Building Relationships that Last a Lifetime
"When you choose to become a parent, you are choosing to live a life of vulnerability." -- Unknown Source
Parenting is one of the hardest things we'll ever do. We are constantly in a state of vulnerablity. Remember the first time you left your child with a babysitter? The first time tey rode their bike without training wheels? Do you remember how vulnerable you felt? We don't like feeling vulnerable, but it is required for effective parenting. After all, God made himself vulnerable to us by sending his Son to die for our sins (see John 3:16).
To make ourselves vulnerable means to put ourselves at risk. When we apologize to our children. we run the risk of not being forgiven. When we expect good things from our children, we run the risk of being disappointed. The R.I.S.K.S. program offers parents more awareness, understanding, and skill building when it comes to this vulnerable endeavor known as parenting.
Parenting is about taking R.I.S.K.S.
RParenting is about the Relationship. Strong relationships are vital to parenting. "How do I get my children to behave?" should not be the first question we ask. "How do I build a close relationship with my child?" is a better place to start. If the parent-child relationship is strained, parenting becomes a more difficult, if not impossible, task.
IParenting is about Integrity. Strong parenting demands a heightened sense of one's own integrity. Parents often find themselves violating their integrity in effor to achieve compliance or obedience from their children. God has placed within us the feeling of "guilt" to help us know when we have compromised our integrity. Screaming, yelling, disconnecting, and empty threats are just a few behaviors that typically generate feelings of guilt within the parent. These behaviors may or may not result in obedience, but, nonetheless, always do harm to the parent-child relationship.
SParenting is about Structure. Structure makes up the environment in wich one's child has to grow up. There are four structural components that are essential in creating an environment that increases your child's chances for success: (1) Hierarchy, (2) Boundaries, (3) Discipline, and (4) Instruction. The challenge is being able to implement these components in a way that strengthens the parent-child relationship instead of weakening it.
KParenting is about Keeping the Faith. "Letting go and letting God," also involves, "letting go and letting grow." One of the hardest aspects of parenting is the knowledge that we are raising our children to not need us anymore. Thus, we are slowly working our children towards self-sufficiency and independence, which starts from the moment they are born.
SParenting is about Self-Nuture. Our children need us at our best! We owe it to them to take care of ourselves first. Hal Runkel, author of ScreamFree Parenting, uses the metaphor of putting on your own oxygen mask first before you assist anyone else, as flight attendants tell us before every flight. If you can't breathe, you can't help anyone! Jesus was excellent at taking care of himself (see Matthew 14:13,23, 26:36-39 and Mark 1:35-38). Thus, taking care of self first is actually a very selfless act.
If you think about it, God takes R.I.S.K.S. with us. He longs to have a personal relationship with every one of us. We serve a God of Integrity. God's Word provides us with the structure to live wholesome and fulfilling lives. God is very faithful; and even God in flesh found time to take care of Himself. God takes R.I.S.K.S. with us; we at least owe it to our kids to do the same.
Here are some comments I've received about the program:
"I am so grateful Josh was able to present this material to our families at Oklahoma Christian Academy. His seminar is packed with practical application, life lessons, and deep insights that engages parents in a way that draws them to reflect and apply these concepts to their families." – Brandon Tatum, President of Oklahoma Christian Academy
"Josh's R.I.S.K.S. of Parenting seminar was just what our congregation's young familes needed. His philosophy is biblical, practical, and much needed in our fast paced society. I'd recommend this seminar to parents who are interested in learning some new approaches or just want to fine tune their essential skills."
-- Kerry Wright, Deacon of Outreach, Blanchard Church of Christ
"We were extremely impressed with the R.I.S.K.S. of Parenting seminar that Josh presented to our church family. Josh gave us information that was relevant, challenging, and biblical to help us try to be better parents. His delivery was genuine and gentle, even when dealing with difficult topics. Josh was also very good to adapt his seminar to work in a format that we needed here at Blanchard. We had very positive feedback from our church members. If you choose to have Josh present his R.I.S.K.S. of Parenting seminar for your congregation, you will be blessed by it."
-- Buster Sides, Minister, Blanchard Church of Christ
"Josh Nichols' R.I.S.K.S. of Parenting seminar provides highly informed and practical material for parents new and old. Having studied with leading scholars in the field of Marriage and Family therapy as well as establishing his own practice, Josh brings valuable insight and experience to the seminar. If you are a parent or expectant parent looking for answers, R.I.S.K.S. is a great place to start."
-- Jeremie Beller, Congregational Minister, Wilshire Church of Christ