Tag Archives: Tim Elmore

Two vital qualities your students need from YOU

Being a ‘good’ parent or mentor to an adolescent is hard work.  Tim Elmore says we need to be both responsive and demanding to succeed.

Leading students well depends on the timing of your actions and your leadership style. What an adolescent needs is an adult (parent, teacher, coach, employer, pastor or leader) who makes appropriate demands and sets appropriate standards for them in a responsive environment of belief and concern. In short, they need adults to display a balance of two characteristics—they need them to be both responsive and demanding.

  1. Responsive: to display acceptance, support and belief; to be attentive to them.

  2. Demanding: to establish standards and hold students accountable to them.

Read his full blog for case studies and insight on how to achieve this balancing act.

Are you a helicopter parent or a lighthouse parent?

As I consider the educational challenges facing our schools, I become more and more convinced that many of the issues result from changes in our culture and our parenting rather than changes in our teachers and our schools.

The term ‘helicopter parent’ is fairly common nowadays and Dr. Tim Elmore describes it thus:

When our kids were toddlers, they often needed our vigilant presence and constant watchful eye. However, we need to shift roles to adjust to our kids’ maturity level. We must move from being a helicopter parent — hovering, guarding, keeping a tight hold, perhaps manipulating and controlling — to being a “lighthouse parent.”

A lighthouse stays in one location, and it’s a beacon that has ongoing communication with passing ships. A lighthouse reveals its location; it warns mariners of danger and provides wise guidance — but it won’t chase down the ships. How does the analogy apply to parenting? Here are the differences in a nutshell:

Helicopter Parents

  1. Hover and control
  2. Follow kids around
  3. Tell them how to behave
  4. Impose rules and regulations

Lighthouse Parents

  1. Check in and communicate
  2. Won’t chase kids down to enforce rules
  3. Let them know where they stand
  4. Offer wisdom (light) and guidance

From Helicopter Parent to Lighthouse Parent, Dr. Tim Elmore, Focus on the Family

This article challenged me to consider whether I have been overly protective of my children, possibly to their detriment.

Our children won’t mature in a healthy way if they aren’t allowed to navigate scary situations and challenging experiences. Kids need to take calculated risks to mature. Unfortunately, American parents often view struggle as a negative thing. We’ve created a world of convenience, filled with smartphones, microwaves and the Internet. The message is that struggles and discomfort are to be avoided. We’ve recognized the value of self-esteem but forget that it should be strengthened through challenges.

What we fail to see is that when we remove struggles from our children’s lives, we begin to render them helpless. They lose the opportunity to develop resilience, creativity and problem-solving skills — important strengths they’ll need later on.

Scripture reminds us to count it joy when we fall into trials, for this kind of testing produces endurance. We’re then encouraged to allow endurance to have its full effect (James 1:2-4). When we continually step in to control our kids’ levels of risk, they don’t learn how to be in control or under control. In fact, all they learn is how to be controlled or how to seek help every step of the way.

From Helicopter Parent to Lighthouse Parent, Dr. Tim Elmore, Focus on the Family

I encourage you to read the full article and see what you think.