From Building Family Ties with Faith, Love and Laughter by Dave Stone
Setting boundaries doesn’t quite require a helicopter. Hovering over your children doesn’t teach them responsibility; it suffocates them. Typically it leads to rebellion because they can’t wait for the day when they are free from the bondage of your watchful eye. The solution is to gradually give them more and more privileges as they prove themselves responsible. Eventually that freedom fosters a secure feeling. You aren’t expecting perfection, just respect, communication, and a desire to obey.
I have a friend who used to construct buildings in California. Because of the frequency of earthquakes there, tall buildings are actually built on rollers, so that there is some flexibility to the structure when a tremor occurs. While the foundation is solid, it also has some margin for movement. In the moment of trauma, the building will sway instead of breaking.
So when you feel the earth move under your feet because of your son or daughter’s unwise actions, remain confident in your planning and preparation. Expect tremors. Quakes will rumble and buildings will sway, but if you’ve laid the right foundation, they need not fall. How you handle the tremors caused by your children will reveal how secure the home is.
Will you be disappointed? Sure. Frustrated? Of course. Embarrassed by their actions? Occasionally.
But remember, your worth and identity are found in being a child of God, not a perfect parent with perfect children. They’ve got free will too. If you work through those smaller challenges and mistakes, you’ll help pave the way for them to make wiser choices in the future.
Parenting is a process of preparing your children for the next step in their development. It’s a gradual releasing of them from childhood. If timed correctly, the transition into adulthood can occur quite naturally. Then when they call, Skype or return to spend time with you, it’s on their terms. It’s their choice. The communication and interaction are out of desire, not obligation. Your fulfillment as a parent goes to a whole new level because of the healthy way you raised them.
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