Rebellion is a funny thing.
It started this wonderful country we live in. It is a cornerstone of many faiths and religions. Rebellion shakes up the status quo and can lead to very positive outcomes…but it also can include pain, discord and chaos.
Parenting is creatively managing rebellion and it is your job.
Think about it. From the time your little angel is born, he or she begins the process of separation. Separation from mother’s womb, from father’s protection, from home and many other things along the way.
In a PTA meeting presentation I attended long ago, Child Psychologist Dr. Carl Pickhardt said, “Children are people in a small box, kicking methodically at the sides to make a larger space inside until one day they are completely out of it.”
“You, my friends,” he said, smiling broadly at all of the parents in the room, “are the box.”
He went on to say that the parental boundaries that we set and consistently enforce are the walls that children both rely on for safety and have an overwhelming imperative to overcome.
I will tell you from personal experience that the walls will come down. It is up to you whether they fall gradually, with negotiation and love that cushions all involved, or whether they fall with a mighty crash that can break relationships and take safe decisions with them.
So, on to the title of today’s post. Will your child want to experiment with hair color or style, piercings or tattoos?
How can you help your child make appropriate choices that they won’t regret for years to come and that you can live with now?
Here are some agreements we made and conversations we had with our daughters which may help you.