Don Pearson has written an enlightening book in which he analyzes the current and destructive trends in youth culture from social networking to casual sex and offers invaluable insight and practical advice. iPARENT Gender Trends, Online Friends & the Soul of Your Child, is a must read for parents.
Pearson, with 28 years of youth ministry experience, teaches that at their core girls seek to answer, "Am I desired?" while boys struggle with, "Do I have what it takes?" Before texting, facebook, and the other distracting and invasive technology, guys pursued girls. They took risks, faced failure and in doing so became men. And girls, by being pursued, had their core questioned answered. Pearson says technology has changed it all. "Currently, one of their best power tools is Facebook - and the guys couldn't be more pleased. They can learn everything about the girl they like without ever taking a risk." Consequently, guys have become "Beta Boys" and girls take measures into their own hands as aggressive "Alpha Girls."
I've noticed some of these trends surfacing in our youth but was shocked to read in detail just exactly what they are struggling with. I graduated high school in 2000 and although sometimes it feels like I donned my purple cap a short while ago, other times it feels like...well, 11 years ago. I'm out of the loop as I imagine you are as well, although you may not know it. Pearson says, "Our guidance must keep pace with the stages our kids are moving through." We cannot do what generations have done before us and use our own experiences as teens to parent. Because of technology those worlds are incomparable.
In iPARENT, Pearson explores the decline of dating as well as the blurring of gender, the hook-up culture, alpha girl, beta boy, the rise of social media and more. The book concludes with Authentic Parenting, an educated and knowledgeable chapter that reverses the attention from our children's actions to our own. "There is great power in parenting when you are the kind of person you want your children to be." Every day is a chance for me to show my kids how to live a Godly life, how to focus my attention on them instead of my computer, how to be a light in our dark and broken world.
If you're a parent of a tween to 20-something or interact with this age group, I highly encourage you to read iPARENT. Even if you have little ones like me, you'll find the book useful in preparing yourself for the challenges and dangers that await them. The Powerful Impact section with bible verses and prayer suggestions at the end of each chapter is especially encouraging. It's never too early to start praying for your child's heart, decisions, and soul.
I'm happy to give TWO readers the opportunity to win a copy of iPARENT. Just leave a comment on this post with your e-mail address. One entry per reader.
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I will pass on the winners' information to the publishing company who will then send the book.
Giveaway closes on October 29th at 3pm EST.
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