I won’t let my 10-year-old watch movies like Hunger Games, Twilight, Dear John, or Pitch Perfect.
…even with me in the room. Sitting right beside her. It just won’t happen. And, she knows why. I won’t let my children watch these types of movies at 10, 7 1/2, and 6-years-old.
Children hunting and killing other children is not appropriate for a child to see. I shouldn’t have to explain why.
Not a fan of vampires… especially for kids. It’s demonic, even if the movies are ultra cheesy, and popular.
And, romance movies, like Dear John? All those romance movies have sexual innuendos in at least one place or another. So, just… no. I’m not trying to keep her in a bubble, but I also don’t want her under some false pretense that dating runs parallel with sex, or foreplay. Sex is a gift from God, and it’s to be enjoyed in its proper context, between a husband and wife.
I won’t let my kids have unmonitored, free-for-all access to the computer.
If they’re on the computer, I’m in the same room. I see what they’re doing, what they are watching, what games they are playing, and they can’t go to any websites unless I give it the okay first.
I won’t let my kids go to birthday parties at a friend’s house if I don’t know their parents.
Yep. It just won’t happen. If I don’t know the parents really well, and I can’t stay at the house for the duration of the party, then my kids can’t go. Period.
I won’t make my kids come inside when it is raining.
I let them play in the rain… without an umbrella, rain boots, or rain coats. I also let them explore creeks, get dirty, and play in the mud.
I won’t let them take any electronic devices to the park.
It’s a park. I think that’s self-explanatory.
I won’t let my kids have Facebook or instagram accounts.
Myah had instagram on her media player for a while over last winter into summer. She became obsessed with it… it turned bad pretty quickly. She was checking it all the time, comparing herself to others, losing sight of real-life. I monitored who she “followed” and who “followed” her… it was a private account, so it was only friends and family. It still had a negative affect on her.
I don’t believe these are healthy platforms for some adults, let alone children. Especially when those children and teenagers are on it, completely unmonitored, posting “selfies” showing off their bodies in provocative, inappropriate ways. I’ve seen it. Having hundreds of thousands of “followers” or “friends” who are giving them “likes” on their photos for all the wrong reasons.
I won’t let them drink caffeinated pop… or coffee.
If you’ve been around my kids… you’ll understand why. The last thing they need is any sort of caffeinated beverage. Pop, in general, is a rarity that they typically only get on special occasions anyway… but I always make sure it’s caffeine free.
I won’t buy them unnecessary, useless crap at the store… even if it’s only $1.
I try to avoid taking them to the store with me, because it’s never easy, never quick, and always ends in someone crying. But, when we do all go together, I say some variation of the word “no” approximately 3,427 times.
I won’t let my 10-year-old daughter wear whatever she wants.
I know what boys are thinking… yes, even at 9 and 10-years-old, and I definitely don’t want them thinking that about her, because she’s dressed inappropriately. If she’s wearing leggings, she’s wearing a shirt that’s long enough to cover her butt. Leggings aren’t jeans/pants. I don’t let her wear super tight, super short shorts, or shirts. Her clothing has to cover her, and not be revealing. And, she knows why.
Am I strict? Probably. But, I don’t care. My kids know why I have the rules that I have [and that's not even all of them]. I communicate everything with them. I don’t just give them a strict, “no,” I communicate with them the “why” behind it. Myah knows what Hunger Games is about, and she doesn’t even want to see it, but she knows many kids in her age group who have seen it.
I want the best for them, and many times that means saying no. I’m not trying to hover over them like a helicopter, and I’m not living under some false illusion that I’ll prevent them from seeing all the evils of the world… no way.
They know that God gives us gifts (such as entertainment, food, clothing, alcohol, and sex) that are meant to be enjoyed in the proper context, which He outlines.
I’m not telling you all this to portray some false image of what my kids are like.
They are crazy, and they are out of control.
Kids are born into iniquity, and we have to lovingly show them right from wrong. As toddlers, their first instinct when they get mad is to hit, throw temper tantrums, and scream. They didn’t learn that… they were born like that.
But, even showing them right from wrong, and protecting them as much as possible… they are still going to go the way they’re going to go. They are still ultimately in God’s hands. They were a gift to me, but they’re not really mine… they’re His.
I can’t control them, and I can’t control their actions… sometimes they do things, ridiculous things… and I have NO idea why, because they know better. So, what else can I do when I feel like I’ve done everything I can do? I have to let go, lift them up in prayer, and lean on God. He created them this way for a purpose, and I know there is purpose in it.
Recently, I’ve been judged so much in how I parent, and it. is. exhausting…
My kids are passionate, dramatic, emotional, energetic, and sometimes often times defiant.
If you know me, or you’ve read my blog before, you know [at least part of] why I am a single Mom… you know how I struggle to keep it together sometimes, you know where my hope resides, and you know what I’m up against.
I’m so grateful, and I embrace when people want to lovingly help, assist, and support me in raising my kids.
But, I loathe being judged about my parenting. I would love to be able to shrug it off when I get dirty looks when my kids act out in public, but it takes a lot of grace from God for me to forgive, and move on.
Trust me, I know it’s annoying when my 10-year-old has intense meltdowns, but before you pass judgment… you don’t know where she’s been, what she’s been through, and the emotions she is still learning how to control. She gets mad about certain aspects of her life… she gets mad at God, she gets mad at her dad, she gets mad at me, and she doesn’t know what to do with those feelings. She often buries it, and then she explodes at the wrong times. I am still learning how to act and react in those moments.
And, yes, I’m fully aware that when my boys run wild, act crazy, and wrestle… I know it’s distracting for you. My 7-year-old has ADHD and SPD, and I’m still learning how to properly discipline him when he just. won’t. stop. My 6-year-old antagonizes and provokes. Sometimes they are out of control, they are defiant, and it is a struggle for me to figure out what to do.
Keeping it together is not one of my strengths. There’s one of me, and three of them… each with opposing, strong personalities. Sometimes I feel like I’ve tried it all… I ignore, I take away things, I ground them, I spank, I discipline in every way I know how. But, I still know that I mess up.
Sometimes, you do too. We all do.
I’m learning to completely surrender and lean on God for these trying times in parenting where I feel so completely lost, alone, and hurt… He redeems, and restores my hope when I surrender it all to Him. He works *all things* into good. (Romans 8:24-30)
Proverbs 22:6 (NIV) – Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.