Happy 4th of July!
Two of my children are now teenagers, so the word freedom now has a whole new meaning. I think our kids in the teenage years may need more support and security than ever before. They are facing new challenges and need our experience to help them..
Give them some freedom but keep them on a “short rope” to let them know you care and are always there for them. Others may say you’re not giving them enough freedom, but don’t give into the peer pressure you may feel as a parent, stand strong and firm in your decision to live differently. Parenting is not for the faint of heart but for the diligent and dedicated.
I have learned after having five children, that each one of them matures at a different pace. What was okay for one of them at five was not ok for the another. For example, the computer game Nancy Drew, with all of its mystery and intensity, is not good for my older boy to play in the evening, but one of my younger boys can handle it fine.
The world may say by 13 we should let them go to this movie or by this age they should have a cell phone or be able to date. Let’s take control of our family and determine for ourselves when our children should be able to do these things. Let’s not just follow the crowd, what does this ultimately say to our children, ” just follow and don’t lead.” It’s hard when our children are begging and saying “everyone else is doing it” but stand firm and go with your heart, you will never regret that. They only stay mad for a moment and they are probably glad down deep that you said no because they were actually afraid or didn’t want to do what they were asking to do in the first place.
Give them freedom but talk over the situation and guide them through it. Give them advice, tell them stories, and show them you care by listening. It is a mistake to assume just because they have reached a certain age that they have the common sense to always make a good decision in certain situations. Every child is different and should be treated accordingly.
They need our discipline when they mess up, our forgiveness when they make a mistake, and our guidance on how to learn from their mistakes.
Determine today for your family what “freedom” means to you. Pray earnestly and diligently and the Lord will give you wisdom beyond your years.