Sept. 29, 2021

Teaching Your Kids to Love God and Serve Others | Ask the Alessis Q&A | S2 E3

The Alessis are answering your parenting questions in this episode, including some timely advice on how to get your family excited about serving God and helping others.


Our TFB listeners have some great questions, and Steve and Mary Alessi are answering them in today’s Q&A episode. This week's questions focused on serving and how we can help our families embrace the blessing of giving back; how to teach teenagers to embrace a God-centered lifestyle, and how to correct our children the right way. 

You can ask your own questions to the Alessis simply by tapping the blue “Ask The Alessis” button on our homepage! 

Key Takeaways from This Q&A Episode on Parenting 

  • The best way to build self-esteem in our kids is not through random compliments...it’s through recognizing their legitimate accomplishments. 
  • There are plenty of opportunities to teach our children to serve, but one of the best places to learn the value of service is the local church. 
  • Teenagers need strong guidance and to be surrounded by Godly influences in order to avoid making the wrong choices. 
  • Parents must be strong leaders and avoid the temptation to shrink back from correcting their children and disciplining them. 

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Transcript

Steve Alessi  0:09  
Mary and I want to welcome you to another episode of our family business podcast. And today we're going to be answering some of the questions that our listeners are asking. And we want to encourage you to ask questions, especially as it pertains to anything family, anything and everything family. Feel free to ask us or of course, anything that may be dealing with working with family members, whether it's on... in the ministry, or whether it's even at home. So you can do that at Alessi family business.com. And we'll be glad to go ahead and answer some of those questions there. Well, today, Mary, we're going to be dealing with a couple. How you doing, by the way?

Mary Alessi  0:53  
doing good. And I have to say I love, I love the Q&A format. 

Steve Alessi  0:57  
Really.

Mary Alessi  0:57  
I do. I like it.

Steve Alessi  0:58  
Well, that's what we do at home. 

Mary Alessi  1:00  
I know.

Steve Alessi  1:00  
 The whole purpose of the podcast was, we realized we were really throwing some truth nuggets out just as we communicate at home on the back porch or in the living room, having our coffee getting up in the morning, trying to get going, we'd have these conversations. The kids would get in on them...

Mary Alessi  1:16  
Because we'd get thrown questions all the time.

Steve Alessi  1:18  
 Yep. And then we would have these things and we're like, man, somebody needs to hear this. 

Mary Alessi  1:23  
Yeah.

Steve Alessi  1:24  
 And that's what this is about. So here's one of the questions. People were interested in one question in particular, they want to do some kind of service with their family. 

Okay.

So the question was, as a community outreach, what could they do as a family? And even inside the church? How could they get their family to serve together in the church, and even outside of the church in the community?

Mary Alessi  1:52  
First of all, I think the question is, is so precious, because to even want that to have that vision for your family is so precious and sweet, and it will bring fruit to your family, if you if you pursue that. I think it's takes us back to...we were talking earlier about when our kids were smaller, and we would go downtown to the rescue mission. And we would always donate Christmas gifts. And we would do that as a family. There was several outreaches like that, that we did. I remember the kids would go and they sang it a few because they all sang, obviously. And they would sing it a few nursing homes, or retirement centers. And they just felt like it made them feel so good to do that. And as mom and dad, we would purpose that in their lives. So anything like that, that you could do as a family where you're giving back, whether it be within the church, and and our church always has service days, get the kids out there. Do it together. But it's also a great opportunity not just to serve. But it's a great opportunity to teach your kids why we serve. So when the family can jump in the car with the T-shirts on and have an agenda and a plan for the day that we as a family, we're going to serve the Lord. But we're going to give back. This is what we do as a family. This is what the Alessis is do. This is what the Riveras do. This is what the Romans do, you know, this is what we do, we go and we give back once a year, twice a year. Wow, you give your family the greatest gift when you teach them young how to give out of the cell, the nucleus that is your family.

Steve Alessi  3:21  
 I think that's where community comes into play. We did it with Miami Rescue Mission. And the reason we did it to the Miami Rescue Mission, which is an outreach to the formerly homeless here in Miami - we would do it at Christmas, we'd go and sing and either I'd speak or pray or Chris could pray or speak - we would do it because we knew the director who was Tony Villasuso, a member of our church, and we had a relationship where then we could go in, which I believe everything needs to come down to relationships. So it's always good to know the people that you're going to be giving to. If you're going to go serve in the community, know who they are, know that your efforts are good and, and that relationship that you can have with the leadership is going to be good for your kids to see. Because they see it's real. It's, it's valuable.

