Culture Challenge of the Week: Spring Break
Amidst the freezing temperatures across the country, Spring Break plans are well underway. And, unless your head has been in the sand or the clouds for the last few years, we all know what the typical college, or even high school, spring break entails. So many of our sons and daughters get swept up into wild parties and regrettable decisions. The culture tells them that drinking and "hooking up" are the best ways to make memories and unwind from the stress of school.
Instead, many of them end up with broken hearts.
But who can blame them for wanting to head off with all their friends on an unsupervised week in the sun and surf? We all have a desire for some kind of excitement in our lives because we know adventure is necessary to live out a good story. Good stories involve taking risks, not just playing it safe. And the type of spring break that is glorified in our culture certainly involves risk-taking and coming back with stories to tell, even if they aren’t particularly uplifting.
But we must offer a better way. And in so doing, we must also offer a better alternative.
How to Save Your Family: Do More Than Say No
Telling your student you won’t allow them to head to Panama City or Virginia Beach is the hard part. But you can actually make it easier on both of you if you invite your son or daughter to have a “white couch” talk to explain why you are saying “no”, and offer them something else to do instead.
A "white couch" chat in our household meant that I would take the time to actually sit on the couch with my child, often with hot chocolate in our hands, and have a heart-to-heart chat. Both my daughter and I fondly recall one such occasion when I wanted her to understand why I would not let her go to a particular movie when she was about 13. "All" the other kids were going - "all" of them, church friends included. But in my gut, it just didn't feel right to plunk down ten bucks for the "honor" of having my daughter watch sexual scenes, listen to foul language and witness violence. The name of the PG-13 movie has long been forgotten by both of us, but what remains a treasure in my daughter's heart is that I expressed my love and made myself vulnerable by sharing my heart.