Do you sometimes feel like you are the Enforcer? Being the parent police is taxing! We hate it. The kids hate it.
Family life is filled with countless decisions. Thinking through every activity, deciding whether or not to give the go-ahead nod or deliver the dreaded no is exhausting. No matter the age of your kiddo, youngster to young adult, constantly thinking on your feet to determine if your answer is a yea or nay is such a brain drain!
So instead be the EVALUATOR! (And train your kids to do this too.)
These questions helped my family navigate the requests and arrive at a good answer. They may help yours too.
Ask yourself or your child these request evaluation questions:
- Is it safe?
- Is it legal?
- Is it moral or ethical?
Safety is sometimes dictated by the child’s level of personal responsibility. Is your child old enough, responsible enough, mature enough to handle the yes to his request? Typically moms tend to be hyper safety conscious, while dads, on the other hand, tend to be less worried about safety. Too much concern can backfire, resulting in a fearful kid, one who never takes a risk. It is important for your kids to be able to stretch their wings. So, moms, say yes a little more frequently than you may want. Dads, consider mom’s concern. Is it reasonable? Balance is important.
Legal issues. Not everyone agrees on this. The best thing to do is to talk with the other parent and discuss how together you want to handle legal or illegal issues like: underage drinking, speeding, not wearing a seatbelt, etc. When kids turn into teens, the legal questions start to rise to the surface. Will you support the laws or will you bend them? Know where you stand. (If you are a parent who is okay with underage drinking in your home, be honest enough to fill in the other teens’ parents so they can make their own family decision regarding this.)
Moral or ethical things: Talking about values, morals, ethics, and faith are really good conversations to have with your kids. Modeling your family belief system is even more important. Saying one thing and doing another lets our kids know we really don’t believe what we say to them. Our words are discredited because we are behaving like hypocrites.
Hold yourself to the same standard as you would your child. If a cashier forgets to ring up an item and honesty is one of your values (even if it is inconvenient), go back. Your action will show your kids you mean what you say even if it is a bit of a pain. Look at it this way: what is your integrity really worth? Is it worth more than that shampoo bottle the cashier forgot to ring up?
Say yes a lot. Be careful not to let the NO be your default. But, be wise and ask yourself the three quick evaluation request questions.
Do you find no pops out quickly? How can you say yes more readily?
I guide you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths. ~Proverbs 4:11