By Trace Embry
In parenting five children of my own and working with families across America for nearly two decades, it has become noticeably clear to me that parents can change the culture.
If parents want a hand in changing the culture they must rethink their method of parenting. They must understand the importance of an authoritative community .
Authoritative Parenting 101
Before the cultural revolution of the sixties, the American culture’s idea of parenting was firmly rooted in the authoritative community model. In the parenting continuum, with authoritarian and passive parenting being at opposite ends, authoritative parenting falls in the center. In short, it is a balance between the two opposing ends.
An authoritative community model simply means that wherever a child turns, in every facet of his life, authority points him to a common moral standard. Whether it be the child’s teacher, track coach, boss, parent, or friend’s parent there is consistently a system of accountability pointing him to a common understanding of morality.
When I was young, the American culture embraced the authoritative community model.
Take for example the public schools; first of all I learned about Jesus in my public school and prayer was a daily, public occurrence! More to the point, if I got in trouble at school I was not only disciplined at school, but my teacher notified my parent and I was disciplined at home as well.
Authority was unified in parenting young people toward a common moral standard.
Steps Toward an Authoritative Community
Before parents can change the culture, by providing an authoritative community, they will need to understand this common miss conception.
Kids are starving for boundaries. They do not just need them, they want them.
I have seen this time and time again in my work with families. On more than one occasion a kid has told me, “Trace, I’m afraid to go home because my parents do not give me the boundaries and structure that is provided for me at SHA.” The fact is, kids want boundaries to be enforced on a regular basis by someone who is bigger, stronger, older, wiser and more determined to do right than they are to do wrong. This is where a child’s sense of security comes from.
An authoritative environment is the most conducive environment for parents to properly provide the security their child needs and wants. It is up to parents to create, establish, and maintain an authoritative community within their own home. To the degree that parents embrace godly parenting in a biblical authoritative community will be the degree in which the family will succeed in doing their part to positively change the culture.
What are steps you will be taking in order to create an authoritative community?