Why?

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The more I listen to my kids, the more I realize just how weird my husband and I are!

Recently, my 14 year old had three new friends spend the night. She had shared with us that these were good kids so it was good to see her meeting new friends.

I was caught off guard when not one of these parents called me before the sleep over. I didn’t know them; they didn’t know me, yet they felt comfortable allowing their child over night in our home. After they left, I reminded my girl that we just don’t do it that way. She said, “I know Mom!” and that was that.

Several nights later, spur of the moment, she asked if she could spend the night at a girl’s home we had never met. Now I knew some negative things about this girl that maybe my daughter didn’t know that I knew.

Because of our previous conversation, I told my girl “no” to the sleep over giving her the reason that I didn’t know her family.

Was there some protest? Absolutely.

Did my girl get my reasoning? Maybe.

The best part was that I had already communicated my “why” before the situation came up.

Often, we have to make decisions before our “whys” have been communicated. It is better, though, if we are able to discuss with our children in advance the reason behind the rules we make.

If you would like some help communicating wise rules with your child, be sure to check out my “freebies” tab. There you will find several wise rules such as the Family Purity Codeย and the Revolutionary Love Heart and Body Covenant. I hope these will be helpful to your family!

Communication is everything when it comes to building relationships with our kids. Without it, you have nothing. Rules without relationship builds rebellion.

Today, I am giving away a free copy of my CD “Building a Bridge to Your Child’s Heart” to one person today. To enter, just share with us what is the hardest rule in your family to stick with. I just shared mine!
Be sure to stop back on Wednesday for my Wednesday Wisdom Tip! I’ll share the winner then.

 

Lynn

74 Comments

  1. Our hardest family rule is to speak kindly to one another. My kids can think of some of the meanest things to say about the other. There are times that kindness flows and a word of encouragement comes from somewhere down deep inside those little people to each other, not as often as I would like though. I know my children love one another, but sometimes they can be hurtful. I tell them that where strife and anger are, evil has an opportunity to come in so it is very important to keep that out of our lives and watch very closely what comes out of our mouths.

    1. Naomi, It is hard to teach our kids to be kind. Another thing that I remind my kids is that the world is going to be mean and put you down; that’s why our house has to be a safe place. Our home needs to be a place where you can get lifted up when beat down. One day they will grow up and the people in this house will be the ones that will still be in their lives (Lord willing).

  2. We have had issues with the cell phone and chain texts and inappropriate content. We set some rules for the phone before ever turning it on. That communication prior really helped. We also don’t let our kids go onto Youtube, which we have found a lot of parents allow unsupervised. This has come up often. Thank you for the encouragement to be weird!

  3. Bernadette says:

    Hi Lynn,
    We are also ‘weird’! I know it’s tough on my children particularly our 15 yr old son! He knows the choices we make are based in love but it doesn’t make them easier at that age! He is not a ‘talker’ like his older brother (17) and his younger sister (12), so I am constantly trying to create times when he will feel comfortable enough to talk to my husband and I. Our major concern and worry that he is not always honest with us ~ and I know he gets angry with himself b/c of his dishonesty~ he is constantly in our prayers! Any thoughts or guidance?
    Bernadette

    1. Bernadette, We have seen that in one of our children. It is true that if they don’t feel that you approve of their behavior they will not talk. I wish I knew the answer to this one. Believe me…I’m still searching. All I know to do at this point is to love with the unconditional love that I need Jesus to pour into and out of me!

  4. The hardest rule in our family is “no cell phones” for our children. My husband and I firmly believe our children (11 & 9) don’t ‘need’ a cell phone to survive – they are surviving and thriving without one. But to hear our 11y/o side of the story, she is the ONLY one in her grade without a cell phone. We know this is not true as we have talked to other parents who are also allowing their children to survive without a cell phone. Yes, our children will get a cell phone one day – now is just not the day!

