It’s tough being a PK (Preacher’s Kid)! It’s tough just
being a kid! And let’s be real here, being a parent is tough! I’m a parent who
is also a pastor, so my kids are PK’s, obviously, and they tell me about their
struggles. I was talking to my teenage daughter the other day and I asked her, “Do
you feel pressure from me to measure up? She said, “Dad, I don’t feel the
pressure from you or the church, but I feel it from everyone else at school! It’s
like they expect me to be perfect.” I found that surprising, yet somewhat
comforting to know that she didn’t feel pressure from me, but saddened that she
did feel pressure. I am certain she also puts pressure on herself being that
she is a PK. I try real hard to not be
the over-the-top-hard-core-strict-religious-freak-pastor-parent-guy! No offense
to those of you who are the over-the-top-hard-core-strict-religious-freak-pastor-parent-type!
(ha ha!) Don’t get me wrong, I am sure I put some pressure on our kids, not
intentional, but I’m not perfect and it’s hard not to.
Disclaimer: I do
not have the answers on being a parent just yet! I can tell you what we do,
and what seems to work, so far, but we are in the phase of still trying to figure
it all out … we are stumbling along the way! We definitely fall on the side of believing
the best thing for our kids is letting them know we love them like crazy!
In our home we allow our kids to be normal kids. We don’t
freak out if they cuss, or make them listen to only Christian Music, or read
only Christian Books, or only watch Christian-themed movies, or wear weird Christian
clothing. If we hear an inappropriate song they are listening to we don’t
always make them turn it off. Of course depending on how inappropriate, we have
been known to say, “Is that a new song by Satan?” (Said in the Saturday Night
Live Dana Carvey Church Lady voice Lol!) We don’t make them read their Bible
every day, we don’t make them pray, or do anything like that. Now we do
encourage those things, but we do not force them to love God. I don’t think
that ever works, at least from what I have seen.
I would say for the most part, and I believe both my kids
would agree, we are a somewhat normal family. I mean, yes our lives are
centered around God and the church on many levels and we do pray before meals,
and at bedtime and when they are sick, we have many conversations about God, Jesus,
the church, living right, talking right, making right choices, etc. But I would
assume most families have those same discussions, ours may be just a bit more
God-centric than most. We have actually encountered several non-religious families
with more rules, regulations and restrictions than we have. Every family is
different, I am pretty sure there isn’t ONE right way, unless of course you are
one of those weird religious wing-nuts that feels you are right about
everything … then of course your way is the right way! (I digress!)
The only advice I really have for parents is to pray a lot! Seriously!
I do pray more now that I have a teenage daughter, because I know that God is
ultimately the only one who can ever make a real lasting difference in a person’s
life. Of course a person must be open to that, and want it for themselves. And
secondly, as parents we must remember that more is CAUGHT than TAUGHT! Don’t
just preach it, LIVE it!
I want to accomplish one thing in my life, besides being a great husband, a great father and having a great head of hair! And that one thing is to help people have healthier happier relationships!