Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas Boundaries and Freedoms

         One of the most delightful parts of the holidays is a little less structure.  Whether your children attend school or you educate them at home or even if they are not school age, you just have more freedom and more opportunity during this time of the year.
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As I have watched my friends with their children the last several weeks, I have been reminded of a very practical tool we have used with our children.  Due to this seasonal freedom, children are constantly asking if they can play at a friend’s house or bring a friend home.
         Often the calendar would allow for them to jump in your car and bring them home to help make cookies (or keep your children occupied so you can.)  However the hard and fast rule made was this: “If you ask us in front of your friends the answer will ALWAYS be NO!”
         Sounds like I’m a party pooper right?  Well, we found it worked for us.  It trained our children to be self-controlled.  It taught them to excuse us while they explained an invitation they would like to extend or accept.  It gave us time to determine if the plan would truly work for our family. I think most importantly it left no one blindsided, embarrassed or disappointed.
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         Parakaleo is written to “come alongside other parents” and to “encourage your parenting decisions.”  This tool of an automatic “No” was a boundary for our children.   It also helped when they did NOT want to go with someone and they could discreetly tell me on the side. I could then explain our child would not be able to accept their invitation.
         No one loves having extra children in our home like I do but sometimes my seasonal freedoms are just to enjoy our own children and allow them to be best friends.  You know what works best for your family.  Build boundaries that reflect your family’s values and you will be better able to enjoy your seasonal freedoms!
Proverbs 31; 26
She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teachings of kindness is on her tongue.


  1. I love this. Thank you for sharing. This will be very helpful in our family:).

    1. It's very practical, not too spiritual, but I can't tell you how it has worked with our children! Super proud of you Courtney! Enjoy your family this Christmas! xo

  2. Wow, Joannie! Love this. Such practical, simple, yet profound advice. I am so glad you shared this with us!