Our oldest is going to be eleven soon. Just this week he’s challenged the rules twice. I got a glimpse of my future self, sitting at the kitchen table at 2am waiting for my sixteen-year-old son to come home, when he was supposed to be home at midnight.
I told Xavier, our almost eleven-year-old, that, as parents we are to give our children roots and wings. To that, Xavier replied, “…and all I have are roots.” I had to then explain to him that with wings comes trust and trust is something you earn.
In any case, it was a day of several lessons. And I realized how quickly the nights of “worry” are approaching.
This parenting gig isn’t getting any easier as time goes and as social media and technology advances.
I heard a disturbing trend today that teenagers are turning to Craig’s List to “hook up;” using code words in their ads and setting their accounts up as “babysitter’s” and other fictitious titles looking for “work.” As a parent, it’s not the kind of work we aspire our children to seek.
It is a different time, that is for sure. Gone are the days of being a parent to a kid in the 70’s and 80’s, where your child could ride their bike around town and you took comfort in knowing you lived in a “safe” place, that no matter where your child went, the community, as a whole, looked out for one another.
I almost feel as though the innocence of childhood is slowly being stripped away. Whether it be children in broken homes, the media, society in general…I don’t know what it is. It is a scary time to be a parent. I’m not sure that will improve with time either.
All we can do is our best and pray that our children really listen; that mama does know best.
Growing up and even now to this day, I can still hear my mom say (and she will still say this from time to time) – “you can do what you want, but if I were you…..”
I think the one line that will stick with our kids, that I’m pretty sure I’ve said already time and time again is this: “we have rules because we give a shit.”
And yes, I say it just like that. I’m not going to sugar-coat it for them. We love our kids, therefore we have rules – to protect, teach, and guide their choices (hopefully positive ones). We may be more strict than some or not as strict as others. Regardless, we, as parents, are on the same page and I thank God for that. There is no “I” in “TEAM,” as the saying goes.
Just like the saying in the old days held true, it takes a village to raise a family, I still feel that holds true – maybe even more so today. Somewhere along the line though, that started to change.
If only parenting came with a manual and we could add revisions with the changing times, right?