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Parenting against the World

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I often wonder if I am doing a good job as a mother. From my perspective I am doing the best, but am I really being the best mother for my children. Living a Christian lifestyle is not the easiest task and being a Christian mother is ten times harder. There are so many outside distractions for a Christian child, that they can often become confused by what is best for them.

I am the mother of a preteen that is coming to age and even though she has never had a problem with our lifestyle, its becoming a bit more difficult for her when being challenged by her peers. I have tried to prepare her for these challenges, by letting her know that everyone is not going to agree or understand the life we choose to live. Yet, just because others may not approve, does not mean we should change who we are.

We are not an overly religious household, actually we are not religious at all. Religion involves less belief and more traditional teachings and rituals, that has more to do with control and very little with God. However we do believe in following the scriptural teachings and living a righteous life to the best of our abilities.
When it comes to parenting, my husband and I raise our children according to the Word of God and not according to the world. We allow them pleasures and enjoyment, but some of this new age parenting , we just can't adjust to such as: Hanging with whomever they please, whenever they please. Wearing clothing, so inappropriate that it will make a stripper blush. Allowing children to watch, read, and listen to whatever media content that they choose. Allowing children to be responsible for their own nutritional value. Lastly, but not least allowing children to decide if they want to go to school or church. These days children are left to be their own parents, while the parents are running around like children.

One of my daughter's friends told her that she didn't want to hangout with her anymore, because I was too strict and she couldn't get with my rules. My rules are as followed: #1: Before my daughter can hang out with anyone, I first must meet the child and their parents. #2: Plans for the hangout must be made ahead of time. My daughter often has prior commitments and activities and we first need to make sure that she is not cutting into those. I teach my children about the importance of commitment and keeping their word. If they sign on to do something, then they need to first handle their business. Their teammates and dance groups are counting on them. #3: The event or outing MUST be chaperoned!! My daughter is only twelve years old!!

My daughter's friend goes on to say that her mom allows her to do all kinds of things by herself and whenever she wants. The saddest part is that this child, like many others, thinks that this is real parenting. My daughter was a little upset with her friend, but she explained to her that if she had a problem with our rules then she no longer wanted to hangout with her.

After the conversation with my daughter I felt very conflicted. I grew up in a very strict home, that made me feel as if I couldn't breathe. I would never want to cause my children to feel that way and so I try to keep their upbringing balanced, but aligned with God's Word. Yet I do not feel the need to follow this new trend of being my children's friend.

I do not think that my rules are difficult at all. As a mother it is my responsibility to keep my children safe and there is no shame in that at all. This situation really made me think, "What are we really teaching or not teaching our children?" Are we really raising our children with a false sense of self indulgence and belief that they can do what they want, when they want?
What are you thoughts? Are our children being left to parent themselves?

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