Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Tuesday Topic: MK expectations

Anonymous reader question: Have you ever dealt with extra pressure being put on your kids, just because they're MKs? What did you do? Talk to the person who was interacting with them? Or with your kids? Or what? Really, after quite a while of MK parenting, we've just come up against this for the first time, and I didn't know what to do. I don't like to see missionaries put on a pedestal, and it was even harder when it was our kids who weren't reaching the standards expected of them!

(If you have a “Tuesday Topic” question, please email it to me at fylliska@gmail.com. Provide your blog address if you would like to be linked to, or specify if you would like to remain anonymous. Thanks!)


  1. absolutely yes. my kids run into this all of the time... sadly enough, my husband and i are often the biggest part of the problem, and don't see it until we can view it in hindsight. and it happens in our home country (e.g. reporting to supporters) as well as in the locales where we serv (e.g. expecting our children to minister in ways they'd never ask local children).

    ...i say that because i've found that my kids are pretty wonderful people. in their tck-ness (where adaptability and comfort at meeting new people and being in new situations - especially for the short term) - i.e. much of home assignment times - are spent traveling and reconnecting with ministry partners, friends and families and our family is continually on display. when hubs and i are feeling that pressure - to be that "good misso family," we set sometimes impossibly high expectations and others will gauge their expectations for our children off of that. so my first step is always to look at what we, as parents may or may not have done and see if we need to change first to relieve the pressure on our children.

    then, we become the safe place - encouraging our kids to come to us, talk to us and we listen - whether they are preschoolers or teens - and try to help our kids discover how they want to handle the pressure with the other person. sometimes, they want to take care of it themselves and we talk through it. we do encourage that, at least the first time, as well.

    when that doesn't work, we will either go with them or go on their behalf and talk to the other person.

    this has so far always worked - but if at some point it wouldn't, i think we'd probably just remove our child from the situation...

  2. I laugh at that old saying that the pastor's kids are always the naughtiests!

    I think Richelle is right, that sometimes our expectations of our kids is unrealistic. I have to confess that often, I'm upset when my kids behave badly because I'm worried about what people will think of ME. (selfish motives) So I have to evaluate why things are bothering me.

    Also it's good to remember that travelling from place to place and meeting new people (furlough!) doesn't exactly bring out the best in anyone. I'm not at my best during those times and neither are my kids. Maybe it's good to explain that to people too...