Over protecting or sheltering your kids

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BJClark

Puritan Board Doctor
houseparent,


I realize this is an older topic, but hey, I've been busy and not reading and posting often.


My oldest is 18 and a senior in HS, and still isn't dating, she has turned down many a dates because the boys choose to drink, do drugs, lie to other girls they have gone out with, and even though some of them are graduated from High School, do not attend college or even work full-time.

One boy told her she would NEVER date or get married, because her standards are too high. She told him, if thats the case then that's the case and she would accept that, but she wasn't going to go out with someone just to say she has a bf or to say she went on a date. Now he's asking her what books she had to read, because he wants to read them too, hoping it will help him make better choices in his own life.

She has few restrictions in the things she can do, she has gone away with one of her friends for a weekend to another town across the state, just the two of them, (her friends mom only allowed her to go because my daughter was going). She has even gone away with other friends to Disney for overnights, and gone to another state with another friend to her sisters house for a weekend.

When she was younger she made wise choices, in not only her dress, but in her friends, she stopped assocaiting with certain people because of choices they were making which she disagreed with. She set healthy boundaries with them and let them know she would assocaite with them only when they were NOT doing certain things.

So yes, she has certain freedoms now, that had she made other choices, she may not have now.

I let my kids do sleep-overs, and go to the skate station, and various other things, but if they break a trust, even in not doing things like homework, they lose those privledges until they rebuild my trust.

I've let my kids suffer the natural consequences of their actions, such as one failed a grade in school, I didn't let them go to summer school, they had to repeat the grade. I explained to her, those were the natural consequences of her choices not to do the classwork and homework that year, and that everyone else in the family was not going to suffer over the summer not being able to do things JUST so she could go to summer school to pass the grade. She made straight A's the next year.

the local skate station has a 'dance' room, and I set boundaries saying they can not go in there, and IF I find out they have, then they can't go back until they have rebuilt the trust they broke. My youngest daughter went through this, and it took her many months to rebuild the trust, and even when she was finally allowed to go back to the skate station, she had to either have her younger brother or older sister with her. Her sister to watch her, or her younger brother for HER to watch over and set the example for, thus far it's worked out great.

Last year, she was invited to two different parties, one which was going to end about midnight, with little parental supervision, the other ending earlier with much supervision, I gave her the choice of which one she wanted to attend. She sat down with me and discussed all the pros and cons of each party, I only asked why she thought the things she listed were pros and cons. And she explained her reasons. And chose the one with more parental supervision, she thought there were more pros in going to that one.

Another time, she was asked to stay the night with another girl, they were planning on meeting a bunch of boys at the movies and splitting into dates. She was 12 at the time and knows she can't date until shes 16, and has read two books (Boundaries in Dating, and Dating, Intimacy and the Teenage Years) she told the girl she couldn't stay the night because they were planning the 'date', the girl told her to lie to me, or just not tell me and even had her mother call to talk to me about it. I asked my daughter why she didn't want to go, she was honest, she said, "It's not that I DON'T want to, but this is what they are planning, and I know if I do that, it would be going against you, so I made the choice to tell her I can't go, and why." she even told me the girl encouraged her to lie to me about it.

She's 14 now, and almost done reading one of the books, she has boys asking her out on dates already and has told them she can't date until she's 16, and even telling them about the books she has to read first. She's even shared with them some of the things she's learning from the one book she's been reading, about how a boy is supposed to prove himself, and be accountable to the girls father. I guess one of the boys told her recently, "liking her is like going into an expensive jewlery store, seeing something you like, but knowing it's going to take a lot of work to get the one you want." She told him, if he feels its to much work or to long a wait, then feel free to date other people, and don't look back or regret his choice no matter what it is.

She's making wise choices, and as she gets older will have greater freedoms because of her choices now.

For the past few years, I have given them money to buy their own school clothes, they know the school rules and whats acceptable, and whats not, they have made wise choices in their purchases, not only in how much they are willing to spend on an item, but in the style of clothes they choose. One of the questions I have heard them ask themselves when picking out clothes is "If I seen someone else wearing this outfit what impression would *I* get of them at first glance? If they think it would make someone else look sleezy, they think it would give them the same appearance, so they don't buy it.

