Posted in being a mom

Invaluable, but with Expectation

You know more than once I’ve been accused of over-thinking. Who me (ahem)? But it is true. I confess to be a professional over-thinker. Life matters. Think much. Act smart. And I guess then I can never be accused of thinking too little. Instead you can slap the label of “thinking too late” on me. hehe.

So I’ve been thinking about parenting and Matt and I agreed on a car ride the other day that one important rule in parenting to teach to your children is that “What Mommy and Daddy says is law.” There is expectation and consequence in Mommy and Daddy’s words. It is not acceptable to trudge on without acknowledging that Mommy or Daddy has said, “no,” and don’t mess around in the realm of obedience expectation.

There’s a difference in forced and choice obedience. I don’t want our kids to obey because they have to, but because they want to please us. And yet in some instances, I’ll just take the obedience, regardless of the willingness displayed behind it. We’re not running a boot camp, here, but there are certainly clear expectations of quick responsiveness.

Rachael, bless her little heart (Southern slang for “Are you serious?”), has her moments of testing the law. No, people, she’s no felon at 2 and a 1/2, but she certainly feels the need to make a few waves sometimes. Yet I am reminded that while children have an amazing ability to remind you of the Fall out (reference: Genesis), their value should never be questioned in their minds (nor yours for that matter). It is not a matter of convincing myself that Rachael is an angel (an often misused and personally unfavored term) and always means no harm – have you seen that kid’s eyes, she’s not innocent. But she is and will always be invaluable in our eyes. Children are a blessing. I couldn’t agree more. And yet that blessing does not mean that in some moments she isn’t downright awful. =)

We’ve all been around the “seriously, do their parents set any boundaries?” kids before. The ones pushing their siblings down repetitively, whining uncontrollably, and the ones that cast off their parents’ direction as quickly as you flip channels on a “nothing’s on” night. And we’ve all been around the “do you even like your kids?” parents who seem to make it a personal goal to create and win a power struggle in every conversation with their child. Those poor “can I do anything right?” kids. So obviously this valuing while creating healthy boundaries balance is just that – a balance.

Now I’ve had my share of “hope no one’s taking notes” parenting embarrassments before; serving the baby steaming hot soup, handing the toddler a lollipop to make her shut up… we all have those head-smacking “please don’t model your parenting style on this moment” experiences… and I’m sure I’ll have more too, cuz perfection won’t happen until the new Jerusalem. But operating on a “just this once” parenting style with each passing circumstance won’t get the job done. Or let’s put it this way, in my experience I have seen it create a lot of ungrateful, selfish, unthoughtful kids that cycle through babysitters faster than a 6th grade dance attracts wallflowers.

Why am I blogging about this? I don’t know. Just thought it something to think about in my over-thinking ways.

Question of the day: How can you make your child feel valued while still setting healthy boundaries?

Every child is different, but the healthy boundaries are the same.

Author:

Have you ever thought that the all-sufficient Savior has promised those who walk in blind faith more than our minds can ever comprehend? That the only True Savior renews our minds, even when we feel most useless toward His Kingdom work? The Lord of all dares to touch our hearts, even as we stumble to find obedience. Oh how this soul wishes we Christians would embrace His Truth! And that the world would be different because of obedient hearts. Lord, change me. Lord, change us. All for Your glory. ---------- I am a Jesus-follower, a Homemaker, a Wife of the best man EVER, a Mom of 4 wonderful girls, a missionary in Africa, a Friend, an Encourager, a Seeker of integrity who is unsatisfied with a mediocre walk in Christ, and Blessed beyond any words that I could ever express. Thanks for being interested in my little slice of the world.

3 thoughts on “Invaluable, but with Expectation

  1. How? By being consistent when you KNOW that your guidance will produce fruit. Start with the basics like you have done. “Don't look at my parenting style” once in a “blue moon” does not break consistency when it comes to the basics. Relax, you are doing a great job (even if it doesn't show with your kids occasional boundary testing days). Keep up the over-thinking. It works for you.

  2. Thanks, Mom. Parenting is just such an interesting, constant-tweaking=needing lifestyle. I don't want to just build children who are moral and good-natured, I want to build children who have the best chances at fearing and loving and obeying the Lord. I guess it matters what you end goal is regarding raising your kids. Healthy boundaries are a good start, but having a relationship with your kids that promotes healthy boundaries as a response to their desire to obey – now that's good!

    You are right, consistency is key because it provides room for the exception without encouraging a child to whine for the exception next time.

    And don't you worry mom, I plan on over-thinking for the rest of my life. hehehe.

    – love ya

  3. make them feel values while still setting limits by rewarding them when they follow the rules or don't fight a “no.” the reward could be verbal praise, a hug, or even a small present. Once they are a able to understand you could even make a reward system of earning “money” to use to receive things like special time, picking the dinner menu, or going to the park.

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