I recently spoke to a group of mothers with sons who were in high school. I was discussing “boys to men....the high school years”. As I was writing my remarks I was thinking about the many lessons I learned while parenting my sons through their high school years. Funny how it sometimes seems like long ago, and at other times it seems as if it was just yesterday.
I think one of the biggest lessons I learned while raising teens is something that my mother and father both told me. There were so many occasions when I begged my parents for “something”. I can remember telling them, “it’s not fair, eryone else has a phone in their room!” But, being the good parents that they were, they explained all of the reasons that I didn’t need to have my own phone. I thought that my parents could afford to put a phone in my room, but they said that wasn’t the point. Their reply was often “just because we can doesn’t mean we should”.
That statement has probably been made by parents for hundreds of years. But I must say, it is often hard for some parents to follow this adage. We all want to give our children as much as we can, but sometimes by not giving, we are all being better parents.
Just because you can give your toddler an iPad doesn’t mean that you should. Just because you can give your elementary school child and I-phone doesn’t mean you should. The same for giving your child a TV in their room, or a car for turning 16. I really admire the parents who can truly give their child “most anything”, but know that their children need to learn to wait.
So, I spoke to the parents group about trying to follow my own parents statement when raising my sons. They would probably tell you that we were sometimes “mean and strict” and that they would get upset when we would say “just because we can doesn’t mean we should”. I think it worked well for our family.....waiting is a hard but necessary lesson. It often makes you more appreciative as well.