Do you remember when Netflix started streaming video?
That was back in the days when my mom still had our family calendar on her Palm Pilot.
My family was getting DVD’s by mail through Netflix and then they came out with this silly idea – they were going to stream video on your computer.
Back then it seemed ridiculous, who wants to sit at their computer and watch a movie when I could watch a DVD on my TV?
Rental shops like Blockbuster and Hollywood Video were all the rage.
You know the rest of that story, Netflix now dominates content streaming – you might even be reading this as you think about which show you’re going to watch on Netflix tonight.
But, before you close this tab and go watch your show I have a point to make.
Many parents are Blockbuster parents, in a Netflix world.
Blockbuster’s model became irrelevant, while Netflix reinvented itself.
Many parents are so invested in how things were that they are becoming irrelevant to how things are and they risk bankrupting their relational influence in the life of their child.
As a Kid’s Pastor, I am partnering with parents, and I run the same risks. I have to recognize that how you communicate with preschoolers is different than how you communicate with elementary-aged kids.
We become irrelevant when we offer answers to yesterday’s problems and communicate in yesterday’s language.
But, here’s the beautiful thing. Netflix use to be primarily a DVD based business and they shifted to content streaming. They changed, and so can we.
You and I can spend time getting to know who kids are today.
We have to listen to who they are before we speak to situation. Proverbs 18:13 puts it this way, “If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame.”
If I don’t regularly ask kids what they are interested in and how they are doing, I’m going to miss what it is that kids today are about, both culturally and individually. I ask the same kids the same questions because they are developing, and their answers are changing.
As I have mentioned in the past, there are no perfect parents, but you and I can get to know kids in the midst of our imperfection.
What are you doing to get to know who your kids are today?
My challenge is for you to schedule time this week to enter into your child’s world and invest time getting to know them.
Maybe it’s time for you to take a vacation day at work and have your kids ditch school for the day?
Maybe it’s time to clear your schedule for this weekend and just spend it with your kids doing things your kids are interested in?
Maybe it’s time? Because if we don’t change how we communicate, as kids grow older, we risk losing our relevance in their eyes & the relational influence over their lives.