Listen, I am truly not an “expert” on anything, but I do wake up each day and try to be better than yesterday and make choices based on my values and how I feel in my heart. Like how I truly feel. This can be hard, with the many pressures that try to confuse us, but you can stay strong and make the choice you truly believe in.
I have had many conversations as of late, about choices for our kids, our family and our life. Our kids are getting older and choices seem to matter more, and there seem to be more pressures. I hear many parents say that they feel pressured to say yes, or they don’t know how to say no. They feel pressured by their kids to do “what everyone is doing”, or they don’t want their kid to miss out.
You Do Get to Choose
The beauty of it, and the challenge of it, is that YOU get to choose. YOU get to use your wisdom, your values, and what matters to YOU, to decide what you choose. Don’t let others confuse you, meaning other kids, parents, teachers, coaches or random people that like to give their opinion.
Take time to pray about it and think about it. Take time to listen as well. Talk with your spouse. Talk with someone you trust.
I started this post Sunday morning before church, and had to stop in the middle so I wouldn’t be late. This had been on my mind, and I wanted to start writing. I couldn’t believe the priest talked entirely about choices. Specifically, having the wisdom to follow God, and not getting confused by man, and the many choices available to us. This wisdom will lead us to a deeper joy, rather than short-term happiness. We should make choices that lead us closer to God, and not man. Pray for the wisdom of God, and for God to work in us. Pray for our tough choices, and ask God to walk with us through them. It was such a perfect message, at the perfect time for all that I was feeling.
Don’t choose based on what other people are doing. Don’t choose based on pressure. Don’t choose based on convenience. Don’t choose based on what feels easy.
Let Your Choices Bring You Closer to God
I find that my best choices, the choices that lead me, and my family, closer to God, closer to each other, and to our best selves, are usually inconvenient, unpopular, hard and sometimes feel lonely in the short-term. I usually know in my heart that it is the best choice. Once we get through the challenge and all the feelings, there is sense of peace eventually, that we made the right choice. The choices that are best for our future, are usually the most challenging to make right now, but will bring us the reward we are craving, and a true feeling of content later.
For today, YOU get to have a say in many, if not all, of YOUR choices.
Your Kids Need You to Help Them Choose
YOU get to create the rules for your house. YOU get to make rules for phones, social media and all time on electronics. You get to decide if they are in their room on the phone most of the day. Yes, YOU, not them. YOU get to decide when to say yes, and when to say no. Kids, and teens, need to hear no sometimes. This is life. Again, they need to feel no. They need to feel when something isn’t fair. They need to have to wait for something they want. These are feelings kids need.
Let Us Stop the Generation of Entitled Kids
But, you have to be the parent that talks them through it. Take the time to explain why you feel the way you do. Help them understand. Teens still need conversation. They need to be understood, not just told no. Even if they don’t understand quite yet, take time to talk to them. Let them have a non-judgmental, accepting space to talk with you.
Just remember, when YOU are feeling pressure to say yes, but it doesn’t feel right. When you are feeling overwhelmed by everything, but feel like you can’t say no. At the end of the day, YOU do get to choose. YOU really, really do. It might not be easy, but most good things are not always easy.
So choose what is best for your family, your values, and what your heart feels, not what is best for everyone else.