Whenever the three of us speak in public, we tell parents that it’s not so much that we’re experts on kids. We just get to sit with kids and families day after day…year after year and learn from them. We hear their hearts and then get to share their truth with you. We want our blog to be an extension of that, as well. So, from time to time, we’ll have guest bloggers who are or have been Daystar kids who have a truth we believe can make a difference in your life and the life of your child This is one such blog from a college student we love and admire greatly…Catherine Godwin.
Catherine Godwin will graduate from Auburn University in May and pursue her Masters of Social Work at the University of Tennessee in the fall. She spends her summers at Camp Hopetown enjoying and spending time with children. This Spring, she's had the opportunity to learn even more about connecting with kids through her undergraduate counseling internship at Daystar.
We’re delighted to have her and her warm, intuitive, engaging heart around this place…and our blog anytime!
"How You Can Be My Spiritual Hero."
My mom became my spiritual hero in my teenage years through mango salsa and a bag of tortilla chips. After a long day of work for her and school for me, we would both find ourselves hungry for an afternoon snack. Mom would grab chips and salsa and sit in the living room to rest. I would follow her. I came for the food but I stayed for the conversation. Unplanned and unannounced, we would sit and chat.
This world is pressing against your teenager, and clamoring for their attention. When I was a teenager I was much more interested in pleasing my friends than my parents, which could have easily turn into a scary scenario. Often the more you as parents push to hang out; the more your teen pushes away from you. One idea about parenting that I love is called the “backdoor” that was developed by Melissa Trevathan and Sissy Goff. The theory is that “to the degree kids can predict you, they will dismiss you” (2002).
My mom never told me “It’s time to sit down and tell me about your day.” I would have rolled my eyes and ignored her demand. But what she did was make herself available everyday at 3 PM and she listened. Her listening to me made our afternoon snack date go from a one-time thing to an everyday occurrence.
She would listen, which allowed the lines of communication to be open between us. I could ask her all types of questions: the silly and the serious. She never jumped to conclusions, she did not assume I was doing the worst and she did not offer unwanted advice. But because she listened and trusted me, I asked for her opinion. Even more than that, I trusted her insight and knew she understood what I was talking about.
I love my parents but they were far from perfect. The best lessons my parents have taught me came from their moments of imperfection, and realizing they did not have it all together. I believe knowing your own imperfection is the basis of being a spiritual guide to your teenager. Your child needs to know there is a pure and true love beyond what you can offer. Your need for Jesus shows them Who to seek. Allowing your teenager to seek Him first is the most important part of being a spiritual hero because Christ goes beyond your own ability.
Trevathan, M., & Goff, S. (2002). Back door to your teen’s heart: learning what they need and helping them find it. Harvest House Publishers.