It seems that it is time for “The Talk” once again at my house. For many of you, you probably assume that from the title this talk will be about the birds and the bees. Not so. When you live on the farm topics like reproduction and various anatomical differences between male and females come up with everyday life. As a matter of fact, most non-farm orientated folk would be deeply disturbed by what is discussed at the dinner table amongst the farm family. Then the kids just sort of put things together, if you will, and then the topic of human reproduction comes pretty easily and just moves on by.
No, in our house dominated by strong-willed females “The Talk” is a different sort of beast. Really, it is more of a speech- talking involves conversation and by the time “The Talk” is needed I am not interested in conversing- I am interested in laying the law down. With each of the girls- all three being ahead of the boy- as age 14 rolls around they have just about decided that I don’t really know what I am doing. And possibly, they have confused the fact that I treat them with respect and as intelligent individuals instead of just dumb kids with the presumption that they are equal to me. Big Mistake. My authority does not come from the fact that I am more intelligent than my children- the fact is that they are just as if not more intelligent than I am and they arrived in this world that smart. My authority comes from that fact that God made me their mother and I am in charge until they are adults and out of the house. Until that day, I am the Alpha Female.
Well, the youngest daughter just turned 14 and just like her sisters before her, she has gotten a little too big for her britches.
To her I will say:
“You have four years left here in this house. These years can be years of peace and fun or they can be 4 years of fighting and unhappiness for you. It is your choice. The rules haven’t changed and they will not. You will treat me with respect, treat your siblings with kindness and respect or we can fight about all these things and you will lose. I am still the mother and I am not budging. The boundaries that have been in place since you were born will not change, test them as you may, test them if you must- but they will not change. If you are looking for a fight, I am game. However, I hope you choose peace. What will it be?”
Because I have laid the ground work for 14 years of their lives- I don’t make idle threats, if I tell you I will take away all your books because you keep reading instead of doing what you are supposed to, I will. They know I mean what I say and they also know from whom they inherited the strong will and have decided it’s best not to tangle with me. Now when I speak of boundaries, I am speaking of basic tenants of obeying our guidelines and treating one another with love and respect. I am not a mother who had ideas of what her children should be and then forces them into the box I have created. My children are free to be and to become what God has intended. I simply create an environment in our home in which they can hear God. The Bible is the final word in our home, therefore, if you do not like what it says don’t blame me take it to God. Until He changes, I am not.
This all sounds pretty harsh, but really it isn’t. Also, these are strong willed kids- you have to have a will of granite to stand your ground or they will eat you alive. We all need to know where the boundaries are in our lives. I want my children to learn that inside the boundaries are freedom and peace. If they learn that in our home boundaries mean good things for them then when they are own their own they will know that living within the boundaries that God sets are for their good and protection. So far so good, the 19 and 17 year-old have not given us one moment of grief and I can truly say I love having teenagers.
So, here it goes for the third time. I am not sure there will be a forth- will Jonathan challenge me or his dad when the time comes? I don’t know- I hope he challenges his dad… Why should I get to have all the fun!
What have been the most challenging seasons of raising you children?