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Authoritative Parenting

livecam44 policecarAs parents most of us find ourselves providing a running commentary on life for our children from the moment they are born.  Even before they can focus their cloudy blue eyes on our faces, we drone on with descriptions of their surroundings.

go site Look at the kitty. What a cute kitty!

Mommy changes your diaper.  Yes she does.  Yes she does.

nsa singles Always turn on your lights if it’s raining hard enough to require windshield wipers.  It’s the law.

Huh?

get link Okay, I admit that isn’t the most commonly shared factoid between parents and children, but maybe it should be.  As my pastor reminded us all on Sunday, we should not be preparing our children to live their lives under our authority.  The buck should, in fact, not stop here.  Instead we have a responsibility to show our children that while mommy and daddy’s rules reign supreme in their home, even mom and dad answer to a higher authority. 

see In my family we refer often to the law.  While I have a long history of living the life of what may be referred to as a goody two-shoes or even a tattle-tale, my own track record is far from perfect in the eyes of the law.  Even the most diligent law-abiding citizen occasionally crosses a solid white line or breaks the speed limit, and most of us have at one time or another done far worse.  Yet somehow my constant monologue seems to always include explanations of how those around us are staying safe by following rules or putting others in danger by not following them.  Perhaps the idea was to prepare my kids for the day they will take the wheel or maybe I just like to vent.  Either way, I am confident that my kids understand that there are those outside of this home who set the rules and provide the consquences when those rules are broken.  My hope is that when the day comes that they are no longer under my authority, they see the bigger picture.

And what of a higher authority?  How often do you invoke the power of God in the lives of your children?  When one of my children acts out against the other, I not only implement the family time out rule, but I also bring God into the mix.  I believe it is important for my children to know that God would like us to love one another, especially our brothers and sisters, and what better time to point that out than in those teachable moments our children so kindly present to us with their bickering and fighting.  Of course, from August through December I tend to throw in “Santa’s watching!” as well, but the message that not only will Daddy be hurt, but so will God the Father is surely not lost.

Who is the authority in your life and in the lives of your children?

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