So the bottom line is this…
As parents, we need to be consistent and concise. We need to “Say what we mean, and mean what we say!” And it really helps if mom and dad are on the same page! A united front is a fearsome, formidable force to contend with…we must make it clear that our children cannot divide and conquer! We need to take inventory and ask ourselves as a married couple: “how often are we on the same page?” as opposed to: “How often do we let our kids pit us against each other?” That is never a good policy.
Believe us, they will try! Spouses will find parenting much easier if they support each other with decisions or better yet, get on the same page before making decisions known to their kids.
Your job is NOT to be your children’s friends! Exodus 20:12 admonishes children to honor their father and mother…and our job as parents, in Rosemond’s wise opinion, is to raise respectful, responsible, helpful, resourceful, caring children. That is our responsibility to our community, not only for our child’s success in life, but our sanity in the process. In the end, we must parent as leaders, not as buddies! There will be a time in Season 4 when we will earn the honor of relating to our children as one adult to another. In the meantime, we must be leaders and authorities in our homes, as well as role models and a solid, united team as parents! Even if you are divorced, the outcome will be better and the process will be smoother if you agree to parent from the same page.
John Rosemond believes, and we agree, that if we are very systematic and calm about how we approach parenting issues, then we would stop going through of all the gut-wrenching emotional stuff. Rosemond states that the current psychological profession’s strategy is to have us living in fear that one wrong move will cause irreparable damage to what we’ve been creating, building and nurturing for years. However, we need to be confident in our parenting. If we are steadfast about our authority, we can leave an insolent push-back on the part of our child, saying to ourselves, “Well, that was certainly interesting!” and not get sucked into a provocative exchange that opens the door for continued escalation.
One of the things that we found really interesting was John’s question: “How many of you parents out there believe that you have argumentative children?” Almost all of the hands would typically go up when he asked this question at seminars and conferences…His response to the raised hands would be as follows: “No, you don’t have argumentative children! YOU are the problem! Why do you stick around to argue? Are you waiting for your child to say, ‘You know mom/dad, you’re right! Now that you put it that way…” It’s not going to happen!
We need to lead with love. We need to learn to say, “If I was your age, I wouldn’t like my decision either, but it is final.” One of the funniest things Rosemond said was this:
“Children need to be persuaded of the inestimable advantages of obedience!” Then he asked this question: “How many of you were raised by moms who may have lifted their voice but never had to yell?” John would then proceed to say, “This is NOT funny! (...because of course, there would be snickers and nervous laughter) We are in grave danger of thinking that yelling is normal. Yelling is a symptom of complete exasperation. Mothers two generations ago who yelled at their children were labeled ‘off their rockers!’ Now we can’t go anywhere without hearing loud public reprimands for bad behavior!” Just take a trip to Walmart, you’ll see what he means.
Does any of this make sense to you?! It sure did to my husband and me! It is time for the American public to take a heart check about the way we parent…Rosemond claims that if couples say they find raising their kids to be the hardest thing they have ever done, they are spending way too much time as mom and dad and not enough time as husband and wife! Marriage and parenting are inextricably intertwined but sadly, many of us have put our marriage on the back burner, seldom evaluating its health as time marches on. We need to prioritize our marriages again. That’s the key to having them thrive as God planned, and in the long run, that is the best gift we can give our children you know! I’ve said it before, I will say it until the day I die: the best gift we can give our kids is the knowledge and assurance that Mom and Dad are in it for the long haul…there is untold security in that which translates into a healthier home environment.
Furthermore, if you have God at the center of your marriage, Ecclesiastes 4:12 promises that “A cord of three strands is not quickly broken!” That is the most valuable key!
I know this is a lot to take in, but it is so valuable. Stay tuned in next week! I will be talking about where our focus should be when it comes to our kids’ futures!
In the meantime…have a blessed, wonderful, memorable, miraculously relaxing Mother’s Day! Whether you have one or ten (?!) I hope you enjoy your special day!
Know that you are irreplaceable and loved for who you are and that you are a queen in the eyes of your children, even if they don’t know how to tell you that right now! Happy Mother’s Day! Take a break…you deserve it! I know I will!