What’s the biggest “do-over” you’d want as a parent?
If you’re like many parents, your answer is probably some variation on the theme, “I wish I would’ve spent more time with my kids.”
“I wish I would’ve taken my son to more baseball games.”
“I wish I would’ve tucked my daughter into bed more, instead of yelling, ‘Good night!’ from downstairs.”
“I wish I would’ve left work more often and shown up to their games and school activities.”
I doubt any of you picked, “I’d think up a lot more rules,” as your biggest do-over.
They say hindsight is 20/20. If reflecting back tells us that overdoing it on rules is counterproductive, what changes should we make to avoid the same mistakes moving forward?
Our children need us to set healthy boundaries for them, of course, but it’s easy to let the rules interfere with our bonding. So when you’re deciding how you ought to balance boundaries and bonding, it’s best to tip the scales toward bonding.
We can have all kinds of rules, but our children are inevitably going to pattern their behavior after ours. For better or worse, how we handle life is probably how our kids will handle it.
Most of what we teach our children about God, marriage, parenting, family, and work will not come from lectures and lists of rules. It will come from those times when we’re laughing over pizza, making snow angels, eating popcorn and watching a movie, or lying with them at bedtime and listening as they talk about whatever is on their heart and mind.
We can teach what we know, but we can only reproduce who we are.
But as most parents can attest, striking a healthy balance between boundaries and bonding isn’t always easy. That’s why we’re offering some practical help on our radio program today with author Jonathan McKee. He’s got over 20 years of youth ministry experience and speaks to parents, leaders, and teens worldwide.
He’ll offer his time-tested advice today on “Balancing Bonding and Boundaries as a Parent,” and will help you learn how to become better and wiser as you guide your kids toward adulthood.