Mary Alessi  4:14  
 Yeah. 

Steve Alessi  4:14  
These are real lives. This isn't just doing it. Because you want to post something on your social media page and look like you really have a heart for people. But really do it because you're building a relationship with them. I think that's huge. At the same time now those may be things that happen once a year, twice a year, whatever that may look like. But the reason the church community is so important is because you teach your kids...

Mary Alessi  4:39  
Yeah...

Steve Alessi  4:40  
..how to do it every time they come to church. 

Mary Alessi  4:42  
That's right. 

Steve Alessi  4:42  
So your kids can serve in every area of our ministry right now because from the children's ministry, to the youth ministry, the young adults and the adults, there's - the only way we can do what we do as a church as a business is the volunteer base that makes up our organization.

Mary Alessi  5:01  
Right. 

Steve Alessi  5:01  
 I don't, we don't think anybody should ever come to this place and just sit.

Mary Alessi  5:06  
No.

Steve Alessi  5:07  
...and receive.

Mary Alessi  5:08  
or alone without their family. 

Steve Alessi  5:09  
They just don't come in sit to receive, right? They come to sit but also serve.

Mary Alessi  5:14  
 That's right. 

Steve Alessi  5:15  
It's the whole principle of if you give, okay, or better yet if you receive and never give you grow fat. 

Mary Alessi  5:24  
Yeah. 

Steve Alessi  5:25  
If you give and never receive you grow faint. 

Mary Alessi  5:28  
Yeah. 

Steve Alessi  5:28  
But when you're giving, and you're receiving, you're faithful.

Mary Alessi  5:32  
 That's right.

Steve Alessi  5:32  
 So what you're teaching kids at a young age is listen, we just don't go to church to receive. 

Right. 

We don't go to do it. No, we go to give as well. And one way that we're able to give is by serving, so we serve in the different areas they can serve. Like I mentioned all those different areas of ministry.

Mary Alessi  5:54  
Well, I will get specific for you because right here in our studio, we have Ashlie who, her and -  Ashlie is on full time, but her sister is one of our amazing volunteers. We couldn't do what we do without Natalie. Her mom and dad are a big part of our ministry and serve as well. You have Allen Paul, who everybody in his family is a part of our ministry. His son is also on staff, his daughter is a part of our youth photography team, does it all they've always come together, his wife was over our hospitality. Jon and Jackie are here, their kids serve. I mean, we're already watching it as those two are getting older, you see the way that's made for them, and building confidence in them by serving the local church. Not just like you said, once a year, that's wonderful that you could do that. But that weekly service is giving your kids vision and mission. But then they're also finding what they're good at. You know, the old school way of church was, you would bring your seven or eight year old son to church, and he was playing the drums on the table at home, and he'd become the drummer of the church. You'd buy him a guitar, and he'd become the guitar of the guitar player, the keyboard player, we got away from that. But the truth is, where some of the greatest gifts are developed are in the local church, because where else are you going to go and be a part of a community that every single week, there is an opportunity for you to go and develop your gift? Nowhere that that's free.

Steve Alessi  7:13  
 No, no, no place, that's free.

Mary Alessi  7:14  
 No place, you have to pay for it. The local church is such an incredible asset for all of your family, to put your efforts in and to sow into.

Steve Alessi  7:22  
What does that do for the family when a family teaches the next generation, the children, even young adults to give back? What is it really teaching them?

Mary Alessi  7:32  
I think it's teaching them that, that... that submission and faithfulness both yield tremendous rewards in their life. It gives them lots of confidence. They're confident in who they are. They're confident in who God is in them. And really, the tangibles are the confident side where they're learning how to pick up a skill or even social skills, being in the church. Those are the tangible things, the relational skills, the lifelong friendships that they they can make. That's the tangible. The intangible that things maybe we don't see is that root system, that connectivity those relationships with God, with one another, and then with the world, they're really raised in kind of an incubator in a lot of ways. And it develops character, and long suffering, because in a church situation, you stay friends with those people for a long, long time. So there's just a lot that it affords your family.

