I Change Not…
Being rigid is worn as a source of pride and a badge of honor for some parents. They cling to their ideas as if to veer in a different direction will cause a major breach in the cosmos. The older we get, the more we notice that life is constantly changing.
Nothing stays the same!!
Being consistent is not the same as being rigid. Consistency allows for extenuating circumstances; rigidity does not. Consistency allows for new ways, means, and ideas to be entertained, and yes even implemented when it’s needed; rigidity doesn’t. Consistency promotes freedom and hope, while rigidity allows no space for freedom or hope.
Attempting to know where the boundaries of consistency, and rigidity begin and end is a “parenting balancing act”. Rigid parenting steals everybody’s joy. Rigid parents watch teens, like hawks watch mice, to make sure that no transgressions of laws are being committed. The joy of parenting is lost.
Teens may respond in several ways:
They may submit. They may put their responses on automatic, click off their brains, and allow parents to do their thinking for them. This response undermines self-confidence and erodes critical thinking skills.
They may appear to submit to their parents’ wishes but live a double life. Doing anything and everything they know their parents don’t want them to do. This response increases the chances of reckless living, especially when they leave home as young adults.
They may openly rebel. They may decide that they aren’t following any rules. Life can become a constant battle at home, at school, and in the community.
No one wins when parents are too rigid. Teens suffer, parents suffer, and relationships are damaged. If changes to the parenting approach aren’t made, the relationship may be damaged for a lifetime. So, let life happen. Change is bound to happen, let it. When you can flow with the change. In fact, greet changes with a smile. Most changes are going to take place with or without your participation.
What remains in the end, is a healthy relationship with your children!