Today is episode #383 and I’m back with my bride, Teri. We’re actually not recording from the studio, but from our house amidst a blizzard. Please forgive the lesser audio quality. In shows 373 and 374, we played clips from Zig on marriage and then had some candid discussion. Today we listen to Zig talk on parenting, but what we cover is just as relevant for any of us…personally.

So, parenting. This was a primary focal point of Zig Ziglar along with sales, business success, faith and marriage. But probably the least popular. Why? Well, the topic of “parenting” just isn’t a big seller. We are selfish people and are far more likely to invest time and money into information that serves us directly, at face value.

Now, if you raise kids well, it DOES make your life better! I know a lot of parents who are flat-out miserable or, at best, merely endure and tolerate the demands and behavior of their kids.

But today Zig is talking to us from the topic of his book, Raising Positive Kids in a Negative World, and it is primarily focused at growing our kids up well. As Andy Andrews said in show 351 with us, “Our job is not to raise great kids, it’s to raise great adults.” And, I’d offer, if that is NOT our goal, why did we have kids? As pets?

So to Zig’s talk here. Folks, the book was written in 1989, revised in 2002. Today I’m talking to you from 2016. Zig leads off asking if it’s tougher to raise kids now than when he was a kid. So as we are talking a couple decades even further…well, it’s even more different. And that is what Teri and I are going to discuss. We have seven kids, ages 6 to almost 21. We’ve been parenting a long time and we’re still in the thick of it.

One last thing before you listen. I hear people comment once in a while that Zig’s talks are outdated. The context of his talks absolutely can be, as you may hear him talk from 25 years ago or more. But the points of them are absolute. It’s why his material is so in demand today. I just ask you to not get derailed if he talks in context of the time period that is past. I read my Bible this morning and reeled from its truth, even though, unlike its authors, I don’t have a long beard, dress in robes, and fish or herd goats for a living.

Plus, my bride Teri, who will be joining us, is heavily involved in developmental research with children and is going to bring us content from some recent studies!

Here then, is Zig on parenting. Then I’d ask you to join Teri and me as we break it down:

I think the unsaid expectation from Zig is that we desire for our kids to have good character and integrity. That we care whether they ultimately add value to the world and others instead of landing in prison. Any parent would say the former, but if we aren’t leading them to that result intentionally, then we’re letting other influences lead them…wherever.

If we take off from what Zig shared, my thoughts are that the two main enemies to parenting these days are:

  1. 1. Massive media influence, more than ever
  2. 2. Less time intentionally teaching and training our kids. Not that it’s all lack of caring about them, but lack of time as much as anything

So, Teri, lets hit the biggie. Media. And, folks, I know we’re going to show a very countercultural viewpoint. For the record, we don’t have seven kids because of some religious perspective. It’s solely because Teri just can’t keep her hands off me. Second, we aren’t what you’d call a conservative family overall. If you want a view of our lives for context, go check out the pictures on Facebook at agentkmiller or instagram at agentkevinmiller. We have a Christian radio station that promotes being “safe for the whole family.” I don’t like that term. By its standard, our home would not be safe for the whole family. We are very raw and real.

With that said…media. Zig talks much about the input we allow in our own ears and eyes. Here his focus is our kids.

So, Teri, I’m going to lead off by hitting a blatant topic. You speak to MOPS groups and have been involved with many moms. Would you just tell them to keep their kids in a tight bubble?

>> Hear Teri’s answer on the program

Feels like the norm is, we just let our kids go with the flow and scoff at the control…”come on, it’s the real world…”

We saw behavior changes in our kids from really harmless little animated shows. But the influence of brattiness that we saw between our first two kids, we ended it.

>> Listen to the show

Aside from negative influences, what media keeps kids from…interacting… imagination…physical activity.

>> Listen to the show

Well-adjusted? They could be well-adjusted to dealing with abuse. I want my kids to be healthy, valuable to others, and as fully functioning in all capacities as possible.

What do kids want? Sugar and media. Why do we just give them what they want before they are mature enough to self-direct?

>> Hear Teri’s comments on the program

What do we abnegate to school? To teachers who we have no idea about. We don’t know their morals, ethics, values and intent. This is not to criticize teachers! There are life-giving teachers! But not all! I know. I suffered at the hands of life-taking teachers as I grew up in Kentucky, which was ranked 49 out of all the States in America in the 1980s.

We, Teri, homeschooled for…what? How many years?

We don’t now, but pay to have kids in a private Christian school. My partner, amazing man, has his kids in public school, though in a small town of 3,000 homes where it’s pretty much Mayberry. You may be listening in a huge city…Chicago, LA, the Bronx, Nairobi, London, Istanbul, this show pretty much covers the globe. Actually, I checked. There are 198 countries in the world. The Ziglar Show has listeners in every country, right down to Guinea, where we’ve had exactly 98. Which might mean one person who has listened to 98 shows. Thank you, whoever you are in Guinea!

The point, you may not be able to fully stop what your kids are exposed to. I can’t, either. But we can contain as much as possible. But most important, WE can talk to them. Be real. Admit what they are exposed to and talk about the truth.

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