My book tour in Iloilo was more daunting than I feared.
After three schools for Dump Truck in My Heart on the first day, I came face-to-face with parents and their Gen-Y and Gen-Z kids the next day to discuss my book, Present! The secret to being in the here and now.
It turned out to be a face-off: parents vs. children. Not the kind where one side is bruised and the other, fallen, but the kind where the result is more than a draw.
“I am not your ideal parent who is an authority in parenting,” I began my talk. “I was a flawed mom, too busy with my career. It was grace that took my place and made me feel like I did something right.”
The audience laughed. Now, how was I to straddle between two polar views?
Taking off from Present!, I explained why I wrote it for millennial readers after thorough research on this puzzling generation. While I was summarizing the characteristics of Gen-Y, the millennials in the audience, as well as the few Gen-Z’s, nodded their heads vigorously; their parents knitted their brows.
In the workshop, each group was tasked to have a consensus on what is the best parenting principle. And in the sharing, the line was drawn.
The young ones expressed what they thought about parenting—how it should understand the new generations because they are different from those who never had the word “digital” in their vocabulary. The parents expressed their frustration over said technological “bad” influences, to which they have no control.
We went back to Scripture, where the Lord outlined parenting principles, starting from the basic, "Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.” Proverbs 22:6 (NLT)
To the early Israelites the Lord said, “So commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these words of mine. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Teach them to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up.” Deuteronomy 11:18-19
In over two hours, the close to 100 people in the seminar had a meeting of minds, bound tightly by the Word. Daunting it might have been in the process, but the result was surprisingly of a different kind. More than a draw, we collectively came out with this net take-away:
Parenting books abound today. But in the end, the only parenting book that matters is the Word—then, now, and forever.