Saturday, October 12, 2013

rules about rules

i grew up with particular perspective. i didn't have older brothers and sisters, like my friends did. i didn't share in the experiences that my friends received having those older brothers and sisters. because of this i intentionally purposed in my life at a young age to give young kids that experience that i didn't have by being an older brother figure. this purpose developed into a desire to do more for kids in their development as people, which then turned into a desire to help families, which in turn formed the passion i now have for counseling. god is so good!

here are some things i found to be very wise which i intend (as best as i can) to instill in the raising of my boys in their teenage years.

i had help from 5 love languages for teens by dr. gary chapman.

1. rules should be as few as possible
too many rules have potential to be very overwhelming. there is a great chance a family with too many rules will have young people who don't remember what they are and thus breaking them quite a bit. having many rules means parents, you will be responsible for keeping up with all these rules. think about life, and think about how life is with too many rules, very very rigid. this is not an argument for not having rules, but instead, considering if you have too many that may actually be hindering growth in your young person.

ask yourself, "what are the really important issues," when forming rules. say "no" to those things that destroy and "yes" to those things that build.

2. rules should be as clear as possible
if the rules are ambiguous or unclear you will be guaranteed to have a confused young person. when the rule is clear young people will sure to be aware when they break the rule. i have been involved enough with young people to know that they like to argue. unclear rules will give them a "dog in the fight."

3. rules should be as fair as possible
this is difficult because, "what is fair?" cultures are different and even generations are redefining things so fast. none of us are perfect in our understanding of what is perfect. parents, don't give in when you are convinced the rule is for the well being and favoring growth of the young person. every time a sense of fairness is violated someone will be upset. parents should consider bending only if it seems the well being of the child will not be compromised. parents should also think how they engage in the conversation of "fair," with their child. don't cut off a discussion and enforce a rule without dealing with an anger issue of the young person. doing this will result in rejection and resentment of the authority position. hear young peoples concerns about fairness while making and forming the rules together.

i love kids
i love families
i love working towards fixing problems
i love healthy demonstrations of god's principles in an earth that has been fractured by sin.

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