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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Who's In Control - You or Your Child?

I subscribe to three magazines, yet rarely have/take the time to "read" through them - only glance through quickly some times. But, this weekend we're at a hotel for the Oklahoma State Fair goat show. It's a nice change of pace to get away, relax a little bit, plus there's no laundry, no dirty dishes, and not quite as much straightening to do (yes, I straighten the hotel room some. It would be a disaster if I didn't!).

Last night while reading through my Family Circle magazine, I was pleasantly surprised by the "Ask Rosalind" section. The following questions was asked: "My daughter is 13 and is texting every waking moment. When I make her turn off her phone she gets furious. Should I set limits anyway?" Now, I don't know if this was a "real" question from a reader or if the people working for the paper just make up questions that could be real, but the answer from Rosalind Wiseman showed that she is a "Wise wo-Man". Here's the main part of her answer: "I don't understand why this is so confusing for parents. She's 13. You are in control here. If she's not furious with you at least part of the day, then you're doing something wrong. Also, it's your money that pays for the phone." And then Rosalind talks about how certain companies can set usage controls and how she as a parent can, as well.

It was great to see Rosalind answer in a way that directly put the parent in control of the child, instead of vice-versa. The "child in charge" syndrome seems to be an epidemic in our culture today. And, unfortunately, many times the advice given by some counselors and columnists is to allow the children more control of their lives than they are capable of handling at that time.

Children and teens need guidance and direction, but the right kind of guidance and direction. The advice in Family Circle was great advice, but God gave this advice thousands of years ago in His Word - the Bible. The Bible teaches that children must obey their parents (as long as it does not go against God's commands). And parents must discipline their children. Of course, this verse does not mean to "beat" children as some have made it out to mean. But it is more than multiple warnings that never result in any form of discipline at all.

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Ephesians 6:1

Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Colossians 3:20

He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him. Proverbs 13:24

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