    1. Kim, my son, did not have a cell phone until after he graduated from university (maybe in the last 4 months, can’t remember exactly and I want to be 100% honest) He was not living at home .He survived, now 25! We find texting a good way to keep in touch with our far-away kids, in between phone calls.

  5. I am a single mom, divorced for almost 6 months. When my marriage started unraveling is when I realized how all the little seeds of christianity I or someone else planted in my daughters’ lives were so important. Yes we are weird! Actually my ex-husband called me a religious freak. That’s fine with me! I listen to Christian radio in my house, its all we listen to. My daughter’s friends wonder if they can change it to a popular pop rock station, I explain to my daughters why we choose to listen to Christian radio instead. I like that scripture about how we are God’s chosen ones. And I want to be different in a good way. My girls are exposed to everything that is so bad in our culture through their dad who is into things that I feel despair over. I have no way to control their selections in music or TV at his house. They are exposed to sex, violence and indecency. Sometimes I feel so helpless. But I know that even in this trial, I have to believe that God can and will protect my daughters from the evil one and this evil culture.

    1. Denise, I am so proud of the light you are being to your daughters. They will see it and we can trust God that they will be drawn to Him! Keep going sister!

    2. This must be so hard, Denise. Don’t give up!

  6. susan Taylor says:

    Great lesson today on P31! Our hardest rule is about anger. My two girls ages 9 and 8 are often angry at being asked to do anything out of the ordinary. If some things are spread across the living room and I ask one of them to get them, that person will only pick up their personal items and leave everything else. Then when asked to return the other things to their proper place she is angry that she has to do more than anyone else especially the other sister. Each of them gets so angry. I remind them it is a waste of energy to be angry and doing the job quickly will get them back to whatever they were doing sooner.
    so glad to have found your website and am looking forward to reading more.

  7. Ah. My kids are still little–4 and 2–so we have struggled so much with understanding the reason for sharing. I know it is a heart issue, and I am flummoxed on how to help my children’s hearts with that. And my 4-yr old is already a lawyer-in-training, I am sure of it! Haha. He has to argue or question EVERYTHING. So we’ve had to take the “obey first, then I’ll answer your questions/listen to your arguments” approach. That one is also really hard!

  8. I ran across your devo and book today in such a timely manner with my tween’s problems. I’m wondering if your book is too mature for my tween daughter of 11. I’m looking for a book to connect with her. I love your message and I’m needing prayer in the area of Godly wisdom, mercy, and softened hearts. Thank you, Lynn for allowing God to use you.

    1. Jackie,

      I don’t believe that “His Revolutionary Love” is too mature for your girl. The sooner our daughters can learn that Jesus is the only one that can fill the love gap in their hearts the better! There is one chapter in the back on boys that you can leave out if you wish. I really recommend getting my free leadership guide under my “freebies” tab and doing this together. It is a great way to build relationship and open up good questions.

  9. I agree Naomi that being kind is the hardest in our house also. It seems that getting along at all somedays is a struggle. My goal is for my girls to be kind and uplifting to each other, to love each other.

  10. Shanda Heller says:

    I agree that showing kindness to each other in our family is a hard thing to do. I have 3 children, ages 8,10,12 and it seems like they are constantly teasing or tormenting one another. Our rule is that they must come to mom or dad to settle disagreements and not take matters into their own hands; or they are equally responsible for their actions. It’s hard to turn the other cheek in the heat of the moment; but God’s Word tells us to do so. Another rule that my children struggle with is, “Do everything without arguing or complaining”. I’d like to have tips on first time obedience with a joyful heart! I’m new to your site and really enjoyed reading your blog today. I signed up to receive more tips on being a godly mom.
    Thank you for your inspiration and words of wisdom today!

