Madeline and Paige were talking the other day about different parenting styles. Some are too lax; they just want to be their kid’s friends. Some are too strict, hovering, helicopter parents. Some are too serious; where is the fun?
I said to Madeline in that conversation, “You can have it all! You can have fun while also being strict and having rules.” She then said, “You should do a podcast about that, about having a balance.”
I think it’s actually hard to balance it all equally. You are rarely in perfect balance. The scale is mostly always tipped one way or the other, but keep trying.
Letting the kids be silly even during serious times, such as reading scriptures, can be significant and frustrating because they go too far with their silliness.
I love to have fun, but there has to be order and rules to have the fun.
5 ways to try and find that balance:
Always follow through – If you set a consequence for something they have done, you have to follow thru, even if it is more painful for you!!
Help them find a hobby – kids are much happier when they have something they are interested in, besides video games, and passionate about. If they are having a hard time coming up with something, have their hobby be finding a hobby for a while.
Let them choose their bedroom décor – kids sometimes feel like they don’t have enough control over their lives, especially in a divorced family. Let them give their input on the room theme and décor.
Give them chores – This can teach them responsibility, value of hard work and respect. Having said that, teenagers can be quite busy, don’t overwhelm them with too much to do, be flexible with what their responsibilities are at different times in their life.
Have fun with them and be generous with rewards – Make sure you are having fun with the kids. They need to see a lighthearted side of their parents. Be silly, be funny, be relaxed. And make sure you have rewards for their work. MAybe after you clean the garage, you go get ice cream. AFter they finish studying for a big test, go out to dinner.