Watch the video above and talk about it with a group or mentor. Learn more

This is part 1 of the Parenting 101 series.

Learn the three principles that guide the method behind our tools that will help you parent.

A lot of parents would like to spend more time engaging with their kids in conversation, but they don’t feel equipped. “FLEX” parenting is all about using the resources at pursueGOD.org and FLEXTALK.org to help talk to your kids about the stuff that matters. Basically, FLEX means finding a topic, learning about it, and exploring it together. There are three core principles behind the FLEX method you need to know.

[Related: How to Use PG Resources with Your Kids]

#1 The Discovery Principle

The discovery principle is all about how we learn to accept and believe truths through discovery over and against, say, a lecture. When we learn things for ourselves rather than out of obligation (lecturing) we truly learn and believe those things.

For parenting kids, this means walking alongside them as they come to understand biblical truths and life truths. If all you do is yell at your kids or lecture them, they might obey, but that’s about as far as it goes. The way your kids learn God’s truth matters, and by talking through important topics with them, you can learn more about your kids, too.

#2 The Ownership Principle

Ownership is about how we choose to “own” or take responsibility for the things we say we believe. You could just tell your kids what to do and seek to control them, but in the long-run, they will ultimately rebel because they have not truly owned the values you’ve taught them. They simply obeyed to avoid punishment, and the moment their disobedience will no longer lead to punishment, they will do what they really wanted to all along.

#3 The Empowerment Principle

Empowerment is about helping others help others, and it starts with modeling. If you show your kids how to have conversations about important stuff and show them the value of growing in relationship and insight through conversation by making this a part of your home life, then when the time comes, they too will be able to help empower others.

When we take ownership of our beliefs, it becomes impossible for the world and false beliefs to snatch us away from God.

Ephesians 4:14-15 Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.

Instead, we will grow more and more to be like Jesus Christ.

Talk About It
  1. What is your initial reaction to this topic? What jumped out at you?
  2. Would you say you have a “conversational culture” in your home? Why or why not?
  3. Would you like your family to be more engaged with one another? Explain.
  4. Explain the “discovery principle” in your own words. How do you think this could be helpful for your family?
  5. Explain the “ownership principle” in your own words. How do you think this could be helpful for your family?
  6. Explain the “empowerment principle” in your own words. How do you think this could be helpful for your family?
  7. What are some topics of discussion you think would be important to have with your kids right now? Why?
  8. What steps do you need to take to start positively changing the dynamic of your home and family?
  9. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.
Written content for this topic by Daniel Martin.