    1. Hey Shanda,

      I read something really interesting in “How to Have a New Teen in 5 Days”. Dr. Leman says he makes his kids work out their own problems. He said that most of the time they want to draw us in when they need to learn how to communicate. I believe he said he makes them go into a room, where he can’t hear, and they can’t come out until they have it worked out. Just another method…

  11. With an 18 year old, a 16 year old, and a 13 year old, it is a big challenge to get everyone to be responsible to get enough sleep! I know that sounds crazy, but it is a constant struggle. My 18 year old daughter, who has been responsible since arriving into this world, takes college classes as a high school senior and works in media at our church for approx. 30 hours a week. With that much freedom, she sometimes doesn’t manage her schedule to get enough sleep. My 16 year old son, whose life skill to learn this junior year in high school is “manage your schedule,” is learning the hard way that staying up too late is not a good choice. And then the caboose, who is much younger but sees the freedom that the older ones have, wants to stay up late just because they do. Did I mention that I am a single mom who works full time? Yeah. I will appreciate any comments or help, but I have to mention that I am in my theoretical “coaching” phase of life with my oldest two, letting them be more independent with daily words of guidance and encouragement.

    1. Terri, your last line sounds like you are doing exactly what you should do! “letting them be more independent with daily words of guidance and encouragement.”

      My son is a sophomore in college and struggling to pass a class. He recently told me he wished he had learned in high school to do his homework. Not because he needed to learn the material, because he already knew it, but to learn the discipline. He’ll get it one way or another!

      1. Lynn, your son sounds like mine – didn’t have to work hard in high school to get decent marks. He too regretted that when at university as working harder could have gotten him more scholarships. They do learn though, now he is working on his Masters and working very hard.
        Terri, I like what you say about letting older teens be more independent, little by little. One needs freedom in little chunks! I like the idea of being a life coach to your kids.

  12. I am a very over protective mother; like yourself! God has blessed us with a daughter and son; ages 9 and 6. I do not let them go to kids houses to spend the night or play either; unless I know the parents. – – It drives my husband and I crazy, that our children fuss and speak mean to each other. The kids love each other 1 minute and act like they hate each other the next minute. I ask my children; if God would like the way they are acting? So, I guess our hardest family rule is to be kind to one another.

  13. I have a rule that I have to watch a TV show first to see if my girls can watch it and thats a hard rule for me to follow through with and hard for my oldest to remember as she tends to lie and tell her grandmother that I do let her watch them. I have explained to her over and over why but she is 9 and I guess the olde kids in these shows are cool to her.

    1. I love that rule Stacey. In Dannah Gresh’s book “How to Keep the Little in Your Girl” she really recommends watching TV with your child. It is a great conversation opener.

  14. Donna Price says:

    One “rule” that my children struggle with understanding is that possessions and name brands don’t make you a better person. My kids don’t have smart phones and I don’t buy name brand clothing for them. I try to encourage them to be happy with who they are (a beautiful child of God), not what they have.

    1. Donna, That’s great! I have to admit, I do buy some name brands for my kids. There are so many other rules that I want to reinforce that I let the name brand thing go.

  15. I have five children. Their ages are 13, 11, 9, 6, and almost 2. At this point in our lives, we deal A LOT with sibling rivalry. I need to constantly ask God for wisdom, patience, and grace just to deal with “everyday” situations.

  16. Unfortunately we’ve had to make a new rule much earlier than I expected: “no dating at the age of 10 or even 11”. So many of my daughters friends started “dating” last year during 5th grade. The most shocking thing is how excited and ok with it their parents are. Our daughter so badly wants to be like everyone else and we said “no”. We’ve had some great conversations but she so badly wants to be like her friends…

    1. Lori, can you believe we have to do this! You might find my “freebies” helpful…they cover dating stuff!

  17. Katrina Arbuckle says:

    Hi Lynn,
    I love your blog and am glad to see your post on P31 today! I have a 14-yr.-old son, and we are weird for many many reasons…he tells us that all the time! It’s getting harder the older he gets. We have a rule that he cannot watch an “R” rated movie at all, and he can only watch a “PG-13” rated one if he prints out a review of it from “Plugged In” and we read and discuss it together. He hates this! Also, we have a rule about video games: he is not allowed to play games rated “M” which includes the wildly popular “Call of Duty” series. Lately, we have let him play it if a friend comes over who owns it, because we can monitor it better and he has limited exposure to it (whereas if he owned it he would be tempted to play it all the time). He has asked for Modern Warfare 3 for Christmas, emphasizing how it’s the thing he wants more than anything. Really tough to stick to our guns, and he thinks we are STUPID!! Thanks for the encouragement to hold fast…

    1. Katrina, I have a 14 year old as well. I do believe there are things we can compromise on, like you mentioned. We DON’T want to cut off communication because of anger. God give us wisdom!

