Parents, learn where you can be flexible, and where you must stand firm.
The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother. Proverbs 29:15
There are a lot of ways that parents can give a sense of freedom to their children, allowing them to make their own choices about certain things. This is when parenting requires a great deal of flexibility. There are times when it’s important that parents learn to “go with the flow.”
The definition of “go with the flow” means to be relaxed and accept a situation, rather than trying to alter and control it. This is a necessary skill to keep parents from sure insanity.
But as much as flexibility is an much needed character trait for parents, there are time when “going with the flow” is not the best things for your kids. There are some very important things that you should not just let happen, things that you must be intentional about if you want your kids to grow up to be strong, compassionate humans.
- Don’t go with the flow and just let your busy schedules take away family time.
- Don’t go with the flow and let your kids get away with certain behaviors because you are too tired to step in.
- Don’t go with the flow and cover your ears as your kids yell at each other, hoping they just figure it out alone, even if they are beating each other up.
- Don’t just say yes to one more activity because your kids want to do it.
- Don’t just buy that gadget because your child “really needs it.”
If you want your kids to grow up a certain way–hopefully that is strong and compassionate–you cannot just go with the flow, you must stand firm in the things that are very important in the spiritual and emotional development of your children.
Here’s a good place to start: As a family, establish your core values and make decisions filtered through those values. Only say “yes” to those things that line up with those values.
Have you ever asked yourself what kind of adults you want your kids to be? Not what they do, but who they are. Do that first, then establish family core values that align with that. Stand firm on what’s important, and be flexible on what’s not.