Sunday, December 29, 2013

Don’t Be A Wimp Of A Parent!

You know when you’re 17 years old and you have the teenage angst that allows you to fool yourself into thinking that when YOU become a parent you’ll be so much cooler than your parents, and your kids will like you SO much better than you like yours? C’mon, I wasn’t the only one thinking I’d be the fun mom, the hipster mom, the mom with kids who were her bff…

Well, maybe I was. Then I became a parent. Turned out I had completely different ideas on how to raise my kids now that I was an “adult”. I was a stay at home mom. I was completely hands on.  I started getting new ideas on how to parent my kids.

First, I’d have to credit my faith as to changing my way of thinking and second, when I went through Growing Kids God’s Way I had an even more intentional way of parenting.

When my girls were young, I had a fabulous roommate who had 4 girls! She was a single mom doing an amazing job. She and I had differing opinions on what would happen to our kids in the future. I felt that we, as parents, were in control of our kids lives and how they were raised so that when they were gone from our home, they’d still have the same core values and stick to them. I think she felt that once her kids left, they’d do what they pleased any how. She did raise them with strong values, don’t get me wrong! It was just this one discussion that she and I had about how our girls dressed that always stuck with me.

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Of course, that’s true, when we become adults and leave home, we get to make our own decisions. Well, even as you grow older (while at home) you make many of your own decisions. I just really feel that if we train up/teach our kids our core values, that they will take those values and add to them as adults on their own.

Soap box ahead…It was important for me to teach all of my kids how to dress appropriately and why. Girls, if you let your cleavage show, boys and men are going to look. And if you’re a 10 yr old girl, I’m talking to you. Men, grown men as old as your dad, will even look at you “in that way”. We live in a perverse society. Parents, if you allow your daughters to dress that way, I believe you’re encouraging her that sex sells and to show off her “attributes”. As a mom of 2 boys, I don’t appreciate that because it will be extremely hard for my boys to NOT look at what’s available to them. We as parents do not HAVE to buy things that aren’t modest. Nothing wrong with letting our girls be girls! YOU have control of that as the parent. If you say you don’t, then don’t come crying to me when your daughter is being felt up at 14 and “going all the way” at 15. One thing leads to another as we all know.

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Parents of boys, you let your kids play violent games, watch movies that aren’t age appropriate, and listen to music that degrades women, promotes sex, and is full of swearing? What do you think the results of those options will be? C’mon, let’s be real here. Your 11 year old son, playing games that are rated M for Mature (17 yrs old), watching R rated movies, or listening to music that comes with warning labels? You’re promoting what…in your kid? Oh, because they’re going to listen to it, watch it, or play it with their friends you may as well jump on the bandwagon and let them join in?! Are you KIDDIN G me? Ugh, that is the dumbest excuse I’ve ever heard. Coming up with excuses to allow all of the negative into their lives doesn’t pass the mustard with me.

I’ve navigated the waters with boys and girls. My girls didn’t listen to Britney Spears back in the day, or dress like they were available to any dude that came along, or watch movies like American Pie. My boys don’t go see movies like Twilight or listen to music from Rihanna, or play games like Assassin’s Creed. Those genres just aren’t part of who I want my kids to grow up to be or emulate.

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If I were to let them watch those kinds of movies, listen to that kind of music, or play those kinds of games, simply because I felt that I had no control over their lives as their parent, then what’s the point of parenting them?! It’s such a freaking copout! “Well, they’re going to do it anyhow” is the dumbest thing a parent could say. Do you have that little concern over who your kids are becoming that you would just turn a blind eye or hand them the reigns when they’re not ready for it? A 10 yr old playing games rated for someone 7 yrs older? Do you see what I’m getting at? A 14 yr old boy watching a movie filled with an 18 yr old chick giving it up to more than one guy? Ooooook

I talked to all of my kids about WHY I didn’t want them being involved in any of that crap. Giving them my reasons why made it so much easier to swallow. I didn’t just say, “because I said so” or “because”. We had discussions. They’re old enough to ask about any of it, they’re old enough to hear why I didn’t want it for them.

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Listen, I’m not saying that individually each of those things are completely unacceptable. I don’t want ANY of it in my home, but I’m saying it all works together…against your kid and family dynamics. I’m saying that as parents, we DO have control. And I don’t mean the kind of control that doesn’t allow your kid to grow, explore, and experience life. I’m saying we as parents are supposed to be the ones helping them with those positive choices, giving them acceptable alternatives, learning that they don’t HAVE to do what everyone else is doing.

Yes, my views are conservative and you don’t have to do the same as me, but what I think you have to remember is that you’re the head of the home until your kids leave the nest. They’re your responsibility, one that should have you considering the ramifications of being hands off or such a wimp that they make poor decisions. The world will have to deal with your kids after they leave your home. Wouldn’t you want them to be a positive addition to it?

What ways do you teach your kids to live positively?

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Woven by Words by Mimi B is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.