The #1 issue facing parents today isn’t drugs, sex, or Rock n Roll… it’s peer pressure. No, not for our kids… for you and me. Every day we are pressured into making all kinds of stupid decisions. I watch it every day, heck, I’ve felt it. It’s not fun being the parent that’s always saying no. Here’s a snippet of a conversation my daughter and I had a little while back:
My daughter – “I really, really, REALLY, want a cell phone! All my friends have one… It doesn’t have to be an iPhone or anything like that, just a normal one would work.”
Me – “Honey, one thing you’re going to have to understand right now is that there is going to be a lot of things that “your friends” have and do that you will not. It’s just the way it is with our family.”
Me (3 minutes later talking with my wife) – “Honey, we shouldn’t get ___ a cell phone … should we?”
It’s tough parenting these kids in a day and age where every child has…well… everything! At times, it feels as though we are the only parents out there telling our children “no”. Sometimes, this feeling of being all alone gets the better of me and I moving from “alone” to the feeling of guilt. Have you ever been there? Are you there now? No one wants to parent out of guilt or even worse regret. So how can we find freedom from the strong pull of parental guilt?
Here are 3 ways to be guilt free
1. Have a plan
I’m often amazed to see how much time energy and money that some people will spend on planning a vacation and yet how little they’re willing to spend on planning for their family. One way to relieve guilt is to know why you make the decisions you do. This is best experienced when you are following some sort of Road Map for you family. (Coming soon- The Family Road Map eBook)
2. Remember that everyone else is messed up too
You need to take advice and comments for what they’re worth…and some just aren’t worth that much! As parents, many times we just get too hung up on what other people think of us. When you find yourself bothered by a comment about your parenting all you need to do is to look at the source and determine whether or not you want your children to be like THEM when they grow up. If your first thought is “not in a million years” then don’t give it a second thought.
3. Be ok with being the only one who understands your values and decisions
You stand before God, not everyone else! Few people in your life will know, understand, and hold 100% to YOUR values. As a result there will be very few people who fully understand why you’re making the decisions you do. This advice is one the top advice I offer parents! Just learn to be ok with everyone outside of the 4 walls of your home thinking you’re crazy. (I’ve become very comfortable with this and I’ll tell you, it’s liberating!)
What’s an issue that you parent “differently” than others? Don’t be shy… you’ve got the freedom here to parent! (Go ahead and post your answer below)