Whether it’s a YouTube star, a favorite author, teacher, or friend, … let’s face it, our kids have outside influences on them all the time. In fact, I was just wondering the other day how amazing it would be if we could get one of those famous YouTube stars to tell our kids: “Coats are cool when it’s freezing out!”
I mean, am I the only parent who struggles with kids wearing coats these days? I say this jokingly, but it’s true. If one of them made it cool, kids would be wearing coats everywhere.
Thinking about this made me reflect on who influences my kids’ lives the most. No doubt my husband and I are the most important influencers for our kids. We really strive to make sure we’re instilling our values in our girls every day. I’m sure you are the biggest influence on your kids, too.
But I think sometimes things get lost in the busyness of life. I think our influence as parents extends into making sure outside influences are good for our kids, too. This can be really tough. There’s so much pressure out there for our kids. It feels like a whole new world with all new rules sometimes. It’s coming at them in every direction – school, friends, music, social media. I know we’ve felt the pressure to help our kids make good decisions and stay on top of everything. Maybe you have, too.
Here’s a couple questions I have asked myself about my kids when it comes to who influences them.
1. What new influences do I need to be proactive about? What are my kids watching on YouTube? What music are they listening to? Who are they talking to? Who are their friends? Who are they sitting by at lunch?
2. How do I challenge my kids to make better choices about who they spend their time with? How can I help my kids try new things to find new friends? Try a new sport? Join a club? Youth group?
3. How can I challenge my kids to intentionally influence their friends, instead of being influenced by everyone else? Am I having conversations daily with my kids about what’s going on in their world?
Above all, I’ve learned that listening and being available is one of the most important things you can do with your kids. What things have you seen that help parents gain influence?
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