This post was sponsored by Office Depot® OfficeMax® in partnership with The Motherhood. The content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
There is no doubt that the older my kids get, the more challenging the parenting gets as well. The days of quick “yes” or “no” decisions is waning.
“Can I have a snack now, Mom?”, “Can Frankie come over to hang out?”, “Can I stay up until 9:30 tonight?” (No, Yes, Yes) is quickly being replaced with:
“Can I go to a party at John's this weekend?”, “Can I see ‘Blair Witch' with my friends tomorrow?”, and “Okay if I get a ride home from Katie after school?”. And my response is “Uhhhhh….”….
All the while my brain is running through a litany of questions… Are we really at this stage where they go to parties? Will the parents be home? Will there by alcohol or drugs at this party? Is my son/daughter ready to handle a peer pressure situation? Will he have nightmares for a week if he sees ‘Blair Witch'? Why the hell does he even want to see it? And what is it rated anyway? Katie? Katie who? How long as she been driving? Any accidents? Who else will be in the car?…. And of course….. What will my husband say about this?
Never have I felt so stumped in my decision making.
And then there's the whole trickle-down factor. Once I've made the leap into allowing my oldest to see R-rated horror movies (at age 16)…. you know I am just one small step away from giving the thumbs up to my 14 1/2-year old to do the same. And before you know it…. my 10-year old is watching these kinds of movies before he ever reaches the age of 12. (And he's hopping into the car with “Katie” to drive him there….)
But how do you know if you are doing the right thing? How do you know if this one seemingly small decision- might be the one to set off a whole trigger of events that leads to a bad outcome? How do you know?
Well- you don't. But it starts with a foundation of everything you've done for and with your children up to this point. All of those little yes/no/yes decisions that have shaped who they are right now. And from there you trust…. in trust. You let them see the movie and trust that they will be okay. You let them go the party (after getting all of your important questions answered first!) and trust that they will make their own wise choices. You let them get in the car with their friend, and you trust that they will be safe.
How Will My Kids View My Parenting?
And maybe you think about how you hope that your parenting inspires them to be smart. To be brave. And to be great. And you wonder- what do they think about your decisions right now and what will they think about them as they grow older and reflect on how they were brought up?
Office Depot® OfficeMax® wondered the same thing…. so they asked parents about the job of parenting, and then they asked their kids what they thought of the job their parents were doing (grab the tissues!)
To celebrate parents, knowing every little thing we do matters, Office Depot® OfficeMax® is offering a $25 gift card to a MomOf6 reader who shares a comment here about the job you are doing as a parent, and what you hope your kids will think about the job you are doing: