My son surprised me a few days ago.
My kids’ friends usually end up coming to our house to play. But, a few days ago, our kids really wanted to go to their new friend’s backyard to play.
I know as our kids get older, we need to begin opening our hands more and more.
So, I said they could, but to not go into their house, that they had to stick together, and that they had to come back in thirty minutes since we’re still getting to know them.
I also told them a new rule that I had learned from a mama with a middle schooler and high schooler.
My friend told her kids that if someone says to look at their phone, to look away and ask what they want to show them first because of how some kids try to show inappropriate content (like pornography and other harmful things).
So, before my kids went to their new friend’s backyard, I told them that if the older sister wants to show them something on her phone, to look away.
That might seem overbearing and strict, but I would much prefer to air on that side, than for them to view something harmful.
As they get older and learn who they can trust, that will adjust some, but right now our kids are looking to us to show them how to make wise choices, so I want to do my best to do that.
That doesn’t mean we’ll avoid all difficulty – part of parenthood is dealing with those tough things – but it does mean we can put rules and procedures in place that will help our kids.
After thirty minutes of playing, our kids came back to our yard with their friends and continued playing.
Later on, I asked them how it went. They said they had a great time. Then, my son said that the older sister said to him, “Hey, I want to show you a picture on my phone.” My son said , “Sorry, my mom told me not to look at other people’s phones.”
She said, “Man, your mom is strict.” And his reply melted my heart and will probably last me the year: “No she’s not. She’s the best mom in the world.”
I know our kids don’t always choose wisdom or the right thing to do, so when they do, we sure should enjoy it.
I wasn’t just proud of him for not caring what she thought and for speaking so lovingly about me, but for being trustworthy.
Even though the picture she wanted to show him was probably innocent, he chose wisdom. He chose listening to me. I told him how proud I was of him and how that moment built my trust in him.
Let’s do our best to emphasize open communication and the importance of trust with our kids. To tell them they can talk to us about anything and to always be honest with us.
It doesn’t mean they always will, but when they choose dishonesty, it’s our responsibility to give them natural consequences, and to redirect them. They’re kids – they’re meant to challenge us. But, our role as parents is to continue redirecting them to wisdom, to the Lord, to love – one moment at a time.
That’s our role as parents, isn’t it? To prepare them for the real world, to equip them to choose wisely, and then to open our hands, bit by bit, praying and trusting the Lord, one moment at a time.