Steve Alessi  8:28  
And we are pastors. So a lot of what we say is about this church, getting involved in the church. But for people that aren't regularly in church, that's not their, you know, their their thing, it's, they're in school, and maybe they send their kids to private school, and then their kids go home and they're hanging out with, you know, at the park playing sports or something there. They could be encouraged as well to get the family in some service environment. 

Mary Alessi  8:59  
Right.

Steve Alessi  8:59  
 I think what it does for the younger generation, I think it helps the younger generation realize that life's not just about them. 

Absolutely.

 We become such a, you know, central focused on the person. We, we speak to the kids about, they've got to do better, we work with them on their homework. We... we work with them in the way they interact with their family, their kids, their brothers or sisters, with the uncles and aunts. We make it so much about them, what they got to do, what they got to do. It's great to then put them in an environment where they can now go and do something for others. Get their eyes off of themselves by serving and it's a beautiful way for the family to all get on the same page. And something else I think is important, you know, self esteem. I think it's built in a person more by their accomplishments than by the compliments that people want to give 'em.

Mary Alessi  10:00  
 I agree. 

Steve Alessi  10:01  
We we've somehow given everybody an award these days, just for showing up. 

Yeah. 

And we tell them how great they are. Just because they're there. Yeah, it's like, if I can praise them enough, oh, they're gonna feel good about themselves. That may work in some environments. But I think the better angle is to come out of, out of it from an accomplishment library. Let's see what they've done by based on merit. What have they been able to do? Now, if we go out and we serve in church, or we serve in the community? Hey, it's nice as a family then to jump in the car and run over to Shake Shack. 

Mary Alessi  10:39  
Right. 

Steve Alessi  10:40  
And share a burger together. Why? Because we just did something for someone else, to help them, encourage them make their life better. Now we're able to celebrate what we've done. But just heaping all these praise on some of our young people today and in the family is not helping them if they're not being motivated to turn around and do something for someone else. So this particular question came because it seems like the family wants to show their kids the right way to go. And we know from a biblical perspective, the Word says that when you train up a child in the way they should go, they'll never depart from it. This is a family member who's saying, I want to show my kids the right way to live. 

Mary Alessi  11:25  
That's right. 

Steve Alessi  11:26  
And I think it's great that they see the right way to live includes serving other people.

Mary Alessi  11:34  
The whole family serving other people. Have you heard the news this week that I think it's Harry and Megan Markel? Is it Harry and Megan Henry, Megan, whatever. They actually received an award, this is to your point. They actually received an award. Are you ready for this for not having more than two children. This is the culture we live in right now. They actually got an award for saying we wanted three or four children, but we decided we're only going to have two, as if somehow that is some great accomplishment. And that is what this generation...

Steve Alessi  12:10  
That award was given by somebody who doesn't have any children.

Mary Alessi  12:13  
Hands down. You're correct about that. That has to be true. 

Steve Alessi  12:17  
Yeah.

Mary Alessi  12:17  
 They don't understand the blessing children are to your family. And when

Steve Alessi  12:23  
That's a very lonely person when they get old. 

Mary Alessi  12:26  
Wow. That's like lacking vision of what the children - The Bible says children are a blessing. They're your heritage. But part of it is because when a family doesn't have vision, for them, it does seem like total chaos.

Steve Alessi  12:37  
 Yeah. 

Mary Alessi  12:38  
Which is why the local church was God's design, for us to be with our families, in community with other families. And so much has developed in that that is so good, not only for us, but when you do teach, teach your children to do exactly what we're speaking about, the whole culture changes. The society's better, because it strengthens that structure of family and giving back because it starts at home. And isn't it true? It always starts at home?

Steve Alessi  13:06  
 Oh, gosh, oh, yes. Oh, hey, the good and the bad always starts at home. Oh, my gosh. 

Mary Alessi  13:13  
Always.

Steve Alessi  13:13  
 Okay, so this was a great question. And I hope we've helped somebody. Here's another question. Now we're going to take this thing up from children to teenagers 

Mary Alessi  13:21  
I don't want to talk about teenagers. 

Steve Alessi  13:22  
Oh my goodness. 

Mary Alessi  13:23  
I don't want to talk about...

