I’ve heard of parents who won’t let their kid listen to the radio unless it’s on the Christian station or Radio Disney. I get that for some ages, but a 10-year-old? I know of kids who are so sheltered – never spent the night away from their parents, never experiencing anything but home. I guess they don’t want their kid exposed - to life I suppose.
I recently heard of a parent who said, “It bothers me when my kid says the “f” word. He uses it all the time. The other day he said “f” you to me!” What? Your kid says the “f” word? Your kid says the “f” word in front of you?
Another said they just didn’t know what to do with their 8th grade daughter who drinks their alcohol in their house.
For starters, remove the alcohol.
Certainly there are extreme issues that are difficult to handle, parenting is so hard. I mess up every single day.
And kids will be kids. My child could be tossing out the “f” bomb with her friends all day long, and I’d never know.
I can’t imagine one of my kids, in front of my face, taking one of my beers – and when I confront her on it, responding, “‘f’ you dad.”
I’m blessed to have kids, thus far, who are well-behaved. Some of it, I believe, is genetic. Some, environmental. But some of it, I think, is a mutual respect that comes from love, consistency in parenting, and openness. My hope is that the four of us all have too much respect for each other to treat each other like that. Sure my kids are going to get in some trouble, but I hope they have enough appreciation for their father not to flaunt it in front of my face. I hope they’ll think of me as they make their decisions and when a bad one comes, that they’ll have a slight gnawing in their belly because they know I would not approve.
I’m also working hard to expose them to life. I want them to be up on the latest songs, even if they have some inappropriate innuendo. I’ll occasionally let the 10-year-old watch at PG-13 movie. You have to monitor and be cautious, but It can actually open the doors to some hefty conversations.
I want them to spend time with those who are different from them, maybe they’ll learn something. I certainly don’t know it all.
I want them to be in other’s homes, maybe they’ll appreciate me a little more! Maybe not.
I believe that I should love my children with all that I have. I believe that I should be honest with them. I think that I am responsible for showing them enough of the real world that when they enter it, they are somewhat prepared. And, I believe when they step out of line that I should put on my parental hat showing them my disappointment followed by appropriate consequences. Even if those consequences inconvenience me or are difficult to dish out.
It’s a fine line, but as parents, we have to work to strike a balance between exposing them to the world and towing the line when they cross it.
And when all else fails, a glass of wine and a prayer tossed up to the Big Guy doesn’t hurt.
Not an easy task, this parenting. But there are an awfully lot of good ones out there.