Today’s parents are different.
Use these blueprints to understand them–and help them pass on
their faith to their children.
Erin, a single mom, has three daughters, ages 8, 12, and 22. Her
oldest daughter is in college more than 1,000 miles away. Her
youngest two are in elementary school, and they spend one week a
month with their father, who lives across town. Erin stays in touch
with all her kids frequently throughout the day through texts and
phone calls. She’s close with all her children and considers them
her best friends. They give her input on everything from what
clothes to wear to what apartment to rent, and she offers them
on-the-spot coaching on their school and life issues whenever they
need it. She hasn’t seen her oldest daughter in six months, and her
two youngest go directly from school to after-school care until
Erin picks them up at 7:30 in the evening after work. On an average
weekday, Erin spends about two waking hours with her younger
As you consider Erin’s life and relationships with her children,
also consider the typical experiences of a mom two decades ago.
Then, more moms stayed at home, families were more likely to fit
into a cookie cutter shape, and parenting philosophies were much
A lot has changed.
Today’s parents have different views and expectations of their
relationships with their children. They have different demands and
pressures on their professional and personal lives. They have
different social experiences. They believe different things about
what it means to raise children. They have technologies that
facilitate relationships and communication that most people
couldn’t imagine 20 years ago.
So how do you effectively equip this generation of parents to
become the spiritual influencers in their children’s lives? You
start by getting up-close and personal with the parents in your
ministry, and then by creating a custom, quality- built ministry
that equips and honors them.
Our children’s homes today look a lot different than they used to.
Today the divorce rate hovers near 50 percent, and a growing number
of children live with only one parent. Most households have two
people working full time to keep them afloat. Families come in all
shapes, sizes, and combinations imaginable. These changes in family
makeup have also changed the way parents respond to their kids’
ever-expanding mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual
Parents, especially single ones, are often exhausted. It can be
overwhelming to do it –, caring for children (and sometimes aging
parents, too), managing a home, and trying to squeeze in some kind
of personal life. It’s no wonder that parents today get
discouraged, spend a lot of time feeling guilty, and may even be
tempted to give up. You likely have kids and parents in your
ministry who are irritable and stressed from all the pressures they