As the founder of the Bee-Bop Kids, an international children’s performing arts evangelistic team, Laura has had the opportunity to share the love of Christ while traveling around the world. Active in ministry for more than 20 years, She is also the founder of the Family Bureau of Investigation™ Relationship Workshops, and a one-on-one parenting coach.
CHRISTIANBOOK.com: Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?
For the past several years I’ve investigated why children emotionally, spiritually or physically walk away from their parent’s convictions, values, and love. Through interviewing more than 1,000 people, I uncovered six missing needs that children who walked away from their parents had. I am not a professional counselor, minister, or psychologist. I am a concerned parent who has slopped through the trenches with parents in deep anguish because of their own choices as well as their children’s.
I have taught FBI Parent Workshops in drug rehabilitation centers, churches, and homes for the past four years, helping parents look at themselves and their children differently, thereby strengthening the bonds with their children.
I have two grown children, eight grandchildren, and have parented eight Brazilian foreign exchange students. I have been happily married for more than 29 years to Randy.
I was director of The Bee-Bop Kids, an international evangelistic/dance/drama group, from 1989 to 1996, during which time we traveled to many places in the world. I have also been active in women’s ministries for over 20 years.
Over the past 25 years I have spoken at women’s retreats, marriage workshops, children’s evangelistic events, to US military couples, church services, and public schools in Europe.
CHRISTIANBOOK.com: How did you become interested in writing?
I never grew up wanting to be a writer; it took too much discipline. However, when I began my parenting investigation I knew I was uncovering extremely valuable information that parents needed to know, thus I began documenting what I’d found.
CHRISTIANBOOK.com: What compelled you to write a book on this subject?
Witnessing the heartache of parents around me:
My friend’s daughter became Miss America in 2002. My other friend’s son was arrested within two weeks. We had raised our children similarly: in church, strong, supportive, two-parent families, and a strong Christian community. One parent’s child had the opportunity to influence the world; the other child was being kept from the world in jail. What made the difference?
In the next few years I had friends in several states struggle through the anguish of losing their children to methamphetamines, alcohol, pornography, and suicide.
These are the children we dreamed would change the world, yet the world changed them!
During the process of writing this book I personally knew three sets of parents who lost their children in senseless deaths at young ages:
- My husband’s cousin’s body stopped functioning due to extreme alcohol abuse. He was 23.
- I was with some friends at a Saturday morning meeting, we left for lunch. When they went home they found their son had killed himself on their back patio. He was 27.
- Four weeks ago a former worship team member’s daughter was found dead in her apartment due to an accidental death related to alcohol. She was 21.
Every one of these parents asks: what could I have done differently? What did I do wrong? They were strong Christian parents who had incredible dreams and aspirations for their children.
These young, senseless deaths drive me to get what I have discovered into the hands of parents.
CHRISTIANBOOK.com: What is the main theme or point that you want readers to understand from reading your book? Are there any other themes present in the book?
Because every child is different, it is important to search out what each child’s individual needs are. If parents don’t meet their needs they will bond and connect with those that do: friends, siblings…
CHRISTIANBOOK.com: Are there some specific lessons you hope readers will learn and apply to their lives after reading your book?
To look at their children and themselves with what I call a detective’s magnifying glass. How do you look through the eyes of your child? Do you realize that your child is a miniature video camera, recording every look, word and action?
The six clues in this book will give parents deeper insight into what their child needs, not what the parent needed when they were a child.
What you see on the outside of your children isn’t always what is going on in the inside. Look beyond the actions and attitudes to their heart. Find different ways of reaching them. Ask clever, fun questions. Find out what they really think about things!
CHRISTIANBOOK.com: Do you have a favorite part of the book or a favorite chapter?
My favorite chapter is Clue #1, the chapter on trust, because it sets the foundation for a great or disastrous parent/child relationship.
The number one reason children walked away from their parent’s convictions and values was because the children witnessed their parents—either married or divorced—treat each other disrespectfully, unkindly, or downright hatefully through actions, words, or attitudes. Most parents I’ve encountered love their children dearly and provide an incredible life for them. However, they are counteracting all the good they are instilling by fighting, squabbling, or not getting along with the other parent.
The foundation of trust is cracked every time children see or hear hateful, disrespectful behavior from one parent toward the other.
If parents want to mess up their children’s lives, they can fight, squabble, be hurtful, and hateful to the child’s other parent. When children witness their parents’ contempt or disrespect for one another, it suspends them into a perpetual state of underlying anxiety—something’s wrong, the other shoe is going to drop. They are thrown into confusion, commonly on a daily basis, and are put into a position of defense or judgment toward the other parent. “Mom’s right. No, Dad’s right. Mom’s right. No, maybe Dad is right.”
Parents’ eyes are intensely focused on their children, when their eyes and ears should be focused on how they treat others around them, especially the child’s other parent.
CHRISTIANBOOK.com: What makes your book different than any other books similar to yours that are in circulation today?
My book is different, because it looks at parenting differently. It doesn’t have “do this and your child will do that.” It helps parent’s search for each individual child’s needs specifically and then find the solutions to connect with those needs.
CHRISTIANBOOK.com: How does the book intertwine with God’s call on your life and how you are currently serving Him?
The love I have to see families thriving instead of just surviving is God given. I am currently mentoring other parents to have small FBI Parent Workshops in their homes. We are also in the process of making a video and cable television show.
Sometimes I can’t sleep at night, because I know parents are making monumental mistakes—mistakes they aren’t even aware of with their children, mistakes that could possibly cost them their relationship with their children, or worse yet, their children’s lives. Every opportunity I have—be it in an airport, grocery store, restaurant, or park--I try to encourage parents with what I’ve discovered. I believe this passion is from God. To think that we are losing our little ones every day to the world and death grieves me.
One afternoon I was distraught after spending time on the phone with a friend whose son was hauled out of her house and into jail. I was crying out to God on her behalf and received these words:
The cry of My heart, My prayer every day is that you My child won’t walk away, from the values I teach you, the love that I share, that you My child will know how much I care.
This is my passion!
CHRISTIANBOOK.com: Do you have a favorite Scripture verse? What is it and why is it important to you?
Malachi 4:6: And He shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers.
CHRISTIANBOOK.com: Are there any authors that either influenced you personally or influenced your style of writing? Who are they and how did they influence you?
Karen Kingsbury’s writing is so natural and flows like the Holy Spirit. I read one of her books on an airplane, and it opened my eyes up to deep-rooted bitterness and jealousy I had been wrestling with for ten years. And, thankfully because of her book, my heart was healed, and my relationship restored.
CHRISTIANBOOK.com: When you are not writing, what do you like to do? Do you have any hobbies?
I love snow skiing, biking, hiking, swimming, and traveling. This year for my birthday I taught most of my eight grandchildren how to snow ski!
CHRISTIANBOOK.com: Thank you for taking the time to answer a few of our questions. As we close, is there anything else you would like to add?
I am extremely honored to be doing what I am doing in helping families. Without the support of my husband this ministry would be just a dream, but because of his love, financial support, and belief in what I am doing, this ministry is a reality.