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Debriefing Your Childhood

Joe Lynch, a friend and coworker, decided to debrief his daughter Kerrey on her childhood. It's a conversation I recommend parents have with each of their children as they move out of the home. I asked Joe if he and Kerrey would be open to sharing their story on this blog. They said &q…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

Joe Lynch, a friend and coworker, decided to debrief his daughter Kerrey on her childhood. It's a conversation I recommend parents have with each of their children as they move out of the home.

I asked Joe if he and Kerrey would be open to sharing their story on this blog. They said "yes," so here's Joe:

I felt the Lord leading me to have a conversation with Kerrey about her growing up years. I called her and asked for a conversation with her so she could share her thoughts. I asked her to give serious thought to what she remembered growing up about her childhood both good and bad. And I asked her for her thoughts on my fathering, again both good and bad.

She responded with "Are you serious?" After I said that I was, she said she would love the opportunity to put this together and share with me. She said she needed some time to put into the thoughts and could we connect in a couple of weeks.

We met for dinner and when the conversation began about her thoughts, she pulled out her notes which she had put together. She began with great detail about specific things that had happened and her feelings on how she and I had related.

She gave examples of times I had supported her and times I had not. She even was specific on times she was surprised that I had supported her! She went down her well-thought-out notes – many of which I did not remember the details of or the actual event itself.

After tears and laughter, she asked me if her thoughts and feelings had met my expectations. I told her I had made the decision to not have any expectations but to just listen to her and accept whatever she said.

We had a great time of sharing! And, she thanked me for giving her this opportunity……….

This time together has meant much to both of us!

If you are a parent of a grown child, have you and your child had this kind of a debriefing conversation about your parenting? Giving him or her an opportunity like this to debrief might be the best investment you make in your relationship with them.

Comments (8)

  • This is awesome Seth, I’m going to try it with my 15 year old…. I’ll wait a few years on the 5 year old.

  • Woah, great challenge for the parents. I’ve debriefed my childhood with God and it’s been pretty awesome maybe I’d do it with my dad one day too.

  • This is a wonderful idea and a very very useful exercise every parent should take. In many ways, it has a healing effect as well.

    Sadly for me, I cant debrief it with my parents and so I am in the process of doing it with myself. At times its too painful. But, I think its worth the effort as it helps cleaning up a lot of junk within.

    Its a great idea Seth, and it shows how much the parent-child relationship is valued in your circle. God bless.

  • Recently my daughter discussed with me a childhood memory with another family member that left me surprised & unable to help her cope with it. As we shared this revelation, she told me not to worry because she gave it over to her Father who gave her peace & that gave her Freedom for her future. I realized that I needed to give it up to the Lord as well. Our God tells us to be anxious for nothing, but in everything , cast our cares on Him. And the peace of God that passes all understanding shall guard our heart & mind in the love of Christ Jesus our Lord. The choice is yours! Thank you God for your peace!

  • Dear Brother Seth:

    Greetings to you in Jesus Holy name.

    I am so much happy to see how the Lord is using you brother, Its awesome to become the useful vessel in His hands.

    My brother, I would please like to ask for your prayers for the children in our home. We have started adopting the needy and orphaned children since my 18teen and now I am 23 years, the Lord brought 32 Children into my life.

    I would please Like to ask for you to pray and help in providing some used clothes and books for the children better use.

    We look forward to fellowship with you brother.

    Thanking You

    Here is our fb http://www.facebook.com/masilamani.g

    email : [email protected]


    Bobby Masilamani
    4-19 Appanaveedu
    West Godavari, AP 521105, INDIA

    Phone : 9849773237

    Thank you

  • I love this! We did it with our son also after we got back from Kenya. Nice to have kids at an age where these conversations can be had. I highly recommend.

  • I had a talk with my girl….so glad i did. It allowed me to see what a compassionate, wise woman she has become. I came into the faith later in life and cringe at the mistakes i made. I was worried about what she might say. I braced myself for the worst. As it turned out she was loving and encouraging and managed to put a positive filter on the experiences i saw as harmful. I came out of the conversation feeling affirmed and loved and accepted. I highly recommend you enter into this conversation. You will be blessed

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.

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