Mom Is Breaking The Rules?

I’ve often proclaimed that I am a rule follower. I like rules. They work for my inner cautious child who craves order.

“Grey areas” make me uncomfortable and delay my decision making ability. I tend to endlessly ponder the “what ifs” and “if not, then what?” Then, I question the post-decision, wondering “what if” and “if I had, then what?” (I know-it’s exhausting.)

Unfortunately for me, life is not black and white, and rules get questioned. Lines are blurred.

I have had to accept that rules really do conflict and often change – especially in the teen years. I held on long and tight to my nice, neat set of do’s and don’ts for myself and my children. As it usually goes with me, God has stretched me like Elastigirl, introducing circumstances and life happenings that force me to break my secure stance.

No longer is life as simple as it was years ago when the famous “time and a place rule” pretty much covered everything. You parents know it well: “The library is not the place to run around the tables and raise your voice, but at the playground? It is time to yell and have fun!” When the kids were younger, the rules were “say please and thank you” “stay in a line” “put things back where you found them”….easy peasy.

When children are little the same rules usually apply to everyone.

As the children have grown older, the rules occasionally change. While nearly every boundary set is rock solid for all three of my children, there have been few occasions when what is right for one child is not appropriate for the others’ personality. If you would have told me 10 years ago that I would EVER treat a circumstance differently for one child or changed a rule, I would have dismissed you as crazy. Now, I laugh at my old rigid self who knew little of what was ahead. 

I teach my teen daughter who now drives to “be aware of your surroundings” “remember where you parked your car” “never answer anyone in a parking lot on your way to the car”. Yet, if she ignored a friendly greeting in that same parking lot in broad daylight five years ago, I’d be the first to ask her why she didn’t respond to the person.

Until a few years ago, I believed my kids should befriend and be nice to all, especially to their classmates who appeared separated from everyone else. That was until my son attempted to befriend a seemingly distant classmate one day who then promptly asked my son if he would like to get high together. In laughter my son said to me afterward, “How about we just be nice, but not always befriend?” There ensued a lengthy talk about being wise, discerning, still helping, showing love, remaining friendly but not close friends…these teen years require endless conversations…

In contemporary society, even a few federal laws are not God’s rules. We must explain that to our children. And, some laws have been broken, bringing greater good to mankind.

Rosa Parks and Nelson Mandela come to mind…

I still love absolutes. They give me the security my spirit often needs. But this is real life and kids change, situations change, and I must adapt. Not conform to this world, but definitely be more flexible.

14 thoughts on “Mom Is Breaking The Rules?

  1. Karuna June 25, 2014 / 7:35 pm

    I found dealing with young adults to be even harder than teenagers!

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    • Karuna June 25, 2014 / 7:36 pm

      I realized after the fact that since I left home at 17 I had never seen parenting for young adults modeled. I think that made it harder.

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      • Karuna June 26, 2014 / 8:48 pm

        Mine are 36 and 39 (almost 37 and 40) so they have left the young adult stage too!

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  2. Stephanie Romero June 21, 2014 / 10:15 am

    It’s so easy when the kids are younger to know the rules you are going to set. And then you get there and realize it’s not always so black and white. Can definitely relate to this!

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    • Family to the 5 Power! June 22, 2014 / 6:17 pm

      Well, if you can relate, then I always feel better! It is indeed easier to set and follow “rules” when they are little. And so we press forward into the season God has us in now (when it’s not always black and white)! 🙂

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  3. rozplus4 June 20, 2014 / 7:46 pm

    isn’t raising teenagers so much fun?? We have one more to get through school … we always hope we’ve set them up right to do the good things when they ‘get out there’ … it’s so hard isn’t it?

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    • Family to the 5 Power! June 22, 2014 / 6:14 pm

      Hi! Thanks for visiting my blog and introducing me to yours. Yes, it sure can be hard sometimes. I wish you the best as you get that final one through school! I appreciate you stopping by and commenting :).

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  4. marianbeaman June 20, 2014 / 12:45 pm

    Thank you for the follow – plain and fancy with all things family

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    • Family to the 5 Power! June 20, 2014 / 2:25 pm

      I love the name of your blog! It’s a great title with great posts. Thanks for visiting. 🙂

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  5. dianasschwenk June 20, 2014 / 11:14 am

    I live in the gray, I would probably drive you ’round the bend! 😉
    Diana xo

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    • Family to the 5 Power! June 20, 2014 / 2:22 pm

      Ha! Well, I’m spending more time in the “gray” whether I like it or not! 🙂

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  6. Sasha June 20, 2014 / 8:23 am

    It is so good you recognize the gray. I think there are a lot of parents who still see life in black and white and their children suffer as a result.

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    • Family to the 5 Power! June 20, 2014 / 9:06 am

      The black and white is easier, just not always realistic. Thanks for your comment :).

      Like

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