Launching Rockets was born from Rob Bell's many talks on spirituality and intentional living. He remarks that he would frequently receive parenting questions to which he would respond, "My kids are still at home, so I'm the last person who should be giving parenting advice. That said, I do have some observations."
In this brilliant audio file, Rob Bell shares his 17 observations about parenting, and then his wife Kristen Bell shares her reflections on them. Both agree that enjoying our children is the most valuable gift we can give them. As Kristen Bell explains, joy is the antidote for anxiety, and our worries for our children can become a toxic force in our homes. They also emphasize the importance of listening to our kids more than we talk. They explore the importance of establishing a "lightness" in our view of parenting. They agree that parenting is a heavy responsibility but one that must be met with humor, humility, and, most of all, joy.
What I'm Learning
My favorite part about Launching Rockets is the gentleness of Bell's insights. He explains how being overprotective and overly serious rob us of the joy of parenting, but he does so in a way that feels both kind and clever. I get the sense that Rob and Kristen have been in the trenches, and they speak from experience and decades of intentional parenting. They've learned not to take themselves too seriously, and they know that parenting effectively means placing our egos aside for the good of our children.
“Work out whatever you need to work out so that your kid doesn’t have to work out everything you didn’t work out in addition to all the things your kids is going to have to work out.”
“Sometimes your anxiety about your kid is your anxiety about you. Start there.”
“The greatest gift you can give your kid is to be fully alive yourself.”
“You’re always teaching your kids, and sometimes you use words.”
"It's the duty of a parent to teach their child how to ask questions…you are teaching your kid about their voice. You’re teaching them that their voice matters…you’re teaching them at the most fundamental level that the world is interesting. You are teaching them that they are here to engage actively with the world, not to passively spectate.”
“When your kid confides in you, they’re trying to tell you something, but they’re also asking you a question. Their question is this: ‘can you be trusted to hold this with me and not make a mess of this thing?’ ”
"Your kid has no idea how much power they have to break your heart, and they never will...until they have kids."
"You give your kid everything you can, and you also, at an early age, start letting them go."
"You have to extend yourself all kinds of grace because no one has ever launched this rocket before."
You can download Launching Rockets here.