Thursday, May 11, 2017

Safe and Secure

photo from Deviantart Jake Vale

As a kid, I was a second middle child born in the '80s. If you are not aware of that time, it was a beautiful place of boomer parents striving for wealth and kids still had all kinds of freedom to explore the neighborhoods. There was no twenty-four hour news cycle to keep us on high alert to every threat. Cable television , I was a new and wonderful phenomenon. The eighties were my decade during my formative years.
I'm a mom. It would be safe to say that a SIGNIFICANT portion of my life has been spent looking out for other people. 

photo credit to
Growing up in a perfect balance of hedonism and evangelical revival tents, there was a fluid structure of rules in our home. There were some big no-nos centered around the Ten Commandments, but other than that, we tended to heed the rules that were most popular among the parents of my peers. 

Some people thrive in that.

 I did not.

 I like structure and clear boundaries. Step by step directions are my preferred communication when working on a project. Ambiguity makes me anxious. 

Since I have become a parent, I am realizing just how hard it is to be firm in boundaries. Also, that each kid really is different in how they respond to discipline. SO the whole idea of fairness and equal punishments does not mean that all punishments are the same for each kid. I probably shouldn't even use the word punishment, it's discipline. The difference being something a psychologist told a parenting magazine and now we all have changed our word choice. All this to say, boundaries are hard to keep in place.


Those lines get blurred out faster and faster because the goal is to let your kids be independent. But that's hard to. Because you know they are gonna mess up. Because I did. So I know my kids will. That might mean they get hurt. Which I want to avoid AT ALL COSTS.

But it's necessary for those lessons to be learned. My job should be about letting them push those boundaries out further and further until they are gone and no longer needed.

So the trick is to set the boundaries down in a way that is not stifling but has provided enough structure to give the kids security to be themselves.

Just one of the many enigmas of parenting. 

Best wishes to you on your journey. 

photo from Focus on the Family

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