Steve Alessi  13:25  
Here's the question that was asked, Why do teenagers refuse to accept that God is everything? 

Wow. 

I'm gonna let you answer that.

 Give me a minute. I got to breathe a little bit - teenagers. Well, first of all I am, I'm pretty aggressive when it comes to teenagers. I love teenagers. I don't... I want them to like me. Because I want to feel like I can influence them. Because if they don't feel like they like you, they will shut you down. And I don't want to be just a parental figure in their lives. But the truth is, there's a fine balance with with teenagers because they think they know everything, and they know nothing. So with this question, as we were talking about this question, why would a teenager not want to believe that God is everything? The question in and of itself is, is very telling, because teenagers just want to believe what they want to believe. Because they're only driven through those teenage years by their social status. That's all that matters to them, is who their friends are and when they can be with their friends. Gaby's are our youth director, Christopher was our youth director for a long time. And something that we've learned -  you and I used to be in youth, and we serve with these for a long time, and it has not changed from the 70s to the 80s, to the 90s to the 2000s to 2020, 2021 and 22. It's all the same for teenagers, they only care about their social status. So if God's not cool with their friends, then they they want to somehow find whatever's cool with their friends, and be that. So that's what's fueling that. It's not a deeper understanding or a deeper questioning of God, it doesn't go any deeper. And this is what every parent needs to know, we've raised four teenagers. Before I said eight, because sometimes it felt like eight, but for teenagers, and I promise you, whatever is motivating them to even think those thoughts, it's from a friend. There's an outside voice that is influencing them. Either could be... today, it could be a teacher, it could just be what they're learning at school, it could be what they're picking up on these things right here, what they're learning on Tik Tok, the, the just the infiltration of this culture war, which, which is really being fed, overfed to our kids. And as a parent, the only way to combat that is to find out who that voice is, and be subtle about it. But find out who that voices and get rid of that voice. Because God is everything.

 Yeah. 

Mary Alessi  16:05  
And don't be intimidated by that. Because I know this is that intimidation season where parents do get a little intimidated by their kids. It's always in the teenage years. 

Steve Alessi  16:12  
Yeah. Well, we learned that we just, we had to pull our kids through these years, we had to get him we couldn't let them do it on their own. We had to pull them through to make sure they understood truth. You know, kids, they don't, they don't know truth. That's why they're going to school, they're going to school to learn some measure of truth, mathematics, equations. Here's what truth is, here's what it happens. When this happens and lines up with this equates to this. They're still learning how to, to live, right? Why then should we think that they're gonna all of a sudden jump on it when it comes to God?

Mary Alessi  16:51  
 No, I don't know.

Steve Alessi  16:53  
 They're not, that's not gonna be their natural inclination. And plus, there's a enemy out there of their souls that wants to rob them of any measure of truth when it comes to godliness, spirituality, righteousness. 

Mary Alessi  17:06  
That's right. 

Steve Alessi  17:07  
So the question's good, because what it shows is there is something on the part of the parent, that has to be very intention, yes, to show them that God is everything.

Right? So when society, and it's not cool for us in society, to have that relationship with God, then the parent has to be very intentional, which is why surrounding them in a church environment is so important.

Mary Alessi  17:35  
 It's a fortress.

Steve Alessi  17:36  
 I don't want to mention names, but just recently, you and I were with a couple. And they had planned a summer vacation, a nice vacation for their family. And their daughter was going to go with them, the teenage daughter. Well, it just so happens, it was at the same time as camp was taking place. 

Mary Alessi  18:00  
Youth Camp here. 

Steve Alessi  18:00  
Youth camp here at the church, right? And you and I were with that couple. And just so happens, the daughter called from Camp, another camp that she was going to that was more sports oriented. So here's what what her summer was going to look like. She went to this awesome camp for about a month, out there for all these other things. She's going to get back home, and then she's going to go on this international trip. Meanwhile, we have youth camp right in the middle of it. And we started sharing with them. And this why love these people in our church, people that are connected with us. Because we started talking to them about the importance of this one week, how this one week surrounded by other young people would that's going to help them know more, learn more experienced more with God, how important it is that they go to camp, as opposed to going on this trip. And most people would be afraid to even touch that subject matter. Because you're like, Oh, my gosh, a trip, an international trip is like a once in a lifetime opportunity. Well, the truth is no, they're going to -  they've already been and they're going to go again in the future. What's the once in a lifetime opportunity? It's really to make sure as a young person, they're having some measure of encounter...