They have been sharing those tidbits with their step-sister, who can dress pretty provative for her age (with clothes her mother and aunt pick out for her), she has struggled with her reputation over the past couple of years and she's only 13. And with it being them and not just me and her dad coming along side of her sharing these things, her choice in clothes is gradually changing. My oldest daughter told her, "if you dress and act as if you don't respect yourself, you will attract boys who don't respect you."

I realize this is rather long, but I believe if they show they are trustworthy, then yes, they should have more freedoms as they get older.

However, they can only learn to make wise choices if you allow them to make SOME choices for themselves when they are younger and allow them to experience whatever consequences good or bad. I believe that helps them long term in being able to look ahead and reason out what the consequences of their choices will be, knowing mom and dad won't be there to bail them out of suffering any negative consequences, yet at the same time emotionally supporting them and loving them even when they make bad choices.
 

BJClark

Puritan Board Doctor
Every time I think that maybe they could have a little longer leash I am proven wrong.
When they do these things do you explain how they broke your trust? And give them ways to rebuild it?


We've decided to set some boundaries very early on for sleep overs and dress. My two little ones are 7 and 5 and the sleep over invites already started.
I've always been pretty liberal with sleep-overs, but I had to know the parents, and the kids who they would be staying the night with, they couldn't just stay the night at any friends house. Even now with my kids being teens, if they are staying the night with someone I always make it a point to get to know the parents. And I am not afraid to ask the parents what activities they are planning, but for the most part my kids know what the activities are before they even ask me, because they know I will be asking.

Even as far as clothes go, at a young age, when you take them shopping you can pick out two or three various outfits and let them choose between the those. It teaches them to see they always have choices, even if they don't like all the choices, they still have a choice.

I don't feel I'm overprotective at all, but kids will experiment, older siblings and the opposite sex will experiment, if left alone.
Not all kids will experiment, even when left alone. When my oldest was in Junior high, she had a friend who was choosing to take boys home with her, and choosing to get involved in drugs. I was a single parent and working full-time, and my daughter knew I didn't get home until late and wouldn't find out if she was going off with her friend and her younger siblings were in afterschool care so she didn't have to watch after them. But she made the choice not to join in those things, and even came to me and told me what was going on while this girls mom was at work.


I do have a daughter that is graduating high school today. She was given way to many freedoms from her mother. We were never married. And she has done pretty well, but, her dress is outlandish, and she has too many privileges with her boyfriend. I did talk her into going to a Christian college, but I can only trust in God, pray, and give Godly advice when I can, because I really have no control over that one.
I'm curious, and in no way do I mean any disrespect, I realize you didn't marry her mother, but weren't you actively involved in her life? Didn't you still have some influence in your daughters life? Have you as her father met her boyfriend? Have you held him accountable for how he treats her? And the liberities he takes with her? Have you taken the time to share with her how precious and valuable she is as God's creation? And that she will one day be a gift wrapped up in her wedding gown from God to her husband? A gift that you will probably walk down the aisle and present her to her future husband, knowing how he treats her now, would you be able to trust him to care for and protect her in a lifelong marriage?

have you shared with them your failings and lack of understanding those things when you were younger and what you have learned from your choices? And how you want so much more for them, than you had?

There is a book by Karl Duff, "Dating, Intimacy and the Teenage Years" that is awesome, as he covers God's design for relationships, and a fathers role in protecting their daughters and how fathers are needed to hold boys accountable under the fire for how they treat girls so that they can grow up to become Godly men, husbands and fathers.

he even explains how and why mothers and daughters struggle to watch their sons and/or boyfriends put through the fire of accountablity, and why they fight against seeing it happen, because by their very nature most women are nurturers and were created to bring comfort against those things.

Like I said, it's an awesome book, and I seen how my own father failed miserably in those areas and can see even more clearly how so many young girls get involved in abusive relationships and don't see a way out.

[Edited on 8-16-2006 by BJClark]

[Edited on 8-16-2006 by BJClark]

[Edited on 8-16-2006 by BJClark]

[Edited on 8-16-2006 by BJClark]
 
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