Friday, January 26, 2007
The Story Behind the Book: Q & A with Tricia Goyer
Q: What was the impetus to write Generation NeXt Parenting?
A: It all started when I was at a parenting meeting last year. Most of the other mothers were older than me. (Sigh, I had my first son when I was 17 in 1989. Most mothers with the same age kids are ten years older.) Anyway, they were talking about "all the young mothers these days . . . they want everything for their kids and don't know when to stop." They went on and on, but I can't remember it all. I just remember thinking, That's me they're talking about, and they don't get me at all!
When I got home, I started looking up everything I could find about how different generations raise kids differently. Amazingly, I found there are many, many differences. So I talked to my agent, and mentioned I wanted to write a book specifically for Gen X parents. I wanted to talk about our unique needs--not as an expert, but as one of them. I wrote up a proposal in a few weeks time. A few months later I had a contract offer. I felt God's hand all over me as I wrote (fast). And, it's a miracle, but about 14 months after I got the idea the book is on store shelves. Is that God, or what?!
Q: Why Gen X?
A: More than 44 million Generation Xers live in the United States today. This group is bound to have a strong influence, not only on society as a whole, but more specifically, on the next generation—our children. There’s no denying that the world is a vastly different place from the one we grew up in, and we are faced with a whole new set of parenting challenges our predecessors could never have fathomed. But Gen Xers have proven we have the passion and drive to excel in childrearing. This book is to help with that.
Q: How are Gen Xers different?
A: As a Gen Xer who graduated from high school in 1989, the way I parent is unique from the generations who’ve gone before me. Personally, I want to do it all—find God’s purpose in my life, impact my community, support my spouse, and provide my children every opportunity available to them. My generation is serious about parenting—just look at all we expect from our children and ourselves!
Q: If you could tell people in two sentences what this book is about, what would you say?
A: This book offers solutions to our unique questions and confirms that we can ‘parent right’—even if it looks nothing like the way our own parents did it. More importantly, this book focuses on seeking God’s Word and wisdom for answers to growing a new generation of God-seekers.
Q: Can you give me a hint of why Gen Xers raise their kids differently than their parents?
A: There are plenty of reasons Gen Xers turned out the way we did. Here are some biggies:
- More of our moms entered the workforce.
- More of our parents divorced.
- Either we were sexually promiscuous or we had friends who were.
- When it came to drugs and alcohol, it was pretty easy to get our hands on them.
- We don’t remember prayer as a part of school.
- We do remember every episode of The Cosby Show, and oftentimes we related more to that family than our own.
- We remember the first video we saw on MTV, and musicians like Bruce Springsteen, Tiffany, and Billy Idol were our, uh, idols.
Of course, I could go on, but this book wasn’t written just to reminisce about “the good ol’ days.” It’s about understanding who we are as a generation and why we became the parents we are today. More than that, it’s about taking our good qualities…and discovering how to parent better, for God’s glory.
Q: If you could pray one prayer for Gen X parents, what would it be?
A: Ephesians 1:16–21, NEW LIVING TRANSLATION
“I pray for you constantly, asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you might grow in your knowledge of God. I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the wonderful future he has promised to those he called. I want you to realize what a rich and glorious inheritance he has given to his people.
“I pray that you will begin to understand the incredible greatness of his power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else in the world or in the world to come. Amen.”