The Parent (Peer Pressure) Trap

child

I once heard a sermon on parenting where the preacher said you never experienced peer pressure in your teenage years like the peer pressure you’ll face from other parents once you have kids. At the time I heard it, our oldest kids were around toddler age, but it stuck with me. And, I’m starting to learn exactly what he meant.
We’re entering the age of new freedoms and trying to decide what the “right” ages are to do what. . . Cell phones, sleepovers, technology limits, bedtimes, etc. Who knew there were so many decisions to make when your kids started getting a life? (Well, I’m guessing that many of you have already been there, done that.)
To be honest, our kids haven’t given us a lot of grief (yet) about the things we’ve said “no” to so far. Maybe a little whining or stomping off, but nothing that they didn’t get over pretty quickly. For example, we have done very few sleepovers so far. (Only a handful with our oldest when we knew the family well.) So, when I politely declined for one of our other kids, I was surprised when the mom told me that I was going to “have to” let them sooner or later. Have to? Hmmm. As it turned out, I told my child no, heard some complaining and went to pick her up at ten o’clock. And, to my surprise, she was fine when she got in the car. Happily told me about the party the entire way home, without one mention of the sleeping over part.
Sometimes, I feel like a big, overprotective momma bear. But, I also think that when I hear that small voice telling me to be cautious with them, it might be the Holy Spirit quietly nudging me for a reason. So, why do other parents make us question our judgement about our own kids? Why do the rules we make for our own families have to be justified or explained to anyone else? (They don’t, by the way.)
So, I’m curious how you’ve handled peer pressure from other moms/parents when you’ve made an unpopular choice for your family. I’d also be glad to have the whole sleepover conversation, if you’re up for it. . . #parentingishard

(photo & “Be Brave” canvas from Lindsay Letters)

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