It has come to my attention in the last little while, that parents need to be made aware of a different form of parenting than they are used to. This is a standard given us in the Bible and it is still viable today. We are, I believe living in th end times. It is getting harder and harder to protect our kids from evil. There are children in our communities running wild with little or no supervision. Parents do not know the who, what, where and when of their children's lives. Technology has made it even harder to monitor our kids. I would like to share with readers what my husband and I have done to successfully parent our daughters.
My husband and I have been married for 19 years. We have two beautiful daughters ages 14 and 15. They attend middle school in our community. We have had some major issues in our lives, but by God's grace, help and the power of forgiveness, we have made it this far with fre major injuries.
Since the day that the girls were born, they have been in church. This has never been an option. There is no discussion. As they have gotten older, they have had to figure out their extracurricular activities to fit around church. If they want to play soccer and soccer games interfere with church, they do not play soccer. If they want to have a sleepover on Saturday night, then everyone gets up and goes to church on Sunday morning. This is how it is and will be as long as they are under our roof. Both girls were saved at church camp and have a very strong faith. They are not afraid to stand up for what is right, even if they are standing alone. When our youngest had to write an evolutionary timeline, she optend to take an "F" rather than go against her beliefs. Fortunately, the teacher allowed her to do a biblical timeline for the same credit.
We homeschooled our girls until they were 9 and 10 years old. They were well grounded when they began public school. They have a good sense of who they are and who God wants them to become. They are intergenerational in nature and deal well with young children and senior citizens at the same time. All of these things have helped them to become leaders in their classes and in the community. I have volunteered or worked in the school since they began and know what is going on at any given moment in the school and in their classroom. They are involved in most facets of school life from drama to band to newspaper to leadership. They have a few close friends, but generally, they hang around together. They are each others' best friends and they do not need to belong to the "in" crowd.
We have been very involved in school activities and friendships. This is the who of raising your kids. You must know who your kids' friends are. have them over to your home often. Know their parents and what their values are. If you are uncomnfortable around the child or their parents, then the friend is probably not appropriate for your child.
Know what activities your child is involved in. Know what movies they see, what music they listen to what books they read and what television shows they watch. A great resource for parents is pluggedinonline.com. You can find the scoop on all the latest entertainment. We use this quite often at our house. When the girls come home and want to see a certain movie or television show, we go and check it out. If the website has positive things to say, then it is a go. If not, then we do not allow them to watch it. We prefer movies rated "G" and "PG", but sometimes we allow "PG-13". It depends on the movie and what it contains.
We mainly watch sports on television; racing and football are the favorites. However, we always keep the remote handy, because the commercials are so bad. The internet is another issue we deal with on a regular basis. Our computer is in the living room so it is not possible for them to be places where they shouldn't be. We do not allow them to access the internet when neither of us is home. They wait until we get home and there is plenty of time to get their work done.
When it comes to books, both girls love to read. However, we check out what they are reading. There have been a few times when we have had them take a book back. We check out the authors, publishers and the year the book was written. For the most part, they do well at discerning what is good and what is bad, and they are not afraid to come and ask. When we go to bookstores, they usually head for the Christian fiction aisle. Most of the money we spend on books, is in Christian bookstores.
Music is not an issue at our house. We listen to the Christian alternatives to the secular and we all enjoy it. They get irritated at school because other kids listen to music they feel is offensive in the cafeteria and at dances. They do not always attend dances, and this has been their choice. We always give them the option. Usually, if they attend, we go and chaperone.
The when in all of this is the idea of curfews and spending time together as a family. In our fast paced world, time together becomes more and more important. When is there time to do this? We have made time with family a priority. We limit the girls to two activities per semester at school. We do not want them to be so overwhelemd that they become ill and cannot function. We eat breakfast and supper together almost everyday. We have some great discussions around the table. Usually, we are home by six in the evening, and we are in for the night. The girls are not interested in social activities too much at this point. When they are we will change things around as needed. However, there will always be curfews and boundaries in place. Boundaries are important for a child's security. As I have been working full-time at the school this year, this time has become a little harder to work in, but it is so important that we still make it a priority. Our children are with us for so little time, it is important that we stay connected. This connection is more effective when we are face to face and not relying on technology to do it for us.
These are just some of the things that we have done with our daughters. So far they have been successful. They are bathed in prayer everyday and as they have grown and changed, we have adjusted to each new stage of life. Children are a blessing from the Lord. Enjoy the blessings that He has placed in your life. Remember to be good stewards of the children He has given you.
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