Friday, November 07, 2014
Family Rules and Values
As Snuggle Bug and Boo grow older, we're discovering these rules aren't as easy to follow as they used to be.
#2 is challenging for Snuggle Bug as of late. At nine years old, his little sister is considered less of a friend and playmate and more of a nuisance or a pest, particularly when he has his friends around. He has a tendency to speak his frustrations with her aloud, at times using rather harsh tones and words.
#4 and #5 seem to be a tough ones for Boo these days. Who knew a 7-year-old could act so sassy and disrespectful one minute and sweet-as-pie the next.
A common phrase I use with my children is, "Our family doesn't..." or "Our family believes..." to remind them our family values are more important than following what friends or others consider to be permissible.
As our children age, it's becoming more clear we are no longer the center of their universe and are no longer their sole source of influence.
On one hand, not being the center of their universe is a positive. It means they're gaining a sense of independence. They're forming their own opinions and interests. These developmental changes are exciting to watch unfold and the resulting conversations can be amazing.
On the other hand, realizing friends and acquaintances are gaining an increasing amount of influence over them is scary. It feels as though we're more frequently in defensive mode, attempting to solidify and justify the foundation of our core family values with our children, as they are exposed to more varying shades of "acceptable behavior" amongst their peers.
So, Ornozo and I muddle our way through these parenting challenges that change with each passing year. Some days we're on the same page, other days we're not. We realize the importance of presenting a united front to our children, but at times it seems to be easier said than done.
If only parenting came with a clearly outlined instruction manual.