Parenting by Design - November 10

Expanding and Contracting Boundaries

Matt. 25:23:  "His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things'" (NIV).

Many parents feel compelled to give their kids access to television, video games, cell phones, and even cars before they have demonstrated responsible behavior. But holding our kids accountable helps them mature and avoids entitlement. This verse encourages us to require our kids to be faithful with the tasks they've been given before giving them more privileges and freedom.

As we give our kids responsibilities, they will make mistakes. This is part of the learning process. When this happens, we may have to temporarily restrict privileges. For instance, a child who is making poor grades may have his television or computer time restricted until his grades improve. Delivering reasonable consequences helps the child learn from his mistakes and become a better decision-maker in the future when his privileges are restored.

Recognize the difference between needs and privileges and be willing to lovingly hold your kids accountable.