Wednesday, May 12, 2010

It seems there are rules, standards and regulations for everything anymore. I’m sure it’s partly due to the increase in our sue everyone mentality. I understand the need for laws, otherwise there would be total chaos, but you just about have to read an information manual before you do anything to make sure you’re within legal boundaries.

I was asked not long ago, “What kind of rules did you have when your kids were growing up?” It would be so easy if parents could pull out a handbook with standard rules like HIPAA and OSHA have. Clearly every family is different and each has to decide on house rules or, just like any other organization, it could be disastrous. It would be much too simple if the same thing worked for everyone.

Obviously rules and boundaries change and expand as the kids grow up. The don’t punch your sibling rule becomes a given the older they get, then maybe not. I think the key is to be conscious of how much responsibility your kids can handle and establish boundaries accordingly.

By the time our kids were in high school, we pretty much had only one rule in the house, The Do Right Rule. Jim Brawner strongly felt by then all three needed to be able to think on their own and make decisions based on their understanding of what was right and what was wrong while they were still at home. No, it wasn’t a free-for-all, but more like a gradual passing of responsibility.

We’ve all seen situations where parents rule with extreme control in fear their children will revolt. Also out of fear the kids behave perfectly, but once they're out of the house, look out. At some point, doing what’s right needs to come out of a person’s own convictions, not their parents’, the church’s or their friends’. It’s a major facet in growing up. Some are still trying to figure it out at 40.

Jim Brawner’s Do Right Rule was simple and no one was confused.

“Do what is right and good in the Lord’s sight...”
-Deuteronomy 6:18

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