  18. Lynn, I loved the P31 message today and immediatly had to hop online and see where God was taking me as I knew the message read today was His timing. We have two girls age 14 and 9; we are hitting a entirely new (and honestly unexpected) bit of challenges with our oldest. She is really clearly seeing how “weird” we are and how we have real goals and expectations for her. One of the big one rights now is movies (with our oldest); we don’t allow her to go see any R rated movies and she has only seen 2 or 3 PG-13 and those were with us present. She accepts the fact that there are things we are trying to protect her heart from and rarely fights against this, but she does feel left out often. I also find I get quite a bit of back handed comments from other parents (and sadly, so does my daughter).

    I look forward to reading more on your site and digging into some of the resources you have. Thank you for your ministry!

  19. I have to agree with Naomi that treating each other with love and kindness as well as being patient with one another and using self-control is the hardest “rule” to keep in our home – this includes mom and dad too. We recently (9 months ago) adopted our son from Ethiopia. And while I have seen great amounts of compassion in my kids, adding a 4 year old to the household has certainly challenged us in demonstrating the fruit of the spirit.

  20. michelle avery says:

    My girls are 19, 15 and 13. I have had weird rules like all the above one for almost 10 years now! The plugged in movie rating is a great way for them to understand my perspective now that they are a little older. I must meet the parents of anyone they want to go see, and now they find it strange when other parents let them come not even knowing where we live! No dating, period. I home school them so that I know exactly what FACTS they are learning!
    My middle one will be 16 in two weeks and wants to do something wonderful, but I have no job (applied for disability 18 months ago for a rare brain disorder that she also has!) And no money makes it hard to find things to do with her! Any tips or advice on how to keep encouraging them to become Godly women would be great!

    1. Hey Michelle, Stories about other teens being godly helps them. “Do Hard Things” by the Harris boys as well as “His Revolutionary Love” have these types of testimonies. They need to know that they are not alone, but they really feel that they are!

  21. Laurie Bevan says:

    The hardest rule in our house is the one about modesty. My 11year old struggles to fit in anyway so to tell her she can’t wear something even though all the other girls are, is very hard for her.
    I have read some of the othee posts and I guess I am not as strict as some. My daughter has severe asthma and she almost died the other week due to not being able to breathe. We have chosen to get her a cell phone so she can call us if she can’t breathe at a friend’s house. We have been criticized for our decision, but since I work parttime, it has been the best decision for us. Sometimes I fear that being “weird” can go the other way too.

    1. I agree Laurie. My daughter had a cell phone at 11. She was the youngest of my three kids. Communication was a good thing for us to have with her. The point is not what our rules are but to teach our children that we do not go along with everything that is around us. Each parent needs to listen to God about what is right for their child.

  22. Deneise Saenz says:

    Lynn,
    I really connected with your comments this morning. My 38 year old daughter called me a few months ago to thank me & her father for being so careful about who we allowed her to spend the night with as a child. Our rule was that our children were not allowed to spend the night with anyone unless we knew their parents. She is now the mother of an 8 year old and is following the same rules we set out. She completely understands now why were so careful. We need to remember that God gave us children to teach them morals and discipline, not be there best friends. There will be plenty of times they are angry with us for telling them no, but we need to stick to our principals and know that we are teaching them how to be parents to their children in the future. Thanks again and may God continue to bless you in your ministry.

  23. Good morning! I have two teen boys & the biggest struggle we have is curfew.
    It’s so hard for our boys to understand why they have to be home earlier than
    boys that are younger than them.
    I would love to win the prize!

