The Child’s Bedroom
One of the places that parents seem to be afraid to step over some invisible boundary line, is their child’s bedroom. Some how many parents have been duped into thinking that small amount of space is forbidden to them. It begins slowly when children are younger with the silly “no parents allowed” and “caution, do not enter” signs. These signs can be dangerous because they can create the attitude that the child somehow owns that space.
Parents, not their child, pay the mortgage or rent bill every month. So the child does not own that space. It belongs to the parent.
As parents, with the job of protecting and training our children, we must be in their bedrooms checking chores and making sure that everything in them is following the family rules. It becomes dangerous when a child believes that a parent will not come into their room. It can become a place to keep things or act out in ways that are hazardous to the child. Sadly, some parents are none the wiser.
We have just begun to scratch the surface of the parental challenge of rights vs. parental responsibility to protect the child. In the weeks to come we’ll continue with this topic, but what about hope in the middle of this discussion? If you have older children this is something you are already in the middle of. There maybe someone out there that says yes, I agree with everything that has been said but what do I do now?
Sit down and evaluate what changes need to be made. For the sake of example we will use the bedroom. A parent has not felt it was their right to go into their child’s bedroom. They are realizing this is a mistake. The plan that has been decided on is that mom will check the bedroom daily to make sure the chores are done correctly as well as keeping her eyes open for anything that doesn’t meet family standards.
Start with a family meeting. Talk with your children about the fact that for their protection and safety things are being changed. Privacy is a privilege that is earned only when trust is built. It’s not even so much that you don’t trust them. It’s that you don’t trust others out there that you don’t know. You don’t really care what other people are doing or say is okay. You love them too much not to get more involved. “But mom,” the child might protest, “Why are you starting this now?” “Because I now realize that I have made a mistake and for your protection I’m taking steps to correct my mistake.”
The bedroom is a great place to start. Next, however, it’s time to move on to the boundaries surrounding those potential secret invaders into your child’s life …friends, technology and the internet.
Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on privacy vs. protection.