Mary Alessi  19:23  
 Oh, yeah. 

Steve Alessi  19:23  
...with God, who is the reason they're even here because he's got a plan and a purpose for his life. When it was all said and done, to make a long story short, that couple called the child and said, Listen, we'll gonna change it up.

Mary Alessi  19:35  
It was amazing. 

Steve Alessi  19:35  
We want you to beat this youth camp. That's right. And they didn't get any kickback from the daughter at all. She's like, okay, let's talk about it. Let's do it. 

Mary Alessi  19:43  
I know.

Steve Alessi  19:43  
Which showed a hunger in her for something more spiritual beyond herself. How many times do parents mistakenly put a vacation? 

Mary Alessi  19:53  
Yep. 

Steve Alessi  19:54  
Or some weekend event? 

Mary Alessi  19:55  
Yes. 

Steve Alessi  19:56  
Some party...

Mary Alessi  19:58  
 right...

Steve Alessi  19:58  
Some late night Saturday event or a sports game on Sunday -  How many times do we see them putting that before anything Godly like church? And then we wonder why God isn't everything to them?

Mary Alessi  20:13  
 That's true.

Steve Alessi  20:14  
 If he's gonna be everything, if you want God to be everything to them, then you better make them surrounded by everything that is God's. 

Right. They really need to be saturated. Yeah. And I know that again, when you hit when some people may hear you and I speak and they think, Oh, that's so extreme. You know, there's a big world out there, I want my kids to to enjoy. Let's be clear, the enemy works with extremes, right? Because in the middle, there's a whole lot. So there's extreme of church, church, church, and some people might get the picture of, well, my kid won't breathe, or I was raised in a very strict environment where I was at church, and I rebelled. And then there's this lax no church at all. There's a whole lot here in the middle. And that's where we are. Yes, you can make God first and make the house of God first, and your kids not rebel against it. There's a way to do that, where it's not extreme in the flesh, just like coming over this extreme, where there's nothing at all can be dangerous. There's something in the middle that's balanced. We always try to teach very, very balanced. So the reality of that is when it comes to teenagers, how long is a teenager's life? From about what 13? Well, it's more like 12 or 11  now. but let's just say

Mary Alessi  21:27  
 10 to 20.

Steve Alessi  21:28  
10 to 20, you have 10 years with an underdeveloped brain, in your life, that will intimidate the heck out of you if you don't manage them well. And the way you manage them well, is to never get to that question of they don't think God is everything, because you've raised them to know God is everything and nothing else compares to God. I remember when Christopher was going to go to FIU, to to go take psychology classes, and you, you got ahead of that. And instead of waiting for him to come home with a lot of questions, you knew that him going into those classes was going to create a lot of questions in his life about his, his religion, his belief, his doctrine. And you went ahead of that and said, Listen, these are some things you might have to fight. But this is what we believe. And this is good for you,  it's going to challenge your faith. And that helped Christopher just that being reactive, instead of - being proactive instead of reactive.

Well, you talk about extremes. I don't want to be negative here. But young people are doing something right now to extremes.

Mary Alessi  22:35  
 They are. 

Steve Alessi  22:36  
They're just prone to that. If it's sports, they're crazy about it's got to be sports every day. If it's social media, they can't even sit down and have dinner at the dinner table without the phone.  It's  - everything's extremes. If you got a kid that's really big on studies, it's extreme. You got gamers, it's extremes.

Mary Alessi  22:54  
 Yeah.

Steve Alessi  22:55  
 So we we make way for the extremes for sports, gaming, and all of that's okay, that's okay. 

Mary Alessi  23:02  
Yeah. 

Steve Alessi  23:03  
But we don't make extremes for things in times with God? Here's the bad side of that. It was years ago. I remember a family. I knew them. They had no desire to be around church and their kids weren't, but their kids went to some of the nicer schools. One night FBI showed up on the front doorstep, barred into the... busted into their home, went to the kid's computer. And they found that their son as a young teenager, was surfing some inappropriate websites that included minors. 

Mary Alessi  23:36  
Right.

