Being a parent is never easy. You may think me cynical for saying that, but its true. Even when days are good and the kids aren’t arguing, I am worried about their health, their future and their schooling. A parents job doesn’t end when they go to sleep. No. I take that time to talk through the day with my husband and discuss issues, strategies and even new parenting techniques we might need to implement.
I used to long for the day when I could trust my children. When I didn’t have to watch over them like a hawk and protect them from everything. But if blogging has taught me anything…its that I can’t trust anyone. Especially not my 10-year old.
I know that may sound harsh, but I do not trust my 10-year old. I trust him to make macaroni and cheese for lunch or to put the milk away after he pours a glass, but I do not trust him with life. At least not yet.
He is TEN!
That may sound a little silly, but its true. No matter how much I can trust him with simple tasks, he is still only 10. There are so many reasons why I can’t trust him with life yet. Have we left him home alone? Yes, on occasion. But no longer than 30 minutes at a time. Have I let him go to the park one block away? Yes. And he has even taken his siblings. Have we let him go to the library alone? Yes. But one of the workers is from our church and she often messages me that he arrived safely so I don’t have to worry. All of these may seem like I trust him, but you have understand, our entire town is just 2-square miles. We live 3 blocks from the library and my husband works at the church, just 4 blocks from our house. People in our town still leave their houses and cars unlocked – not us, because we’re still cynical city-folks. But, the point is…we live in a very safe town. That doesn’t mean I am naive, but it does mean he has a little leeway.
He is naive.
In many ways, my son is one of the smartest kids I know. But book smart and street smart are two completely different things. Just because he is doing 7th grade math mostly in his head, doesn’t mean he can see potential dangers as an adult would. Often times he doesn’t understand why we’re so restrictive, but that doesn’t stop me from doing it. In fact, it pushes me to be more restrictive, because it shows me he’s still a little boy. Ten years old may bring with it a lot of independence, but he still needs to be able to be a kid.
I am his protector.
If my son sees me struggling with something, he is often right there to help me complete the task. However, I am still his protector. It is my job to protect him from the evil of the world. From the corruption that lies outside my door. Do I shelter him? No. We often have private talks with him about our reasons behind a decision, because we know at 10-years old he is capable of understanding things our little ones don’t. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t need to continue protecting him. He has felt more pain and heartache than I ever thought possible in his short ten years of life. From losing a beloved grandpa that he spent hours a week visiting and watching the Science and History channel to losing friends because my husband and I refused to back down from our faith. He was moved over 600 miles from all he had ever known to a town and church where he knew no one, only to have it ripped away from him without a valid reason – other than we stood for Christ. So, while I can’t protect him from everything, it is still my job to protect him while I help him grow in his faith, so that he too may take a stand for Christ one day.
He is still learning.
As I mentioned before, he is advanced in most of his school subjects; however, he is still learning the ways of the world. Unfortunately he has been teased and bullied, sadly both in a church setting, but those were wonderful teaching moments. We were able to teach him that Christ was also teased and bullied – even spit upon – but he prevailed. And with Christ’s help, so will my son. He is still learning to recognize potential dangers of actions he thinks are “just cool” when all I see is a trip to the Emergency Room. We also deal with lying on occasion. Mostly to get out of trouble or stay out of trouble, but it is still lying. So, even though I can tell when he’s lying to me, I cannot trust him completely. He is still learning…just as he should be. He should not be trusted with matters of the house or world yet, but should be learning more about them as we see fit for his maturity level.
I am following God’s Leading.
Regardless of what others may think, I am his Mom and it is my husband and I’s job to seek God for guidance. We don’t pay attention to what society tells us is “appropriate” for a ten year old. What it boils down to is this – I have been in this world long enough to know what I don’t want my 10-year old to see too early, or even at all. I am not here to please man or even the grandparents. I don’t answer to them. I answer to God Almighty for how I raise(d) my children and I sure don’t want to tell him I was too lazy or just went with the flow. Truthfully, I don’t care if people think we are too conservative or stick-in-the-mud’s, we are the parents of this child and doing what we feel God is leading us to do in protecting him.
Do you trust your children? Why or why not?