Tuesday, August 31, 2010

It's my blog.....

and I'll cry if I want to!

Parenting (sigh).......

This morning I found myself singing the chorus "grace, grace, God's grace, grace that is greater then all our sin" the good ol' hymn that still rings so true.

I have a 6th grader........

jill beach

For some of you, you don't even have to read on for you have already lived what I am about to write.....

jill sunlight

I was recently told that I was a really conservative parent......

jill reading

I was a little struck at the "compliment" she gave me...as in, " I respect that you are a conservative parent, BUT look at what your children are missing out on", kind of struck.


I have also been told ......

Women:"I used to say "NO" to a lot of things until my daughter got into 6th grade"...

Me: "what do you mean?" I asked......

Women: "Like NO make up, NO bikinis, NO cell phones, NO Ear piercing, that kind of thing, until 6th grade. It was so challenging that I just gave in and said yes to all those things so that I could say "NO" to the more IMPORTANT things later."

Honestly, I wanted to go home and cry!

me and jill

6th grade IS very challenging, but one thing that saddens me is the battle we go through daily from the statement above.

As a sociaty (Christian no less)....
What are our Rules and Preferences?

Why do we say NO to our children?? Better yet, why do we say YES to them?

Do we want our children to grow up just thinking "because mom and dad said NO that's why".

Can you imagine later-

No, I can't smoke that joint.

No, I can't steal that really cute shirt.

No, I can't take those pills.

No, I can't get a fake ID.

No, I can't go back to your place and stay the night.

Do we really want our kids to say NO to these things because WE TOLD THEM SO?

Mind you the "No's" that the mother stated in the comment above, are issues that we as parents decided and rule based mostly on preferences. In other words, cell phones, make up , etc. are not bad things, but if we aren't teaching our children why we are saying No to them, we are not teaching them why we make decisions, which in turn teaches them why and how they will make theirs. And if we are saying Yes, are we telling them why?

Do you think the child in the above scenario would like to know that mom only said yes, so that later she could say no??

I won't pretend that I know exactly what Jillian is going through in 6th grade. I was home schooled and realize that it was different. BUT, this I know for sure. The SAME kind of peer pressure that Jillian experiences in 6th grade is the SAME we 20,30,40, 50, 60 year old's battle today. I don't think the statement "keeping up with the Jones" was talking about a middle school student.

I so desperately want my children to make not just good decisions, but righteous decisions in life. If they can't answer "is what I am about to do,act, say going to honor and please the Lord?" with a yes, then I pray they will not do it. Preaching to myself as well, I pray they know that their everlasting joy and fulfillment will only come from the Lord, and not other people. Of course they will fail, I fail. That is why "Grace is Greater then all my sin".

Jillian will one day have a cell phone, make up, boyfriend ect. But now we are teaching her that these things she doesn't need right now and that it will not fill that void of contentment in her life of the struggle of fitting in. It might make her "fit in" for a brief time, but it will quickly be something else she will have to do, act, look or say to keep her there.

When the girls were younger, I was physically exhausted. Now that they are growing, I am emotionally exhausted. Lord, help our teenage years!

Time with our children is really short. Pour into them the scriptures. Teach them that our God is faithful. That His word is TRUTH.

If being called a conservative parent in a negative way means, teaching our children why they can or can't do things, protecting them, wanting their actions and decisions to please the Lord, helping them lay their burdens at the cross and seeking help and fulfillment from our Heavenly Father; then I will take that compliment any day!

I'll step down from my soap box now!


mary katharine said...

Big Army HOOAH to you Momma!!! You go! :)
Can you hear me shouting this all the way from my home in GA???!!!
My oldest is in 7th grade, and while we homeschool, most of the children she's played with/hung out with, etc. have not been homeschooled. Anyway, I have to say that I am more concerned about the children my 6 and 8 year old play with than the ones my oldest hangs out with. My 12 yr old daughter does not have a cell phone or email of fb page. If she went to school and was away from us, I'd probably give her a cell phone. She doesn't need one right now, but I've thought about it for when she turns 13 and starts babysitting ... mostly because a lot of people don't have land line phones anymore, so I wouldn't want her to be without communication. I think she is a great candidate for email or a fb page, because so many of her close friends are spread out all over the world. However, she can use my email and there is NOTHING like good old fashioned mail! She LOVES finding a letter from a friend on her desk. NOTHING compares to stickers covering an envelope and letters written swirly and in rainbow colors:). She's just starting to experiment with lip gloss on Sundays:) and considers it perfectly normal to grab a book each night before bed.
I think honestly the temptation to "fit in" is more for my middle two daughters. It's amazing what is out there and targeted at their age group!! Have you read Dobson's book on Bringing Up Girls? I'm currently reading it and it is wonderful. I don't know why parents are so "afraid" of their kids?? "Just Say No." :) I think a lot of it is that many parents are not grounded in their faith and that insecurity plays a sad role in how they raise their kids. I also think you are right in explaining to your girls why it is you have certain rules or why you do what you do. That sort of communication is all but lost in so many families today.

Okay, I'm glad you got off your soap box so I could get on!!

Parenting is hard. I fail miserably ...
Praise God for his graciousness that covers a multitude of sins!

Your daughters are beautiful and their confidence and inner beauty is so obvious.

Glad you ruffled some feathers:). Feathers need to be ruffled! Pray for that Momma that got yours goin' too!

Keep up the good work!

The Pughs said...

I don't know that anyone could have said it better. Growing up in a family of 5 girls I remember constantly thinking my parents said no to everything but when it came time to make my own decisions in college because I was away from home I realized that they didn't say no without a reason. I might not have acknowledged it at the time but I know that they were instilling Christian values in me that I would need for the rest of my life. Now as a mother I find myself explaining to my 3 year old son why we don't say certain things or act a certain way. I find already him comparing me to others and telling me that so and so says this. I believe in what you are doing and how you are raising your daughters and commend you for it for there are far too many parents who just "give in."

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