Steve Alessi  23:37  
 That kid's life, Mary was destroyed. And everything from that point on changed, yes, because now everything about his life is marred by that one event

Mary Alessi  23:51  
For the rest of his life.

Steve Alessi  23:52  
So we don't like to go to extremes, but there should be some measure of "Let me help my kids see that God is going to ultimately be their everything. So let me make sure that I'm surrounding them, right with things that are God", like a good friendship circle that is Christian, they love God, they want to go to church. Have them around church, serving in church, making sure they know their pastors, they know their leaders, all of that stuff is...becomes part of their normal routine, not something they just do once or twice a month.

Mary Alessi  24:24  
To clarify what I meant...

Steve Alessi  24:25  
Yeah.

Mary Alessi  24:25  
That isn't extreme. See there, there are a lot of a lot of people - we've talked to parents that will say I don't want to push them. You know, I want them to choose God and . there's so much going on. I just can't get there on Wednesdays, and sometimes they can't. Clearly, jobs are tough, we get it. But there are people that will actually think if I bring my kid to church every Sunday, if he's involved in a Connect Group with the youth, if he goes to youth group on on Wednesday night, if he goes to camp, Wow, that's a lot. That's extreme. That's not even enough. Not for the world that they're living in that's oversaturated today. So if we want the point is, that isn't extreme. That is what really the measure they need to meet for their children, especially because the world is so much darker than it was when we were younger. 

Steve Alessi  25:12  
Yeah. 

Mary Alessi  25:12  
And I, I posted it the other day, and it's because somebody else had posted it stop comparing yourself, your children to your childhood. There's no comparison, because we live in a world that is saturated with distractions, and voices that are extreme, like you said, and are determined to destroy their lives. So they got to counterbalance that with the house of God.

Steve Alessi  25:34  
Yeah. And the house of God is important, because you need to give them an hour or two or more a week, to combat all the stuff that they're hearing out there. Alright. Which leads us to another great question. And that has to do with, I feel for this person that asked it. They're talking about how do they provide, to their spouse and their children, correction without it coming across as criticism? So they want  -  the question is, how do I provide my spouse or my children with criticism? I think what they're saying is, how can I correct them without it coming across as criticism? 

Yeah. 

Mary Alessi  25:35  
Wow. 

Steve Alessi  25:37  
Take it away, Mary.

Mary Alessi  25:49  
I don't wanna start! Um, wow. I can answer that from my vantage point, because that -  I would have asked that question. 

Steve Alessi  26:26  
Yeah.

Mary Alessi  26:27  
 Because I never wanted to offend my kids or be critical. I had this major fear, that correction was criticism. And I don't know if it was because of how I was raised. But somewhere along the line, I picked up that message. And I started believing...

Steve Alessi  26:40  
Right. 

Mary Alessi  26:40  
...that correction is criticism. Then I marry you, and correction was everything, you know. You, you were... you were in my mind what I thought was an over corrector. But in looking back, we balance each other out. But I really learned the importance of correcting to my children in real time in the moment when things would happen, and not trying to find this perfect moment, so that they would receive it. No, give the correction, give it in the moment, be the bad guy, don't always make Steve the bad guy. And if it's criticism is criticism, you're not, that's not your heart, that's not in your, that's not your intention to just be critical. But if you don't find a healthy place of correction, and you're always thinking this is criticism, criticism, your kids are missing out on a whole lot of discipline that they need.  Who else is going to tell them if not you? Who else is going to make those adjustments in their lives if not you? It's very important, and I and, I do think -  and I hate to keep pounding on the culture battle -  but I do think that culture has changed so much, and even if you were to go in a classroom, and the teacher calls you in as a parent with your child, and they want to tell you today what your child did wrong, the parent hears with a completely defensive and defiant ear now. The average parent listens to correction over their child very defensively. Not my kid. Whereas in our day, if we  - if our parents got called to the school, it did not matter if we would have been falsely accused. We got in trouble like we had, we were the guilty party. 

Steve Alessi  26:47  
Yeah. 

Mary Alessi  27:05  
So we had a healthy fear of getting in trouble. 

Steve Alessi  28:22  
It was always my fault. 

Mary Alessi  28:24  
Always my fault. I don't care if my twin sister did it. It was - I got lumped in.

Steve Alessi  28:29  
Yeah. 

