Hatred for that Cat in the Cradle.

I listen to various types of music – disco, Motown, classic rock, and current tunes.  There are very few classic songs that I do not love.

However, there is one song that I have hated my entire life.  A song that makes my skin crawl.  A song that will always make me change the radio station.  “Cat’s in the Cradle” is a 1974 folk rock song by Harry Chapin from the album Verities & Balderdash. 

The song is too depressing, and I still hate it.  Apparently my children feel the same way, because they now throw a fit anytime they hear it.

The song was highlighted in an episode of the Middle.

Here is the original scene.  I am a fan of the Middle – Here is a post that I dedicated to the show.   The Middle will give parents an outside perspective of the issues facing emerging adults – with ALOT of laughter.

The second video definitely lightens the mood.  Here is the video.

While in the midst of raising your children, remember that like other life stages – emerging adulthood has its trials and blessings.

Remember to minimize the trials, and focus on the blessings. 



When Does A Boy Become A Man In His Mother’s Eyes?

I recently came across this well-written article, and I wanted to share it with my readers.  The author, Melissa Schultz, is a mother who is transitioning from a full house into an empty nest.  She shares her mother’s perspective on what it means to be a man.

Here is the article.


The positives of this article:

  1.  It doesn’t link manhood to various traditional, yet lacking markers – like having children, making money, or growing a beard.
  2. Great portrayal of a mother’s struggle to allow her children to grow up.  “And then, even then, when we see our sons as men, sometimes, we still secretly see them as our little boys. Because we want to. Not because they are.”
  3. Gives several inadequate markers of manhood, but doesn’t fully answer the question, “What makes a man?”  Her answer is, “For me, a boy becomes a man when he lets himself fall in love. It says he’s ready and willing to discover who he really is, to take risks; to care for someone other than himself.”     While the ability to fall in love can be a mark of knowing who they really are (self-discovery), take risks (courage), and caring for others (self-less), these characteristics are still greatly lacking.

I think that all emerging adults regularly ask themselves if they are truly an adult.  As children, they long every day to arrive, and yet often never fully feel satisfied in their arrival.  These uncertain feelings can lead our children to a lack of confidence and confusion.

While we can never adequately define adulthood, we can work to give our children the confidence that they need in their journey.  During my research, one of the powerful interview moments that I had was when one young man told me that he knew he was a man because, “My dad told me so.”

Take time today to encourage your children in their pursuit of adulthood.  May you be a channel of confidence that they need to take the next step.

Here are some additional articles that encourage you (or someone you love) in this pursuit.

Dr. G. David Boyd is the Founder and Managing Director of EA Resources, a non-profit designed to encourage emerging adults and their parents.

After the Nest is Empty – Redefining Your Life After Kids

© 2008 Robert S. Donovan, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

Many parents dream of the empty nest for years, while others dread it from the day that their children are born.  When it comes, few people are able to adequately prepare for the changes that come after dropping off their children at college.  Continue reading

Eating Disorders – Co-traveler on my Daughter’s Journey

As a woman, you can either face your struggles by turning into them, or running away.  But as a mother when your children struggle, you face, feel, and are oppressed by the same pain; and yet cannot fix it.
Continue reading

Your Role in THEIR Marital Conflict

Love - Wedding BandsMarriage can be difficult.  In order to survive, many couples need outside support or they will crumble.  A strong marriage requires a support system which can include: parents, friends, relatives, and counselors.  Supportive parents are especially essential during the early years of marriage, but when disagreement arises in a marriage, what role should you as a parent take?

The role of a parent during times of conflict within a marriage is a complicated issue.  If your child is having a rough time in their marriage relationship, here are some thoughts how to help support without crossing boundaries.

1.  Listen

Listen using empathy to support your child.  Don’t seek to fix them or their spouse.  Ask questions to seek understanding of who they are, and how they feel.  Offer encouragement that they are not alone, and give them hope that they will make it through this conflict.  Remind them of your marital struggles, and the growth your marriage encountered through them.

It is more difficult to show your support for your child when they make decisions and embrace values different than your own.  Watching a child make bad decisions is a painful process, but God often uses pain to mold our character and direct our steps.  One mother says, “I learned to be quiet and support him even though I strongly disagreed with his choice and his lifestyle.  By taking a neutral role, our relationship grew back to the point where my son turned to me.”  Maintaining a healthy relationship while sharing different values will show them your love and support while affirming their newly-founded autonomy.

