When it comes to kids, setting boundaries is essential. You want to give them everything, but also realize they need structure along the way so the things you give them don’t turn out to be harmful instead of helpful. In a previous blog, we talked about the parental role of “Guardian,” but today we’d like to focus on 2 more important parts a parent needs to play in the lives of their children.
Sometimes it really does feel like you’re just managing chaos doesn’t it? There is always one hungry, one tired, and one upset because they didn’t get the color cup the wanted with dinner. It’s exhausting. But a manager is there to make sure things get done. If it were up to my kids, it would be cereal and candy for every meal. It sounds delicious, but it will give you a stomach ache. If it were up to my kids, showers would be optional, but no one wants their kid to be the smelly kid in class (if you got that reference, high five). Kids aren’t born with self-discipline, which is why they need a “manager” to help instill discipline in them so they can survive and learn to become productive members of society.
Parents do this by giving them food that is good for them and money when necessary. Parents teach them their ABC’s, 123’s, and right from wrong. Parents have to enforce consequences, correct, maintain order, and teach them life skills like feeding the dogs, doing laundry, managing money. Kids don’t come equipped with any of this knowledge!
A child is totally dependent on their parent. As a parent, you are literally the source of all good things in the life of your child. All food, clothing, shelter, water, and money come from the parents. But part of being a source for your kids is teaching them how to receive those things and use them responsibly as they grow. Eventually they will supply all of those things for themselves, but they’ll need help along the way.
If a parent just gives and gives without boundaries, you get an entitled and self-centered child. If a parent is too stingy with those things, you’ll see the child give up and never develop the hope of reaching their goals. Parenting is hard, and finding the right balance of giving good things while expecting much from your kids can be tricky at times.
But our goal is to raise kids who love Jesus. It’s to see them grow to become independent of us as parents and to pass on the things they’ve learned from us to their own kids. In the meantime, hang in there. We know you’ve got several hats to juggle, but remember: You aren’t alone.
Never forget: We love you. We’re praying for you. And we’re in this together.