I stayed up last night watching an episode of Raymond. It was the episode where he begins to be more authoritative and get his twin boys to clean their room and he stunk. After some guilting from his wife, parents, and brother he admits that this is hard. He can’t be the "mean" one and whines to his wife to be the mean one.
His family and his wife then recall how they continued to disobey their strict parents by doing things as teens and young adults that their parents didn’t know about. Raymond then goes upstairs and offers this not-so-great parenting advice to his 5 year old twin boys.
"Promise to obey what your mother and I say until your 65?" "yes, dad!" "We know you will do things when you get older and we can’t stop you or there is nothing we can do about it…just don’t let us find out.?"
First off, let me acknowledge that I believe our children will make poor decisions as teens and young adults, but I don’t believe there is nothing we can do about it. We, as parents, have a great responsibility to not only try but seek help from others to help our child go from good child to Great Man or Woman.
The second piece of his advice also rubbed me the wrong way because it told me as well as his twin boys. Everything you do is okay with me especially if I don’t know how stupid you are going to be, or how close to death you come. That kind of parenting is a lot like russian roulette… load it, spin it, then pull the trigger. In other words what that says to kids is this, I give you permission, just don’t tell me, you can do whatever you want, I will close my eyes and pretend to not know, and hope you survive.
Turn your head, close your ears and deceive yourself kind of parenting doesn’t work. Instead we should, Open our eyes, turn our hearts toward God and our kids, and always correct and love them.