Monday, July 04, 2011
JULY FREEDOM FROM EXPECTATIONS-Healthy Parenting Balance
Guest Blogger: Hally Franz
Word art is huge. Over the last several years, walls have become hosts for something besides prints, sconces and photographs. Framed, as well as stand-alone, phrases and impact words have become standard decorating forms in millions of homes. These linguistic touches are opportunities for families to communicate their values and core beliefs in an artistic way.
When my 13-year-old son was born, I contemplated developing something like this for his room. I envisioned a framed code of ethics that would identify his parents’ expectations for behavior and outlook. I never accomplished that task; probably the business of actually tending to my infant took precedence.
While that was a nice thought, I don’t think we need to write our values on our walls for people to understand who we are, children to recognize the family priorities. Our behavior should communicate and demonstrate where we stand without the help of visual aids.
For the Franz household, three of our key expectations include: appreciation for what we have, respect for elders and authorities, and hard work. We value kindness and charity and lots of other things, but, for us, a demanding, disrespectful and lazy nature is perhaps most offensive.
That doesn’t mean that my children always display the desired level of excitement and gratitude after receiving new clothes or having a day out. Nor, does it mean that don’t sass. I wish! And, they regularly need prodding to get on-task with the day’s chores. It does mean there are consequences when they deviate too much from our ground rules.
Every home establishes, either intentionally or unconsciously, their rules to live by. Each home has its own unique set of standards. Children need to be clear about what these are; parents need to expect that children will falter as they figure it out. Just as our Heavenly Father displays grace when we fall short of what’s expected, we need to show grace when our children do as well.
The over-arching premise within any Christian home is that our belief and faith in God will ultimately guide our daily decisions and actions. We parents need to seek God’s counsel as we define and design the “look” of our homes; after all, He is the master designer. Then, whether our walls are painted, splashed or left bare, our children will know our expectations.
Hally Franz is a former high school guidance counselor, turned homemaker. Hally sees each day as a new exercise, where routines change and weights vary. Her goal is to maintain all-around fitness for service, while training her children to be competitive, compassionate and Christ-like in the world in which we live. Read more of her articles at The Christian Pulse.