Monday, December 13, 2010

Boundaries... with kids

This book has really opened my eyes. I will just share a few excerpts from the book and share my feelings and opinions.

There are three main points of parenting in the first chapter- from Boundaries:

- Source

I'll just cover the first in this post.

The Guardian:

The Guardian protects and preserves the child. Galatians 4:2 says "He is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father." Dr. Cloud says, "Children do not possess the wisdom for protecting and preserving their own life. They do not know right from wrong, dangerous from safe, good from better, life from death." They think only of immediate gratification.

Our job, as parents, is to raise wise, godly children who mature into wise, godly adults. Wisdom comes from experience, which all children lack. I have to give Truett (Jett and future children) enough freedom in their boundaries to gain experience but not so much freedom that they will hurt themselves.

"Too little freedom to gain experience and the child forever remains a child. Too much freedom and the child is in danger of hurting himself." - Dr. Henry Cloud

Here are a few sources of danger our children may face if we give them too much freedom:
1. Dangers within themselves
2. Dangers in the outside world.
3. Inappropriate freedoms they are unable to handle at the current time
4. Never appropriate or evil actions, behaviors, or attitudes
5.Their own regressive tendency to remain dependent and avoid growing up.

I have a tendency to do things for Truett because they are easier for me to do and making Truett do them would take three times as long. In the end I know he will only be the kind of man I would like him to be if I teach him to do things the right way and spend the time to show him.

This is very hard for me since time is a very limited resource, and it doesn't look like I'll be getting any MORE time in the near future! I also have been trying to make things easier on him because I don't want him to feel the affects of failure, rejection, and hard times. I am helping Truett learn from his mistakes by letting him experience the repercussions of his actions (good or bad) and explaining why they happened. No, I'm not letting him fly off cliffs or hurt himself, but when I can, I try to let him feel the "natural" effects of doing things he shouldn't.

How do you (or have you or will you) balance between too much freedom and too little freedom?

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