Why you must stand your ground!
Standing your ground can be difficult especially if you don’t know on which things to stand firm and which things to let go. My top three stands after raising my son and working in youth ministry for over twenty years are:
- Adhere to a solid and realistic curfew.
- Set weekly family times that can fluctuate depending on the season of life you are living.
- Require respect toward you and show respect toward your children.
Curfew isn’t a curse word.
According to many young people a curfew is much life a type of confinement or policing of their time away from you, the parent(s). In actuality it is a safety net to establish boundaries and protect them from things they are not wise enough to know yet. Having a set time to return home is the first stage of learning to self-discipline their days and nights in addition to showing respect for their family. But curfews can also be a way to place a wedge between parents and their children when there is no communication or flexibility. Routine conversations about curfew times should take place. Summer vs winter; normal weekend vs special event…these are areas that need to be decided together.
Some families believe in a dictatorship style of parenting, “I say and you obey because I pay for everything that touches your life” but I’ve seen that this type of parenting opens the door wide for flight rebellion. Homes that foster communication and parents listening and taking into consideration the thoughts of the child have much greater success of consistent follow through. But how do you set a curfew that is fair and doable? An article on Healthline.com does a fantastic job of explaining the how-to of curfew setting. You can read that article here.
Family time really is important.
T.V. sitcoms and movies make sport of family time on the regular. Typically it is visualized as a barrage of uncomfortable questions from parents to their children, fighting among siblings, and ends with everyone feeling it was a waste of time. The reality is that family time is the number one way to stay connected and create a bond with one another!
I love this article from the Focus on The Family website which talks about how food brings families together! My favorite quote states, “Food allows us to feel safe by decreasing the sympathetic ‘fight, flight, or freeze’ response.” I come from the generation that ate at grandma and grandpas table at every meal but started sitting in front of the T.V. when at home. I can personally attest that the conversations and bonding at my grandparents is something I treasure and miss! You can read that article here. Now we have the added pressure of cellphone interruption. There are many families I’ve talked to that have initiated a “no-phone” rule at the dinner table which has made a huge difference in their quality time together.
Did you sing that heading? I did as I typed it!
Singing aside, the fact is that respect is required, respect is earned, and respect is a two way street. Scripture is clear about this matter.
“Children, obey your parents; this is the right thing to do because God has placed them in authority over you. Honor your father and mother. This is the first of God’s Ten Commandments that ends with a promise. And this is the promise: that if you honor your father and mother, yours will be a long life, full of blessing.” Ephesians 6:1-3
“And now a word to you parents. Don’t keep on scolding and nagging your children, making them angry and resentful. Rather, bring them up with the loving discipline the Lord himself approves, with suggestions and godly advice.” Ephesians 6:4
“Fathers, don’t scold your children so much that they become discouraged and quit trying.” Colossians 3:21
We should be treating the other person how we would want to be treated. Where have we heard that before? OH, YES! The Golden Rule! Matthew 7:12 — “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.”
You are a Foundation
So we can clearly see that standing your ground does not need to be a war to be won at all costs. Standing your ground means that you are a safe place, a consistent foundation that can be relied upon and looked to for stability. This is a good thing when done with love and respect.