2.  Allow Autonomy

weddingAutonomy is the ability of an individual to make their own decisions and to deal with the consequences.  Allowing your adult children to have autonomy is difficult especially when they are dealing with the consequences of poor decisions.  However, as one parent says, “A child has to feel the pain of his own choices before they will make the decision to change.”  A child’s autonomy includes the development of their marriage relationship.

In a marriage, a couple forms a new unit as they leave and cleave.  In Genesis 2:24, the Bible states.  “For this reason, I man will leave his father and mother, and cleave unto his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”  One emerging adult describes the transition, “When I started dating, I told my mom everything. I gradually started doing this less, but it has taken time and effort. My mom and I are really close, and the transition has been hard. Now that I am married, I need to be protective of my new marriage relationship.”

As they face difficulties, the couple must work towards decisions as a couple, and then learn to deal with the consequences.  This does not mean you cannot encourage, offer general principles of advice, and listen.  If the couple needs additional help, direct them to other sources of counsel including a pastor, counselor, or mentors.  In the end, you want your child to feel as if they made the decision, and you are supporting their autonomy.

3.  Forgiveness and Acceptance

A family is not made from perfect relationships.  A family is made when people stick together through the hurt and pain by healing and reconciliation.  One mother writes, “We all will make mistakes, but the simple phrase I love you and I am sorry goes along way.”  These two phrases are especially helpful tools when working with your emerging adults.

Even listening to your child talk about the hurt in their marriage could damage your relationship with your new in-law.  One parent says, “I have found that there is a need for me to forgive when there have been deep hurts against my child and ask God to help me be the loving parent that my in-laws need.”

Guard your heart and be aware that you will have to find grace and forgiveness for them.  As you add a new member to your family, mistakes will be made.  Feelings will be hurt.  Tempers will be lost.  Sometimes this hurt happens because of direct action, but at other times it is because of pain that was inflicted upon your child.

Remember that not all conflict is bad for your children.

Conflict can be an instrument of God to work in the marriage and the lives of both partners.  God could be using their disagreements to make the marriage healthier and happier.

Don’t run to rescue them, but let God use conflict in your child’s life to remake them.  In the meanwhile, you pray.  One parent reflects on this need.  “It is critical for parents to be daily praying for God to grow the marriage.”

Pray that they will learn to communicate.  Pray that they will each be humble.  Pray that they will become more like Christ.

Quality Time with the Parents

sessums-mother-daughter-679867-h[1]Just because you have graduated from school does not mean that you no longer need your parents.  Our need for a community  is a basic human need, and not something you ever outgrow.  In an attempt to become independent, sometimes EA’s make the mistake of becoming too distant from their parents.  While you do need to become more autonomous, it is okay for your parents to remain apart of your community. 

Due to the quantities of issues and decisions that you are facing, you need quality time with your parents (or other older adults who you can trust).  While each person’s quality time will look different, here are a few ways to make the most of your time with your parents.

Make sure your time with them is…

1.  Focused

Quality time is difficult to achieve when interrupted by the constant demand of media.   While at a restaurant, I saw all four members of a family eating lunch with their phones out playing games, texting, and surfing the web, rather than being present with one another.  So many times families sit in the same room, but are in different worlds.  While media and technology can be a blessing, they can also be a curse.  Make sure you are fully present when talking to your parents. 

2.  Two-sided

Emerging adults often get stereotyped as being self-centered (which is not fair because all people are naturally self-centered – I know that I am.)  As you mature, your relationship with your parents should develop into a two-sided relationship (a relationship where both parties equally give and receive). 

The view of your parents which has only seen their role as your mother and father should be changing.  They are not simply parents, but have other roles as a brother, son, employee, community volunteer, church member.   As you get to know your parents as adults, ask them questions about their lives, their work, and how they feel.   Your parents have good and hard days.  They have struggles and disappointments.  As an adult, make sure you invest in this new phase of relationship with your parents. 

3.  Unhurried

College life can be filled with activity.  While you might have bonding moments amidst the busyness of life, quality time flourishes when not rushed.  When we rush through life, we don’t have time to truly appreciate it, or allow time for reflection.   Don’t just call mom and dad while walking between classes, or running between events.  Time with your parents is not something you do in between events, but is an event.  Schedule a time, and prioritize it. 

Quality time is it is often unappreciated.  We often don’t appreciate the quality time we have with each other until sickness or death threatens to take it away. 

Finding quality time with your parents isn’t always easy.  Since you have left home, their lives have continued on.  In order to get enough attention, you will need to work for it.  You will need to ask for it.  You may need to demand it.  A basic building block of a strong relationship is feeling wanted.  Many parent/child relationships fall apart during the college years because children give signs that they don’t want their parents.  Do you parents know that you don’t want money, but that above all you want a relationship with them?    