    Blessings,
    Janet W.

    1. Janet,

      Dr. Kevin Lehman in his book “How to Have a New Teenager in 5 Days” says he doesn’t give his kids a curfew. He lets them set it. If they end up coming home at a time he doesn’t approve of, then the next time they don’t get to go out. The point is to help teach our kids to make wise decisions on their own. Just a fresh thought….

  24. This is something I am frequently struggling with and unfortunately have given into more than I’d like. It is a huge struggle to talk to my twin 13 year olds daughters about anything with God anymore! They roll their eyes and say that I talk about God too much and that I am pushing them away from God. They think that my husband and I are too strict because we don’t let them do “what all their friends are doing”. We have gone through the cell phone argument when they were younger, the choice of cloths, spending the night at friends house that we don’t know well, the choice of movies/music, ect.. Although, the choice of books/movies has been the hardest for me. I feel very uncomfortable with the vampire/magical/ect. selections which are very popular with them and their friends! I am constantly struggling with “am I being too much or is this just plain evil I shouldn’t let them watch”. I don’t want to push them to rebel, but I don’t even feel comfortable watching alot of these things myself. I have let my husband lead on this, but I know that I am not comfortable with alot of what he is ok with him or them watching. I know my husband has the Lord in his heart and so I keep praying, but this is the most difficult for me. That is the difficulty in discussing God with them and the movies/mucsic and not pushing them away from God! I want them to see His awesome and amazing love! And, I talk about Him so much because He does so much for me and has blessed me in more ways than I can ever express! So, thank you for your encouragement in this and please do pray for me to connect with my girls and for me to know how to share His love with them!

    1. Melissa, I am so sorry for this struggle. I really try to listen to the Holy Spirit and see if my kids are open to hearing what he has to say. I don’t want to just throw out God’s word every time something goes wrong nor preach to them every chance I get. Sometimes the right thing to do is to just be quiet and listen. We need you, Jesus! Please give us your wisdom!

  25. For me, it’s screen time, in general. When I try to get my kids (10 & 13) to turn off the TV and do something else, they’ll gravitate towards the computer or want to use my iPod. It’s so hard to convince them to read or play with toys. It’s also hard to try and set limits where there weren’t any previously, both in terms of time and content.

  26. Vania Burney says:

    Hi Lynn, I am a mother of three girls 17, 14 and 6 and it is very hard to say no, but I do and sometimes I find myself still giving in. There are times like this morning my six year old has dance on Tuesdays and she does not like wearing socks over her tights and a shirt over her dance wear. Today it was a cold day and I made her dress warm, and her response was to cry and as I always do ask the question whose mother am I? Sometimes just because the other kids at school does different things or maybe wears things she does not have she thinks I will allow her to do or wear the same thing. My response is I’m your mother not your friends. I really have three different levels to deal with and sometimes I don’t feel as if I’m being a good mother or a good example. My two older daughters sometimes they will talk to me and sometimes they won’t. Maybe they figure I will go back and tell their father but then there is another communication area I must also have. Keeping things from my husband is not a good thing in any way.
    I am looking forward to the many mom tips.
    Thank You
    Vania

    1. Vania, I have heard this a lot from my girls….moms who keep things from their dads/husbands. I completely disagree with this. I think if we do this we are teaching our girls to be deceptive. I know my husband wants to be an equal parent in our home. Keep being honest, friend!

  27. This is no necessarily a rule, but what is the hardest for us to be consistent. Sometimes it can be terribly difficult to be consistent with the rules and then the consequences. It is only doing the kids a disservice though when we fail at being consistent. Lord, help us to stay focused!

  28. We have been called weird also and sometimes it’s tough to know if we’re doing the right thing. Your words of encouragement are a source of strength in these troubling times. Our kids (13 and 15) have come to “accept” they don’t have a cell phone, video games, or their own computer. Our latest struggle has been keeping the Sabbath holy. We don’t allow games, practices or any non-church related activity to be attended on Sundays. I get so much pressure from other parents who say “I agree with you, but what other choice do we have. Come on, it’s only a couple of hours.” I guess I’m struggling with being labeled as weird, also. I’m printing out you devotion to keep handy when I feel discouraged.

