Thursday, February 23, 2012

3 Reasons YOU Get To Be In Charge

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Following the Leader

There is definitely some trepidation in society from parents on taking the leadership role as parents. I am not really sure why that is. I don't know what led us to this point. Part of it, I am sure, springs forth from the idea of "child-centered" parenting. Putting the child's needs before the parent's or family's on a consistent basis can kind of make you a bit hesitant to step up and take charge as a parent (you might hurt the child's feelings if you do that).

In The Parenting Breakthrough, Merrilee Boyack's third principle is: Remember that we are the parents and we are in charge (page 19). 

Simple right? Makes sense? And yet we hesitate. Part of me can see why. I remember my mom when she was my age. She had me young enough that I was old enough to really remember her and her parenting. I don't know what she was feeling inside, but she definitely seemed perfectly confident in her parenting decisions. I honestly don't feel that confident. Perhaps the world of our children is much, much different than our world was at that age. The difference between my life as a 6 year old and Brayden's life as a 6 year old are quite different. 

Brayden lives in a world of technology. He also lives in a world of danger. When I was 6, it wasn't even a law that I had to wear a seat belt. Brayden not only needs a seat belt, but a booster seat to go with it. He lives in a world where it isn't safe to just wander the neighborhood. I wandered all over the place when I was six. 

For my mom and I, however, our worlds were pretty similar as six year olds. Sure, cars were a bit better and VCRs were about to come out, but I watched a black and white television as a six year old just like my mom did. No microwave, just like my mom. Life was very similar. 

Despite the differences in our worlds, we are still the parents, and I believe that means we not only "get" to be in charge, but that we "must" be in charge. It is our DUTY to raise our children. If we neglect that duty, we will have to answer for it. 

And it isn't always easy. As Boyack points out, "As parents, we have to be willing to experience frustration, lack of cooperation, and challenges to our patience and certainly our sanity, all without giving in!" (page 21).

If you are feeling a lack of confidence in you being in charge, Boyack offers three reasons.

NUMBER ONE: YOU'RE A LOT OLDER!
You have more experience and more intelligence than your children do. Boyack points out that your children won't believe that and won't accept it, but that doesn't mean it isn't true. I remember not realizing how smart my parents were really until I moved out of the house. That is the moment you suddenly appreciate all they did for you. Then you have your own children and appreciate them even more.

NUMBER TWO: YOU'RE DOING THE BEST YOU CAN
Boyack points out that you don't wake up in the morning with the desire to be a bad parent. Each day, you want to do the best you can. You are trying your best, and that is fabulous.

NUMBER THREE: YOU"RE ENTITLED TO DIVINE DIRECTION
The Lord has entrusted you to take care of these children, and He will help you do so. You can pray for direction, and you can get direction. Maintain your humility in this and it will take you far.

There you have three great reasons you should be in charge, not your child. Face this responsibility with confidence (while remembering humility) and you can guide your child in the direction he or she needs to go.

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5 comments:

dnvrmama said...

Hi, you mention that kids now live in a world of danger. I was wondering if you've heard the idea that things are not more dangerous than they were in the 1970's, but we are more aware of crime now and have just hyped things out of proportion.
There is a blog called "free range kids" dedicated to the idea that we make too big of a deal about things being potentially unsafe. http://freerangekids.wordpress.com/

Personally, I feel she goes a little over-board with her criticisms, but I do find validity in the point that we are over-cautious.

Plowmanators said...

I haven't heard of that. No--I really do think the world is more dangerous, and I don't mean just in crime. Children are exposed to drugs and sex at a much younger age than we were. The town I live in is very safe--I life in one of the top ten counties for lowest crime rates in the nation. But things I hear about going on in the middle school NEVER happened when I was in school. It is definitely a very different world.

Unknown said...

I work with school-aged kids with behavioral problems and OFTEN find myself thinking, "if only these parents had set more limits from toddlerhood, so much of this could have been avoided!" I truly believe that letting kids have too much freedom has dire consequences not only for the child and teen years, but into adulthood. This is one of many, many reasons that Babywise resonates with me as I prepare for the birth of my first child. I hope my kids learn their place in the family and the world, life will be much easier for them!

Jess said...

I try to model my parenting after the best parent I know. Our Heavenly Father. He does not control His children, so I do not try to control mine. Influence with reason and example, yes. "By persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned;" Doctrine and Covenants 121:41

Plowmanators said...

dnvrmama, I have since bought and am 6 chapters into her book. It is very interesting. She talks about abductions being less frequent and very unlikely.

Something she never addresses in the book is sexual crimes. I do think exposure to sexual things and violent thigns is happening earlier--I do think it is a very different world we live in now than it was when we were growing up. I do agree with a lot of her points on letting children have appropriate freedoms at appropriate ages. It is an interesting read--I will be reviewing it on the blog for sure!

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