Mary Alessi  28:29  
And it kept you from from being in the danger zone because you didn't want to get in trouble. Well I feel like parents are - they bought into this....not, not all parents. But a hefty a pretty heavy amount of them have fallen for this mentality that you can't correct kids at all because everybody deserves a trophy, and no one should be hurt. And "oh my god don't offend you're gonna break them, you're gonna crush them". It's like they're they're this brand new sub human that's way more tender and fragile. And somehow correction is going to break them and hurt them and crush them forever. Well, who are these kids?

Steve Alessi  29:03  
Oh, Mary, I got to tell you, I think the generation before this present, teenage generation were raised with everything just being given to them with such a, you know, soft spoon. Everything was perfect. They were praised for just showing up. I think the parents that have seen that are saying, "you know what? I don't like that." Because I'm seeing some young people today. Yeah, that that aren't as tender. 

No. It's true.

... fragile, as a generation that has been before that man. I use this little story and it happened the other day when we were we went to 7-11 to get Gaby a Slurpee because it was 7-11 day and I'm dating this podcast, but it was. She went to get a Slurpee and while we're there, she's off to the side, and she's sitting, right up getting her Slurpee right up against the machine. And about four or five young boys came in. Boys,  I'm talking they had to be 13, 14, 15 years of age. And they come in and stand behind her, and one of them decided to be an idiot. He evidently was the jokester. So all of a sudden, I see him walk... like walk in front of all his buddies that were and position himself between Gaby whose back was to the boys and the guys, and he comes walking around the corner, and he has his shorts down around his knees. 

Mary Alessi  30:41  
Oh, dear Lord 

Steve Alessi  30:42  
and he's walking. And I see that the guy's got his underwear on. But he's got his shorts down below his knees, and he's doing it for a laugh. 

Mary Alessi  30:52  
 That poor guy. 

Steve Alessi  30:53  
Not thinking that Gaby would see him as much as he's thinking his friends are seeing him, and he's gonna get a laugh. He had no idea Gaby's father was right there.

Mary Alessi  31:04  
 Oh, my word. 

Steve Alessi  31:06  
Mary, I just - I'm like

Mary Alessi  31:07  
 I cringe for the young man. 

Steve Alessi  31:08  
So needless to say, I didn't -  I didn't just shut up and be quiet about the whole thing. I made the kid run out, more or less run out the store. But after I got ahold of them with my verbal commands, 

Yeah. And what are you doing?

Mary Alessi  31:22  
 Yes, 

Steve Alessi  31:22  
You foolish, or whatever. Everybody in the 7-11 stopped, stood still, and this kid felt like you know, he was an idiot,  he got caught. And

Mary Alessi  31:31  
he'll never forget it

Steve Alessi  31:33  
Not only will he not forget it. But Gaby turns around and says, you know, sees what's happening. And then Gaby turns and says to all the rest of the guys that are sitting there, because some of them are laughing, and they're still kind of shocked by what's occurred and me being so aggressive in the moment, but I wasn't gonna let the kid disrespect my daughter like he did. But the other guys are like, now all stuck and standing there. And she says, y'all need to turn and apologize to this man. He's a father and you disrespected him. And all the guys are like, yeah, I'm sorry, sir. And I was shocked at how quick they turned and were repentant. 

Mary Alessi  32:11  
The correction was good.

Steve Alessi  32:12  
 They took the correction. It's like, these are not fragile little kids. 

Mary Alessi  32:16  
Not at all.

Steve Alessi  32:16  
 And you know what, they didn't even bow up. 

No. They weren't defensive, 

They weren't defensive or disrespectful or dishonouring. And then, you know, Gaby does at the end, she says, pull out your phones right now. You go to Instagram, get on your Instagram, go to Metro, Y L, or youth group, whatever was. Y A.  You go to Metro youth, and follow us right now, because we got youth group on Wednesday night. They show up if they do and they see Oh, my gosh, that was the Pastor that scaring 'em. Here's the point. I think kids without a proper voice in their life, are going to be prone to do stupid things. 

Mary Alessi  33:00  
 Right. 

Steve Alessi  33:00  
 And a parent should not be afraid of them coming across as long as they're not abusive. They.... those kids need the parent to say, look, here's right, here's wrong. I'm not going to be popular right now. You're going to sit there and think that I'm just you know, an overbearing parent. But I've got to have this conversation. 