    1. Lynn, I think that this is why it is so important for us to make the Holy Spirit our guide. He will be faithful to give us wisdom for our family!

  29. I have just recently come across your website and am feeling very blessed as I have 4 daughters. One is married with 2 children and I have 3 teenage daughters at home, 18, 16 and 15. I think our hardest rule to keep set in place in our home is being responsible in the area of keeping their rooms at least somewhat organized. We have always taught them that we need to appreciate and respect that which God has given us and they do an amazing job throughtout the rest of the home. They have always done weekly chores since they were capable, plus help out with everyday tasks but when it comes to their rooms it is a different story. My husband and I step in when we feel it needs to be cleaned and organized and for a time they really enjoy having their rooms in order but before too long, within a matter of days it gets back to the same stage. We continue to do the same routine over and over but permanent change hasn’t come yet. We just pray that when it is time to keep their own home that it will all come back to them and they will be consistent with respecting all that God has blessed them with and to remember that God is a God of order not chaos.

    1. Kim, If you get this one figured out….please let me know! We’ve got one of those in our home ๐Ÿ™‚

  30. The hardest rule to stick by? That’s hard there are so many! I think more than sticking to them, it’s remembering them! I have lost a major portion of my memory so parenting is so hard! What once came easy to me now leaves me fumbling for ideas, creative discipline, day to day processes, reasoning for my decisions. I have learned some Bible verses that pop into my mind and I’m very thankful for that, but I’m not sure there is true relationship with my kids!.A comment you made above rings in my heart,
    ” Communication is everything when it comes to building relationships with our kids. Without it, you have nothing. Rules without relationship builds rebellion.” I pray that God will lead me and my family. Please enter me into the drawing for your CD! Thank you, Have a blessed day!

  31. I think that it is hard to focus our children on other things besides tech gadgets with all of those options to take up their time, but that is hardest for us with our 13 year old son. Many of his friends spend huge amounts of time on video games and they are not monitored, nor do their parents pay attention to the content of the games. We try to limit this and have had to take away game controllers and other devices after grades in school dropped below what we know he can do. He plays guitar beautifully and his teacher has brought his love of game-playing to his attention also. If only he could play that guitar as much as he desires to play games. We know that ts a matter of maturity and th egood thing is that he hesitates to ask for games/gadgets for Christmas. His older sister (high school senior) sets a great example for him and thankfully he looks up to her and listens to her advice. We just have to pray and stay involved

    1. LC – thanks for sharing. Technology can be a struggle for us all!

  32. Lana Turner says:

    I think the hardest rule to follow in my house is the “no, means No!” I am very protective. My 14 year old daughter is a great kid. She is very intellegent, opinionated and articulate. When my daughter ask a “can I” question and I reply “No” there is always the “why” follow-up. I hate having to explain myself over and over but feel (1) explaining is an opportunity to teach her and (2) it is an opportunity to listen to her feelings and thoughts. On the otherhand, her constant questioning often feels like back talk and disrespect especially when we are in public (i.e. out shopping). As of right now, we have a pretty open relationship and she feels comfortable talking to me about many issues. I don’t want to discourage her from talking and sharing but need to balance / drawing the line on when and where her voice is appropriate.

    1. Lana…sounds like you’re doing a great job! Keep investing!

  33. Browsing through all the comments already, I feel a sense of peace that our child-raising issues are not unique to us! My husband and I have two wonderful boys – ages 11 and 7. Our middle-schooler provides the greatest challenge to the “rules” because he always wants to argue our decisions. It is a tough situation because 1) he’s really a good kid-honest, caring, compassionate and 2) I want him to feel free to talk to us! Finding and teaching him the balance between talking and talking back is hard to do. Any advice others have on this is appreciated!

