Thursday, February 8

A Good Reminder

From Mike Cope's blog today:

I want to encourage all you younger parents out there in blogsphere. It is hard to be the parent who lovingly gives a hard time. It’s hard to be the one who enforces tv/computer time limits, homework, and bedtimes. It’s difficult to set age-appropriate limits to movies when “every other kids’ parents let them watch whatever they want.” It’s tough to be firm when you’re exhausted from work and life’s stresses.

But hang in there! Your kids are counting on you — whether they yet know it or not. (I just saw a teenager on the plane whose t-shirt had two words: NO LECTURES!)

Your children need to know that YOU are the parent. In too many homes, the children run everything by parents who are overly-eager to please. If they don’t like the Bible class, they don’t have to go. If they have more friends at another church, the family leaves. If they want to eat unhealthily — well, we reassure ourselves that at least they’re eating something. If there is a problem with a coach or a teacher, the child is always assumed to be right.

Be the adult! Be the loving, compassionate, tender, but very-much-in-charge parent! It’s one of life’s ironies: that the one thing kids say they don’t want (rules and limits) is what they need.

I’m not talking, of course, about being a tyrant or about being inflexible. I’m talking about being lovingly in charge.

It may seem to kids that parents who mind their own business, don’t serve vegies, let them wear whatever is in style, allow unlimited time on the net to chat, permit any movie to be shown when friends come over, and ask no questions about where they’re going in the evening are the cool parents.

Here’s my encouragement: Don’t try to be the cool parents. Be the parents who take the time and the love to give a hard time.

Eventually, when your kids age a bit, they’ll know that you really were the cool parents.


Sarah Megan said...

Ah, dear Kristi.
Apprehension with young kids.
Let me tell you one thing. As a girl 15 days away from officially being out of her teenage years, I can say I didnt help my mom out much with those apprehensions.
But now, I realize everything she told me was right and she did everything with my best interest at heart. I dont go a day without talking to her on the phone.
It may not be fun now, but look forward to that.
You are the most important person in your kids' lives...and when they grow older...they will know it and love you more than you ever thought possible.

Love you!

Glenn said...

We all want to be liked by our kids, and find it really hard not to give into their unhealthy wants and plans. We fear that they are going to grow up "hating" us, and yes, the unappreciative ones may do just that. God did not give us this role of parenthood just to be "friends and buddies" with them in order to fulfill our own needs. He gave us the job to mold them as closly as we can to His image. He wants us to train them to grow up as disciplined, selfless, loving people - and that ain't easy.

Oh, how I wished that you and your brothers would have understood this when I would be forced to walk in among your friends to turn off a show or movie, or when we felt it necessary to make some other point. OK, I could have been a little more gentle in my approach, but I think that you now understand that we did not do it because we wanted to embarrass you or that we did it out of meanness, but out of love, hating it when we had to do it.

sarah said...

oh I hate having to be the one to enforce those rules. The part that i find most difficult is not that their friends watch stuff they shouldn't but that my brother and sister, 12 and 7 respectively, are allowed to watch whatever. I can't tell you how many times I've had to try to explain that just because grandma doesn't care doesn't mean that its okay.

My mom tried to let Isaac watch Jurassic Park when he was 3 because he liked dinos.

Jason Hill said...

I'm cheering for all you parents. I am convinced that parenting is the hardest thing you could ever choose to do. Yet, I see so many doing it with love and intention that it makes me want to cheer.

Keep it up!

KMiV said...

Thanks Kristi,

We needed that. It has been easy to keep the lines with the little ones but our oldest (14yrs old) is the one that keeps pushing and pushing. Teens seem to express disappointment more and that makes us want to go easier. It is also harder being flexible as they get older.

Mike had some good stuff there.