Three years ago, my daughter Rebecca, then 19, wrote a post for me called Why I Didn’t Rebel.
Chances are, if you’ve been reading me for a while, you’ve read it. In fact, chances are that’s how you found me in the first place, because in the few months that followed that post, it was read a million times. It went bigger than anything I’ve ever written (before or after). And she wrote it in 20 minutes when she was bored.
It all started because I kept finding that every time I would write about parenting, especially parenting teens, the comments section would fill up with people saying, “that’s all fine and good, but no matter what you do as a parent, kids are still going to rebel and act out, and all we can do is catch them.”
I thought that was very defeatist. Obviously there are NEVER guarantees that a child won’t rebel, but there are certainly things you can do to make it less likely. Any of us can get lung cancer, after all, but that doesn’t mean that we should all just give up and start smoking.
So I asked Rebecca to write about why she thought she didn’t rebel.
She did. It went huge. And then she decided to turn it into a book. There was a bidding war with different publishers, and Thomas Nelson finally put it out.
The book launches October 3!
(That’s her voice, too. Still kinda weird to hear it like that!)
I ordered a bunch of books, and mine arrived before hers did, so I actually sold some when I spoke this week before she even got her hands on one!
This really is an amazing book. It fits in with the theme of what I’ve been saying in this blog, over and over again: Life needs to be about Jesus, not about outward appearances of rules. And relationship matters more than anything else when it comes to parenting. Start with relationship and communication, and everything else will flow from there.
That’s what it’s about in marriage, too. That’s what it’s about in every relationship, because that’s the way that God made us. And yet somehow, when it comes to parenting, we too often forget that our children are real people, first and foremost, and not just extensions of ourselves. And we forget that we need to talk with them, not just at them.
This stuff matters.
Thomas Nelson has a whole bunch of goodies that you can get for free if you pre-order the book now, during the launch period! Rebecca and I wrote a bonus chapter where we answered some questions asked on my Facebook Page. There’s a discussion guide to help take you through the book. And there’s an action plan to help you put it into practice, little by little, and start seeing your relationships transformed.
This is just such an exciting time in our family! Our youngest daughter is getting married, and my oldest daughter has a baby (sort of!). It was a real labour of love, and I’m hoping that the word starts getting out there about this book. Her insights into how a family needs to be a team, rather than a club, is really brilliant, and I’ve asked her to talk about that particularly next week.
In the meantime, Rebecca, Katie and I are launching our first mother-daughter event tomorrow night in our hometown, so we’re busy finalizing that talk. It’s busy around here!
We do have a crisis with millennials. They are leaving the church in record numbers. They don’t stay engaged with faith. And what Rebecca found is that a lot of that may be because many Christian parenting trends we hear about and believe in actually can turn kids away from Jesus. That’s scary. We need to confront this head on, because our kids matter.
And they don’t need to rebel.
Were you one of the ones who read Rebecca’s original post? What did you think? Let’s talk in the comments!