelling to lean into in order to avoid foolish distractions and dangerous recruitments.  Busyness isn’t the answer but finding something that inspires our kids and engages them is critical in order to avoid some of the pitfalls of being unmotivated.  More on that next time!