Rebecca Gregoire Lindenbach's Amazon best selling book, "Why I Didn't Rebel," was once merely a blog post a couple years ago. Her mother solicited Rebecca's input for her mommy blog and the response from eager parents was overwhelming. Parents wanted to know if they could raise a kid through the teenage years without, (whisper it) "rebellion."
In my opinion, the answer to that question is not a simple yes or no. Yes, you might be able to arrange your parenting choices to help limit the negatives of a disobeying kid. But this kid, Rebecca, now in her 20's, was a special teenager. She took her entire church youth group leadership to task because she thought they were getting away from God! That's rare courage and integrity for a child.
Rebecca writes a lot about what she thinks rebelliousness is and what it is not. I love that she even makes sure to separate a kid who sometimes "makes waves" from being a rebellious teen, which is true. To her, being rebellious is when you get away from what's right for you and begin to separate from God.
Lindenbach credits her parents with creating the special environment that caused her "non-rebellion." The example they set is impressive, but Rebecca is even more "not your average child" obviously. Something tells me we'd also be okay with a Rebecca Lindenbach in our families.
There are some very cool things us parents can learn from Rebecca and her parents. Like when young Rebecca realized she should probably have a curfew for late nights out with her friends, she asked her mom and dad for a time. They simply asked her to make the time up, but she needed to explain and defend why it should be that way realistically. With that small thing they displayed her how she had an interest in her own childhood as a human being - maybe you'd call it the illusion of being a "part owner."
Twenty-something Lindenbach also interviewed 25 young adults - half who had rebelled as kids and half who did not. This is some of the best evidence to learn from!
I was impressed at what she tells the reader about those interviews. The MOST IMPORTANT thing was what most of the kids who rebelled and got into trouble admitted to Rebecca:
They said the biggest regret of their childhood was not having a closer relationship with their parents.
How about that? A closer relationship, not better friends or wishing they had more fun as a family - a closer relationship. That truly sums up successful parenting the best.
Even those who went the wrong way, probably thinking they were finding independence, ended up craving it. But with the gift of time they said more than anything they wished they would have had a closer relationship with Mom and Dad.
Research says kids today face much more pressure and stress, which causes anxiety. It also shows that kids are able to size situations up faster than other generations.