Many of us have mentioned that we struggle to find our way as "emerging" parents. We encounter friends and family who think we are crazy or who aren't remotely interested in talking about alternative ways of parenting. We can't find resources that support the life we want to lead. We are surrounded by cultural messages we don't agree with. It is hard to figure this stuff out and live consistently.

So as we get to know each other here, I want to throw out the question - what is your hardest struggle? What aspect of holistic parenting has been the most difficult so far?


posted by Julie at 9:46:00 PM |


At October 11, 2007 at 10:54 PM, Blogger sierrajuliettromeo

For me, it's been about treating my child with respect and dignity. I think a lot of my family and probably my friends think I'm nuts for thinking that my 3 year old deserves to be treated with respect or that there's anything dignified about being a preschooler. And yet, I can't help remembering how much Jesus thought of little children.

Part of this struggle is being unconditional with my love. I think the social norm is to withdraw our love when our kids misbehave, even on a subconscious level. Even if we may love our kids no matter what, if they don't FEEL loved, then I think it may still send the wrong message.

It seems to me that so much of traditional discipline is for the parents' convenience, and not to actually impact a child's character for the long run. It's so hard for me to find a way to provide proper and loving guidance that is gentle, loving, respectful and firm.


At October 12, 2007 at 12:33 AM, Anonymous Jen Rose

Something that I consistently struggle with when it comes to holistic parenting, is that when we gather together as a church, whether on Sundays or for fellowship at other times during the week, children are sent away from the parents, or the fellowship time is also a kid free time. I just think this sets a poor example for our kids. Why can't they be included??? I would love to know of ways that children can be incorporated, how fellowship and church gatherings can be more child friendly. As a young mom I find it especially hard when my boys are disruptive, because it usually means I've got to leave as well, and am therefore not included either.


At October 12, 2007 at 5:01 AM, Blogger jerald&leslie

O agree with the struggle to show unconditional love. And I've seen my 3 year old's need for that when I "get mad" by her questions of "Mommy, are you happy?" How do we show our love, yet our disapointment at the same time??
In response to interuptions at church...ultimately we need to get beyond this focus of having a Perfectly Uninterupted Meeting with God...that's not real life anyway!--right?! One thing our church does is encourages the kids to be a part of the music/singing time--it's harder to be "disruptive" when everyone's up singing and dancing! As far as the rest of the service goes though....still working on that one...


At October 12, 2007 at 6:44 AM, Blogger One Voice of Many

My struggles have consisted of our choice to home school as well as our choice to leave the established church behind for a while as we try to make sense of all of our years of being 'sermonized'.

We get the most questions regarding not having them in church -- "aren't you concerned that they're not being taught about God?"

I know that our lives are supposed to be what teaches our children, and others, about God's love but, yes, sometimes I do get concerned. What if we're harming them? What if we're only going to cause them more confusion? on and on and on...



At October 12, 2007 at 7:57 AM, Blogger sierrajuliettromeo

Michelle (One Voice of Many)--

I also struggled w/ being disconnected from a community of faith when I had my daughter 3 years ago. It's partially why I found myself back in a formal church a year after her birth. Luckily, it happened to be a church that was about to join in on the emerging church dialog.

This makes me think of a quote from Ivy Beckwith, the author of Post-Modern Children's Ministry:

"And perhaps most importantly [the church's ministry to children is] broken when the church tells parents that its programs can spiritually nurture their children better than they can. By doing this we’ve lied to parents and allowed them to abdicate their responsibility to spiritually form their children. A church program can’t spiritually form a child, but a family living in an intergenerational community of faith can."

It's something to ponder...


At October 16, 2007 at 8:46 PM, Blogger David R

As my wife (Beth) and I have started taking responsibility for the spiritual formation of our daughters (9 and 7), I have been conscious that we just have no resources with which to do that. Beth was raised Catholic, and I was raised Presbyterian, so we both understood spiritual formation as something to be done by the church. We have been struggling to figure out how to do it outside of an institution.

Fortunately, God has provided us with good ideas thus far.


At October 18, 2007 at 12:10 PM, Blogger Samantha

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At October 20, 2007 at 12:22 PM, Blogger Andrea C.

I struggle with how to communicate biblical values that are not necessarily what North American culture values.

We tend to assume that the values our culture holds dear are the same ones taught by Jesus and his apostles, but some American values such "independence" don't really seem to be present in the Bible; and some American values such as "honesty" are present in the Bible, but not to the extent that we have elevated it in our society.

Some values that we see in the Bible but that are not really valued in this culture are "hospitality", "generosity" and "mercy".

As a family, we want to practice these values too, but there is very little in the way of resources or support, and people look at you kind of strangely in Christian circles when you say you think generosity is just as important as honesty.


At January 31, 2008 at 10:11 AM, Blogger Evan Lauer

I'm in the unique place of being the pastor of the church and keeping my 5 kids (age 11- 10 months) in church with us. We are trying to model and hopefully convince other families in our church they can learn to do that too.

We are moving our church to a new school in a few weeks and I see this as a prime opportunity to reevaluate the spiritiual formation of all the children/youth in our church. I'm not ready to completely cancel our nursery, toddler and lower elementary classes, but I foresee a weird conflict if some of the kids stay in church and some go to the SS classes.

Our church is 11 years old and it seems that in regards to children’s ministry and SS, all we've done is struggle to find enough volunteers and burn out those who volunteer to coordinate it all (because they end up covering 3 Sunday's a month in a classroom).

I don't want to take up too much space here, but I posted two great articles from Scott Brown on this topic to my blog site (www.evanlauer.blogspot.com) and I'd love to hear some of your comments.