the home field advantage

My wife is not the same woman that I married.

On the day that we said “I do” my wife did not like pizza. Pizza. How could anyone not like pizza? But I was blindly “in love” and decided to move forward anyway. She eventually came around. I’m pretty sure that my role as a youth pastor played a role in her conversion to “pizza eater.” You eat a lot of pizza in student ministry. A lot.

There was another change however, that I still can’t get used to…she became a sports fan. A big sports fan. She did not just become a fan of the big three (football, baseball & basketball). It’s almost all sports. I can’t tell you how many times I have walked into the room and she’s watching golf, tennis, soccer or hockey. Yep, my wife watches hockey. Oh and her latest fascination, American Ninja Warrior. I kid you not. Who is this mysterious woman? None of this came out in pre-marital counseling.

There is a phrase in football called “the 12th man.” If you are not aware, it is a term that refers to having an extra player in the form of the 85,000 screaming fans that have assembled in the stadium. It works like this: when a team travels to play you on your “home field,” the noise from your fans will disrupt the ability of the opposing team to communicate with each other, thus giving you an advantage and a convincing victory. Every time (sarcasm).

In parenting, it is crucial for us to create a “home field advantage” with our kids. It is the foundation of creating a great normal. So start rounding up 85,000 of your closest friends to come live in your house and scream at your kids. Of course, I’m being silly. It would make a great video though. Might go viral. I believe that creating a home field advantage significantly increases the potential that your kids are going to turn out awesome. In a big way. Where your parenting friends will say “Your kids have turned out so awesomely.”

And that brings us to that little green triangle in the Normal Parenting logo. That green triangle represents this home field advantage that we need with our kids. Here’s where I’m coming from:

Last time I mentioned that when it came to teenagers who were able to stand in the face of the influence of their friends, they seemed to have two things in common: a love for God and a love for family. Here’s the thing, you can’t make your kids love God. You can’t force your kids to love family. Well, I guess you could try but I’m betting it wouldn’t turn out so well. Guaranteed, somewhere in this great country of ours, there is a parent that has said something similar to “you WILL love your family or you’ll sit in that chair until you do.” Flunked parenting school.

It’s all about discovering a way for your children to become immensely intrigued with God and fascinated with family. One more time, intrigued with God and fascinated with family. It represents doing everything possible to point your kids in those directions.

I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity to share the details of that with you. We’ll break it down piece by piece. And then, in a couple of weeks, we will begin posting ways to create a great normal for your kids. One at a time. The details. They are all based around the green triangle.

So why is it green? The color green has nothing to do with anything. It’s just my favorite color. I feel like we just bonded.

Next time: Tiptoe at the edge of expectation.


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