We are the gatekeepers

July 22, 2009

Williamsburg 05-08 - Day 1 & 2 182

If I could name one thing that I have observed as a serious issue when it comes to family dynamics it is parents who want to be their children s friend and not their parents.  “Because I said so,” was never an answer I wanted to hear as a child.  But it was always an acceptable answer.

Almost every week I could count on parents pleading with their children to  their children to do the right thing, or to do what was best for them.  Instead parents need to say I know what’s best and you need to obey.  “Vow to be the parent (not your child’s best friend) is chapter 13 in Rebecca Hagelin’s great parenting book, and it discusses this very point.

“It’s one of the first words children learn to say: “No.”  Yet no matter how much our offspring misbehave, many parents can’t seem to bear using it themselves.” (page 123)

Most of us (at least those reading  these pages) want what is best for our kids, and guess what, we know what is best for our kids.  And they don’t! The reason most of us think teen pregnancy is a bad thing is not because we want to be mean to our teen-age daughters, it’s because they are not ready to be parents yet!

As adults, as parents we are charged with being the gatekeeper for our home.  Let the good stuff in and keep the badies out.  And most of the time we can tell the difference better than our children can.  So we must be the one to make the tough call, to say no to too much sweets, television, toys, late nights, and anything else that  could harm our children.

More important than that is making and sticking with wise choices in order to shape their character.  Our kids won’t grow up to be good people automatically.  But they will grow up.  And the way we shape them (or allow the culture to shape them) as a child is the shape they will retain as an adult.  Guaranteed.

So we need to say no to harmful things, and we need to keep saying no. at least one more time then they beg, whine and pout.  We need to say no.   “…the only thing we know is that we have to persevere.  And in that perseverance lies the best hope for our children.”  (page 124)

“You have authority simply because you are a parent.” (page 126)  Will you always get it right?  Nope.  But you will get it right a lot more often that a child or teen, who by nature is living for the moment, not for the future.  We have to let them enjoy moments without imperiling the future.

30 Ways in 30 Days to Save Your Family, 2009, Rebecca Hagelin Regenery Press

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