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Why You Need a Village to Raise Your Teen

One of the habits Stephen Covey mentions in his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, is the habit of synergy. Synergy is the concept that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. One plus one equals three or more. Basically, it means that cooperation between people working together accomplishes more than people working separate, even when you add all their separate results up. It kind of goes along with what 1 Corinthians 12:14 says, “A body is a team of many that works together.” Bottom line: There’s power in numbers when those numbers are cooperating and working together. It’s also called teamwork. We see it in sports but is it evident in other areas of your life? Are you practicing teamwork? Are you partnering with the adults who teach your kids each week at church? Are you cooperating with others to make your child’s school, your child’s classroom, even your home, a better place? Are you open to the ideas and help of others? Or are you stuck in the habit of being a lone ranger?

 

How can you, parent, be a team player and model that characteristic to your children?

  • Volunteer to help at school or church, no matter how small the task may seem.
  • View adults in your child’s life–teacher, coach, Bible study leader–as someone on your team, not the enemy. Seek to understand him or her and ask how you can help him/her do their job better.
  • Have conversations with other parents, teachers, and coaches involved in your children’s lives about how you can partner together for the good of your child.

 

Parents, it’s nice to think that we can do it all by ourselves, but the honest truth is that we need other adults in our kids’ lives. We need a village of other parents, teachers, coaches and family members to help us.

 

I’ve seen this over and over in my own three kids. Their lives have been shaped by us, their parents, of course, and by the influence of numerous other adults: coaches, teachers, mentors, aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents. So many times, others have spoken the same truth into them that we’d spoken, but for some reason, they heard it better from another person. Kids need other godly voices in their lives because there will be times when they don’t take in what their parents are saying. When my oldest was a freshman in high school, I approached her older cousin and asked if she’d consider being a mentor. The two of them began a relationship that continues to this day, 15 years later. My daughter and her husband even had pre-marital counseling with her cousin-mentor and her husband. I’m so grateful for that mentoring influence in her life. I could go on about the adults who made an impact on our kids. But I think you get the point. Be on the lookout for those adults; you will need them as allies in your parenting!

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