Parenting with Dr. Tim Elmore
November 14, 2023
NewPointe was privileged to have Dr. Tim Elmore with us a couple of weeks ago for a parenting conference. Dr. Elmore is the Founder and CEO of Growing Leaders, a non-profit organization created to develop emerging leaders. He and his team equip secondary school students, college students, and recent graduates from thousands of campuses across the U.S. and around the world to think and act like authentic leaders.
Tim's expertise on the emerging generation and generational diversity has led to wide media coverage. He is the author of more than 30 books, including Generation Z: Unfiltered, the best-selling Generation Y, Marching Off the Map, and Habitudes: Images That Form Leadership Habits and Attitudes.
His expertise in our new generations combined with his firsthand experience as a parent and coach of young generations and their leaders makes what he has to share extremely valuable. I don’t know a parent who still has children in the house or grandparents who are engaged with their grandchildren who are not concerned and confused about where their much-loved child is in dealing with all the things that are happening in life. We’re confused and concerned about our responsibility and how to help them. We are also concerned as a church for our new generation. We have great faith that God has given them great potential and we want to help them reach it.
Dr. Elmore was very helpful in helping us understand and giving us specific things to pray about.
I just wanted to focus on a couple of things here:
He told us Gen Z (11-26 years old) have a high need for agency. They don’t simply want to be told what to do. They want to participate in deciding what happens to them. That’s easy to understand. No one wants to be condescended to, and in an age where the consequences for choices are so high, they want to be a part of the process. This is very instructive to me, and I am asking God to help me and help us here at NewPointe value and seek their input.
They have a great degree of high anxiety. I’m not sure it’s ever been as easy as we picture it to be young and growing up. When we get a little distance to it, we look at it through rose-colored glasses most of the time. But however easy or difficult it was for you, nothing can quite compare to the world we have today. Family issues are bigger than ever. Many of them have parents who struggle with addictions, and their family relationships have deep issues. The future of their work or job is uncertain. College seems to be a more and more distant possibility for many. All of them in school lost precious hours of learning and socialization during COVID and they hear with regularity and witness themselves that things will never be quite the same again.
They wrestle with mental health issues more than ever. As Gen Z began, cognitive behavioral scientist Dr. Robert Leahy said that the average U.S. teen experiences the same level of anxiety as a psychiatric patient did in the 1950s. Think about it now. Think how your anxiety has peaked, the stress you feel. When most of us were growing up, there were places and people of security and safety for us somewhere. But many of our young people have [parents who are strung out and stressed, and the places that once were secure (school, churches, home, etc.) have become places for fear and stress.
They are aware of national and global tragedies younger than ever. There are new wars, diseases, and political conflicts all the time. They are unendingly faced with it in the news and social media. Today kids are exposed to news of bombings, tragedies, trauma, and terrorist attacks as young as they can see, hear, and read. They may not understand the reasons for it—but, hey, do we as adults? The lack of compassion and caring is on full display 24-7-365.
Does this give you anything for your prayer list? It surely does for me. I want to be a hope-giver, a light-shiner, a hand-up for these young people and their families.
Together we can do it, NewPointe!