    Second to that is our desire to teach them how to be separate from the world. Your message today expresses that perfectly! Our young children want to please us and the Lord, but oh, they so also want to fit in and be like everyone else. Thank you for the encouragement today!

  34. I am a new stay at home mom with 5 children. The hardest thing for me right now is being consistent & following through with what I say I’m going to do even when it hurts.

  35. i struggle with many rules, especially with my 12 year old boy,reagrding video games, music and movies he likes to watch and i dont think that they are good for him…mostly because the whole world around me does the things which i do not approved, so makes it harder… i dont have tv channels in my home, we just rent movies and watch those, video games i dont have any either..though i can not control what he plays in other people’s homes and music…just in the last few months he is been listening more secular music, mostly form the 70 and 60’s…but i would rather he would listen more to Christian music, though i know that there are secular music out there that are good

  36. This message today, and all of these responses, are just what I needed to hear. I have a 16yr old son, 13yr old son, 12 yr old dtr, and 10 yr old son. My husband and I constantly feel like the “wierd”ones, as we monitor TV, video games, movies, cell phone usage(for the older 2). It is nice to hear that there are other parents who do the same! I would have to say for now, what we struggle with most is the social settings we limit our children to, ie no dances yet, no dating yet. Thanks for your ministry. May God Bless you!

  37. Donna Elliott says:

    One of the hardest rules for me to follow as a child was asking if someone could come play or spend the night in front of that person. My mom would make me so mad. Then, I carried that over to my own children explaining to them that i wanted them to ask me in private so if i had to say no the child’s feelings would not be hurt. Such a simple request but so hard to follow.

  38. Karen Rodriguez says:

    Thank you for the wonderful advice Lynn! It is so much easier to inform children of the rule prior to them having a vested interest in it like you did with your daughter and your sleepover guidelines. She knew before she asked what your answer was going to be because you had already discussed it “calmly” when emotions weren’t high and she had even admitted back then that she understood. There are so many times that I wish that I had done that. My oldest daughter is getting her drivers license today (if she passes the exam); so I’m anticipating having quite a few new rules in our house that we will discuss now before situations arise where we need to draw the line or move the line, which is always a difficult thing to do. I’m going to learn from the experiences that we have had with computers and cell phones that it is much easier to start out with a lot of boundaries and ease up on them; rather than to not have very many rules and keep adding them as we need them. Your article could not have come at a better time for me! Thank you!

  39. I am the mom to 3 great kids, 2 of which are out of the house and married. Left at home is our little princess, a high school senior. Wow, can the cell phone cause trouble in our home. We have had to instill and uphold the rule of no more phone calls or texts after a certain hour in the evening. It’s just too tempting to talk and text away and before you know it, it’s midnight. Or she goes to sleep only to be awakened at midnight by a friend’s need for advice. Life was easier when raising our older kids–cell phones just came at the end of high school, and texting hadn’t started yet. Technology can be helpful..or it can harm a relationship. God gave us parents the role of prioritizing our kid’s lives and today it certainly includes all of technology. Thank you Lynn for your support and encouragement. Blessings to you!

  40. One of the hardest things to do was making rules for my step children when they did not have rules before with their dad and they do not have many rules at theirmom and step dad’s home. They only visit us two months out of the year, and before I came into the picture, their dad’s home was afun place and fun time. So when they were staying with us and getting to know me at the same time, trying to enforce rules and a system for our family was crazy. But to help this along I did charts with stickersand sent the idea home with them to their mom to use too. Also getting my stepson to eat vegtables when his mom didn’t make him, was not an easy task. One tip I have that works, mix the vegtable in with a hamburger or chicken helper. They never even taste it!!!

