We have become a culture of people who don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.
We hide our frustration, our disappointments, our anger and don’t deal with them. We model it to our kids as we don’t want them to go through similar hurt, and what are we actually doing? We are training them to become self-built bombs that will certainly explode at some time, at the wrong moment, in the wrong way.
Perhaps we are teaching them that they are more important than anything and anyone else in the world, affirming we will protect them from whoever will try to hurt their feelings, and we keep our promise, making their lives miserable in the long run.
We have encountered right before our eyes a generation of dependent procrastinators, always waiting to be rescued by mom and dad. Even doing so, we will realize sooner or later we may not be their heroes. So, what do we do?
Parenting is not magic. It is intentional work. Proverbs 22:6 tells us:
Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.
If you are pursuing exercising a godly parenting lifestyle in this area, here are some things to consider:
Repent from being so overprotective of your children. They are our inheritance from the Lord, but God has entrusted us with the responsibility of helping them become fully mature adults. It takes time to get there, but if you give up at the first test they put you through, how will you be able to act in obedience to the Lord and instruct them the way they should go?
Tell them NO. Yes, it will hurt to say NO to your kids sometimes, but if you have the conviction from the Lord or from the circumstances that indicate that what they are asking you is not a good idea, or that could result in future disaster, be strong: Say NO! Stick with your word. Long term satisfaction will empower your kids in the future.
Let them know what you expect from them and make sure you follow through with your requirements. When teenagers feel that their parents don’t care about what they do, where they are, if they are following the rules or restrictions previously established, they will not work hard for anything, because they know that in the end their parents will cover all the gaps and holes. Kids will feel unloved. This is how they will read it: “I don’t expect or require anything from you because I think you can’t do it.” Clear instructions, on the other hand, will help your kids design a plan for success, because it is the goal of most children who feel loved by their parents to please them, to show they are maturing and can be trusted with more. This is a biblical principle God has instilled even in the heart of a young child. Let’s make sure that we, as parents, won’t blow it.
As far as it depends on you, keep the communication between you and your children open. You don’t have to agree with everything they say or do, but you should control yourself to not overreact to what you will hear from them. Give them enough time to talk, without interruptions. Listen, listen, and listen. That may not always be the right time to express your thoughts or feelings, mainly if what you heard is against your convictions. If possible, if asked to, give a brief word of wisdom or offer a prayer. It usually works best if you ask God for wisdom while listening to your child, and at the appropriate time, ask your child how he feels about what he has just told you. Ask questions. Try to help your child open his heart. Often times that is all he needs in order to come up with an understanding of the situation and figure out a way to solve the problem himself.
If you think this information could help other parents in their labor raising kids, would you please share with them? For more parenting advise, please go to parent guide.