Mary Alessi  33:21  
Yeah. 

Steve Alessi  33:21  
Because I remember us at the dinner table, having conversations and me bringing up something and everybody in the table kind of dropping their head like, Oh my God, here we go again. 

Mary Alessi  33:32  
Yeah. 

Steve Alessi  33:32  
And I was tempted to pull back. But at the same time, I'm like, somebody's got to tell them truth. 

Mary Alessi  33:40  
Right. 

Steve Alessi  33:41  
 And I'm that somebody today so I was okay with being corrective. We call it care, fronting. 

Mary Alessi  33:50  
Yes, you called it that. 

Steve Alessi  33:51  
I'm gonna confront this situation, kids, because I'm your dad, and your mom's a weenie, she's not gonna do it. She's wants to be your friend. But Dad, he's gonna come in here, and we're gonna have this conversation. And I'm amazed at how over the years that when they were younger, they didn't always understand it. They did appreciate it. And I would say to any parent listening, do it now. Do it while they don't understand. That's right. 

Mary Alessi  34:17  
Ignore the eye roll. 

Steve Alessi  34:18  
That's it. 

Mary Alessi  34:18  
Don't let it bother you.

Steve Alessi  34:20  
 Even the spouse that may not be supportive with you in that moment, if you're not losing it, and you're not being abusive, but you know, it's a good thing. Go ahead and and parent up...

Mary Alessi  34:32  
Right...

Steve Alessi  34:33  
.... and do it. Because your kids may make fun of you even behind your back like mine did,  they may get -  you know, think that  your boring and complain about you and and all of that, even to one another. But one day, they're going to turn around and they're going to thank you. 

Mary Alessi  34:47  
Yeah, they will. 

Steve Alessi  34:48  
They will. 

Mary Alessi  34:48  
Absolutely.

Steve Alessi  34:49  
... cause they've done it here. Yeah, we've fortunate enough to hear them say thanks. Dad was right. And when they get on this podcast 90% of the time, they're saying dad said this, dad said that,  dad said this. And as much as I would like to say, guys, Mom said some things too.

Mary Alessi  35:08  
Well, your voice was... 

Steve Alessi  35:10  
...my voice was  louder. So everything seemed to come from Dad. 

Mary Alessi  35:13  
Pretty constant. 

Steve Alessi  35:14  
But we wouldn't be having this conversation. We'll wouldn't have a podcast about the Alessi family if there wasn't a parent saying let me correct this. 

Mary Alessi  35:23  
If you weren't, if you had been more afraid that your correction was criticism. 

Steve Alessi  35:27  
Yeah. 

Mary Alessi  35:28  
We would not have this podcast, you were not going to fall prey to that. It's not criticism, it's correction. And you need to hear it. And I'm honestly, I learned a lot along the way. I learned so much. And what I - you know, what else, you know what I learned. There was nobody else in their life that would come along with a voice of correction. There was no one. And if it had not been for you, and me in those moments, nobody else stepped up to do that. 

Steve Alessi  35:53  
Yeah. 

Mary Alessi  35:53  
So these are your humans. No one else is going to take the role of correcting, mom and dad, from you. It's your responsibility alone.

Steve Alessi  36:04  
Well, I hope today what we've said has been an encouragement to you. Go to our Alessi - Let me get that again, man where we're at  - AlessiFamilyBusiness.com site and you'll be able to send some more questions, we'll be glad to answer them to the best of our abilities. 

Mary Alessi  36:23  
This was fun. 

Steve Alessi  36:24  
Yes, it was. Thanks for joining us today.

Chris Alessi  36:26  
Thanks for listening to the Family Business podcast with the Alessis. We appreciate you listening and learning with us as we just shared more about the family business. You know, I bet there's someone you know who can use this kind of advice and encouragement. So make sure to share this episode with them and their family. Because let's face it, family is everyone's business. If you want to be a part of our family, subscribe to the show right now on your favorite app and make sure to download the episodes so you can hear them at any time. Oh, and one more thing. One of the best ways to help us spread the word about the family business with the Alessis is by reviewing the show on Apple Podcasts or your favorite app. So help us out. Write a review and join us next time at the Family Business podcast with the Alessis.