Instead of a text, find some time today to talk to one of your parents. 



Dr. G. David Boyd has been a pastor and friend to EA’s for the past twelve years.  He still enjoys spending quality time with his parents who live in Indiana.

One way to spend your Thanksgiving away from Home

Lots of people have thanksgiving traditions, like having family over, playing games, watching football and eating too much, the list can go on and on. Traditions are about comfort and doing what you have been doing most of your life, because it’s familiar.  There is nothing wrong with wanting to do the same thing year after year but last year opened my eyes to a new tradition.

During the fall of my senior year of college I studied in Nashville, TN.  It is a 15 hour drive from my home in MN.  I still had some time left after Thanksgiving until the semester was over and I did not have money to drive all the way home and all the way back…and all the way home again.

So I went through some options in my head

A)  Spend thanksgiving alone with a frozen pizza and an action movie (not bad but kinda lonely)

B)  Beg some people fly out here (I’m in college, all my friends are just as poor as me)

C)  See if anyone would let me come to their thanksgiving (I have only known these people for a couple months)

As it turns out one of my buddies lived in South Carolina and was driving home to be with his family, he invited me to come over and I thought it would be a great time!  I was a little nervous.  I was going to spend Thanksgiving with another family – a family that homeschooled their kids?  It was different than my background, and they might have other weird family traditions!

God has a way of taking you places you never thought you would be with people you never thought you would meet.  Then afterwards, you can’t imagine your life without it.  One of my life verses is Proverbs 3:4-5 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.”

Last year’s Thanksgiving was a blast.  I was totally brought into this family and they welcomed me with open arms the whole time I was there.  Because of their love, I want to start a new tradition for this time of year.

Spend Thanksgiving with a different family each year.

This year I’m going to Buffalo, NY (Lord Willing), to be with different friends.

What’s a tradition that you can start that will stretch your comfort zone?


keagan blanckeKeagan Blancke is a 22 year old broadcasting graduate from University of Northwestern St. Paul. My motto is “it’s all about who you know” and the most important person you can know is Jesus. I would love to get to know you as well, making connections is always beneficial.

5 Ways to Pray For Your Emerging Adult

prayingWhen as a parent you are not sure what to do (or not do), or how to help your emerging adult, there is one thing that you can always do without getting trouble – PRAY.

I grew up hearing stories of parents and grandparents who were prayer warriors.  People who would spend hours beseeching God on behalf of others.  I hope these “prayer warriors” still exist today.

It is not a small resource to parents.  But as one parent said, “Prayer is the only REAL resource we possess.  Everything else we use to ‘solve’ our problems (money, influence, talents, etc.) is nothing compared to the power we have in the God of the universe.”

Are you praying regularly for your child?  Not just positive thoughts that are sent their way.  Not just a regularly rehearsed of words uttered quickly before a prayer.  Do you spend time going before the throne of God on behalf of your children?

Some EA’s know that their parents pray for them.  One EA writes, “My parents have always been my biggest prayer warriors, and it means the world to me. As a child, they established a precedent of praying about anything -both big (family financial issues) and small (finding a missing item).”  While others are doubtful, “I would love it if my mom prayed for me…ever. At all. That would be amazing.”

Knowledge of others that regularly pray for them, gives emerging adults confidence and encouragement in their lives.  Here are some things that they requested for their parents to pray for.

 1.  Expectations

“Patience. Always. There are so many new things in life that happens, so patience to wait it out when we want or are waiting on something and contentment when things don’t work how  we planned/imagine them being.”

“For God’s will in my life above my own expectations.”

“that I would walk in contentment no matter what is going on around me.”

 2.  Their Ministry or Service to Others

“Especially our ministry.  I would LOVE that.”

3.  Decision-making

“I would like prayer about the things happening in my life and decision-making.”

4.  Identity Formation

“One thing would be that they would pray I continue to strengthen my identity in Christ and use that as motivation to love others in my day.”

 5.  Relationships

“To pray God’s will in my life. Specially pray for the chapter of engagement and marriage.”

“I want my parents to be praying that I know Christ more intimately each day, that my marriage would be strong.”

Hands in prayerYou took the time to read the article – (which probably took you about 60 seconds).  Now take the time to put it into action.  Go back through the five topics, and pray for your children.  If you don’t know what they are facing in these areas, then make a point to ask them.

Let your emerging adults know you are praying for them.  They can refuse your help, ignore your wishes, and resent your advice, but they cannot stop your prayers.

Prayer is always an option.  And just as a reminder, it is the BEST one.