  41. Lucy Sanguinetti says:

    One of the hardest rules we had to stick to was to NOT let our kids go “rolling yards”…you know….throwing the toliet paper over the trees and covering the trees and yard with all the white, flowing paper. Their high school uses this as an “initiation” into Freshman year, and they do it year after year to the kids that are “accepted into the ‘A’ crowd”. We explained to them that we felt that it destroyed personal property, that it was disrespectful to the home owners, and that being in the ‘A’ crowd also came with other baggage that they would not want. We would not let them even go with the group when they went rolling, even when they did not participate. Later, a friend told us that at another high school, a football coach almost shot one of his football players on his front porch because he thought that someone was breaking into his house. The coach opened up the door and held up his shot gun, then saw the quarterback’s face….it was very scary! No more questions…..

  42. Our hardest rule is that we do not allow our kids to watch alot of popular kid shows- My husband and I feel that they show kids doing and saying things that we do not allow or want our kids mimicing- and its hard for them to stand up when they are at their friends houses and say I’m not allowed to watch that or when everyone at school is talking about shows and they can’t chime in.-

  43. I have wracked my brain and so far (age 13) I don’t think there is any rule we struggle with for my daughter. She just gets it. From no need for make-up all the way to questionable programming. Sometimes she even comes to me asking me to make a rule about something that is bothering her. I guess I don’t qualify to win. That’s ok. I am so thankful for God’s gift of my daughter, I am in want of nothing.

  44. Colleen G. says:

    The hardest rule in our home seems to be how the children speak to one another. I encourage them to only speak words encouragment, to watch their tones,etc. I want the home to be a safe refuge to this crazy world. Especially the words spoken in it.
    -Colleen G.

  45. Colleen G. says:

    The hardest rule in our home seems to be how the children speak to one another. I encourage them to only speak words encouragment, to watch their tones,etc. I want the home to be a safe refuge to this crazy world. Especially the words spoken in it. -Colleen G.

  46. The hardest rule in my home is very similiar to yours. We have to meet parents, go to the house of friends and have them over a few times before we will even consider letting our children go over and have a sleep over at friends house. It is alot of work on our part and may not seem fair to them at times, but it is what helps me sleep at night, when it comes to this issue!

  47. Our oldest daughter is only 2 years old, so we haven’t experienced many of these issues yet, and I’m thankful to be learning from all of you. The hardest rule for us right now is no broadcast TV. We turned the cable off about a year ago because our little girl ABSOLUTELY LOVES watching TV, and it was just too tempting to let her watch show after show. I think there are some great shows on for wee ones, but not having TV as an option keeps me creative during the day, and it has taught her to find other forms of entertainment…like a toy – *GASP* ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s still a struggle though b/c my hubby really (really, really, really) misses cable.

  48. I have two teenagers and a 10 yr. old…the struggle in our home seems to be speaking respectful and “encouraging/building” each other up!!

  49. Our doughters are younger then yours so we do not have yet problems with sleep over nights, but they still don’t want to understand the reason why we said “no TV and computer during the week, only on the week end and only in our presence”.
    Be blessed!

  50. As a mother of 5 children, 17, 15, 14, 5 and 3, consistency and sticking to the consequences seems to be my toughest challenge. As I am trying to accommodate the needs of so many different ages…some of whom need a genuine break, it seems I am always caving in on something. I am blessed with great kids and a VERY supportive and involved husband, but the stretching out, reaching out, trying to be so grown up so early pulls heavily. I struggle with my girl who won’t talk to me….and in fact says she prefers to talk to no one….literally! My thanks is that I know she DOES in fact talk to people…in real life too, not just by text… but it hurts to be so cut off.

  51. I’m a day late but can relate soooooo much to this post, even living in a small town where everyone supposedly knows everyone! Our hardest “weird” rule has been sticking to the video game and movie rating limits. Our 9 year old son is not allowed to play video games that are not rated appropriately for his age or not what we deem appropriate ourselves as parents. This has been a hard one. He has come home on more than one occasion because the group of friends he was playing with started playing something that he wasn’t allowed to play. We try very hard to praise him in these situations but he gets frustrated! This has also come up when the kids are asked to go to movies with friends. I hope someday, when they are all parents, they will understand how important it is to live by what is true and right for their own families.

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