Education Extra

Dr. Walt Mueller, the founder and director of the Center for Parent/Youth Understanding, will be presenting a seminar titled “No Parent Left Behind” at the Birmingham Parenting Collective Conference on Saturday, February 3 at the Oak Mountain High School auditorium. Mueller took a few minutes to answer some questions about the challenges parents face today and how the conference can help.

What do you think are the biggest challenges that parents today are facing? There are two primary challenges that parents face today. First is an old challenge – the challenge of dealing with our own brokenness as we seek to raise children that are also sinful and broken. The second challenge is a new challenge- the challenge of a changing cultural context. Parents find themselves raising kids in a culture that looks very different from the one they grew up in.

What are some ways parents find themselves “Left Behind”? When I go speak to parents, parents of older teenagers say, “This was really helpful, but I wish I had heard this 15 years ago.” Things have grown and become issues, and parents wish they could have had a preventative influence. Parents feel left behind because they don’t understand what their kids are facing.

What are some of the topics you will be addressing at the conference? I will cover developmental realities and how they make children vulnerable to the cultural narrative. I want to keep parents from being caught off guard. I will also cover practical and hope-filled responses to topics like social media, sexuality, pornography, and media influence. I will seek to provide practical and hope-filled ideas that will help us that can become stakes in the ground as we engage with kids.

How will this conference help parents keep from being “Left Behind”? The conference will not be exhaustive or a cure all. People need to see this as a launch pad, spring board, or starting line of being aware of the kinds of things kids face so they can offer practical biblically-based responses. This can be a launch pad to journey together with people in their churches and community as they can look for ways to minister together to their kids.

Why should parents make attending the conference a priority? I want to make them aware. Once you know the reality, you can generate a response. This conference is not just for parents of teenagers. It would be very beneficial to younger parents and grandparents as well. †

-For more information or to register for the Birmingham Parenting Collective Conference, please visit www.bhamparentingcollective.com

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