The Case Against Bribing Children

Has this ever happened to you? You’re riding in the car and your toddler starts screaming for reasons only God knows. She’s fine, everything’s fine, you know she’s just testing You. You can’t get her to stop so you bribe her with a lollipop.

 Maybe your kids are older and they just don’t “feel like” going to school. Instead of parenting them, you bribe them telling them that you will give them something in exchange for their obedience. Does this sound familiar,”If you get straight A’s mama will buy you…”?

I think there is a fine line between teaching a child ethics and bribery. I see these scenarios all the time and they make me crazy for reasons most won’t understand. You see, at my core all I care about is the big picture. I’m a big picture thinker and in that picture where there is a parent just tired of fighting the kid so they give them whatever the kid wants, I see a world where those kids grow up to be out of control adults. I see these kids not finding self motivation to contribute their part in the world. They lack patience and are complete narcissists. I theorize that this is where those reputations came from about the millennial generation. The parents of this generation made a collective decision that they didn’t want to go with the status quo and adopted the belief that every child must find their own way in the world. This parenting style is referred to as “individualistic parenting.” Maybe this style of parenting came from the social issues from their perspective at the time. Back in the 60s and 70s they had plenty of things taking away the full attention of the parents. While parents were off trying to earn a living or change the famous gender and race issues, kids were left on their own, literally and emotionally. This is not much different from the way many parents raise their kids today. The products of those family scenarios are now raising their own kids passively (that is the definition of individualistic parenting, by the way). There are plenty of books out there and podcasts and the like but how do we know for sure which ones work? Or which ones are RIGHT? 

I don’t claim to be a parenting expert in the least but I do see the big pictures no one else seems to. 

When we bribe kids to get them to do what we want (or just what they’re expected to do in the first place) we relinquish all control into their immature and totally incapable hands. How do we not see this as an issue?? How can we not possibly realize, with all of the science out there about the human brain and how it develops, that this might not be a smart choice? This might be more harmful to society than helpful. 

Discipline does not take away individualism from the child. It actually hones it and refines it. Teaching them how to live in the world verses offering a simple (and seemingly innocent) bribe forms and shapes the next generation, but most of the time not in the way that is the healthiest. 

Oh I have been there, trust me. I get what it feels like to be in a very public place while my kid throws a Texas sized fit only to have judgement slinged at me from complete strangers… Or so it felt like. My son is a redhead and lives up to the cliché characteristics well. He is GOOD at it. 

It’s in those moments that our kids learn social expectations, respect and dignity. Kids are turds. They’re supposed to be…THEYRE NOT DEVELOPED. They are supposed to test the world around them. But that doesn’t mean we let them control it. Those are learning opportunities for them to experience why it might not be a good idea to act in such ways. In these moments it is absolutely our jobs as parents to teach these kids. It’s also our job to decide which way we want our kids to grow. There’s a fork in the road each and every single time an opportunity arises to bribe the kid… This is where #parentingainteasy comes from. Its not supposed to be! 

Teach a child about the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

Proverbs 22:6

Do you want your kid to grow up expecting the world to take care of them? Do you want them to always be thought of as inferior to society? If so, then by all means… Bribe away. Because bribing kids teaches them that they are not valuable enough to have our full attention of the matter. It teaches them that we are not the ones in control, that they are… And that’s NOT actually what they’re looking for in the moment. Kids need to know that you are the stable rock leading them. 

 If that is not the goal for your family (and by the way, everyone should have a “family goal”) and you would rather teach confidence and humility, characteristics that are kind of essential to adulthood,  then it would be a great time to think on a big picture level the next time little Jimmy loses his mind in aisle 5. Don’t bribe him. Train him with the mind and maturity of your fully developed brain because it is your job to use it for such a time as this. 

How? 

1. Decide that you love your kids “too much to let them act that way.” This is a common saying in our house when our kids are raging. We said these words many times a day to our toddlers way back when. So much, in fact, my daughter once repeated it back to me while witnessing a kid throwing a fit in Wal-Mart. 

2. Surround yourself with people who you think raised good people. Humble yourself to receive some teaching from them. 

3. Take some parenting classes and seek out those books and podcasts on this subject. I personally recommend Love and Logic. Family life changing, yo. 

Believe it or not, you are your kids’ first and most important teacher. Don’t leave this important job to a lollipop
What are some ways that you have overcome bribing your kids? I’d love to hear them! 

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Boyfriends don’t get Husband Privileges

You know me. Or maybe you don’t. But I take everything.. EVERYTHING to a deeper level. If I feel something, I feel it greater than you can ever understand. I believe this is for a purpose and I intend to use this purpose to the calling I have. So if this offends you… #sorrynotsorry

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Have you seen this going around?

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I LOVE IT. Obviously it means Sex. But what else? How much deeper can we go with this? Let’s see…

We are seeing a crazy high rate of broken hearts this generation. More than any of the gens from the past. Our young people are moving from one partner to the next at epic speeds, never satisfied and thinking they deserve better. Why? Because we give too much of our hearts away too fast. Period. Not only are we millenials giving away our bodies, but the deepest part of our being to someone we’ve known for a good month, maybe.

Is there something that you know a lot about? Something that when you see it used the wrong way it sends you up the wall? It offends my SOUL when I see young women (And men) calling their boyfriend their “other half”, their “everything”….. Their SPOUSE. A boyfriend is NOT a HUSBAND. A girlfriend is NOT a WIFE. I firmly believe that a couple can live together for years, “know” every thing there is to know about the other and still not be a spouse. There’s something that happens when that marriage CONTRACT is signed. It’s kind of like…

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We have such an epidemic of young people trying to grow up much faster than they are meant to. It is parents’ job to let them grow at the rate they are supposed to but instead we let the media raise our kids. Even Disney Channel (which we watch carefully in our house) has kids acting and looking older than they should.

“What does that matter? Who cares?”

I care! Because I KNOW ABOUT THIS. Because I see its effects on society every single day. These kids are no longer satisfied with the things they should be. Instead of playing with tangeable items made to invoke imagination, our kids are thrown iPads and told to be quiet… Which is super ironic considering how many parents these days are against the whole “Children are to be seen and not heard” thing.

On these iPads, children are exposed to things they shouldn’t be. Even if it’s a locked shut device, there are images the manufacturers put in place to make sure they have future customers. It may sound a bit conspiracy, but that’s marketing!

Exposed to new bigger ideas, these kids are no longer happy with regular things. They need more. And this transfers into their relationships.

Fast forward a few years when they think they are ready to date.. Nothing is good enough for them. Even if they are happy in the relationship, they can’t can’t even be content enough to call it what it is… They have to take it a step further and start referring to their mate as their other half.

I’m speaking out of experience. I’ve been there. And if you’ve ever taken our one-on-one marriage mentoring, you know what it did to my current marriage. It was a mess and made the water so murky, inconsistent and difficult to overcome that divorce was an easy option. Luckily we made a conscious effort, together, to progress through the mess to the other side. But many… MANY do not. And our society has changed through the expectations we hold our kids to.

If you are a parent of one of these “situations” or are an elder in any way close to this, listen clearly: do not let your kids go down this road. Do not stand idley by, passively watching your kids be defeated by this nonsense. Instill in them from an early age just how important their hearts are and what the difference is between a teenage romance and a TRUE Marriage. They need to hear it from you consistently and thouroughly.

They will thank you for it someday. Oh, and so will your grandkids.

Let’s talk about SEX!

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It’s here! It’s here!

This has been a year and a half In the making, you guys! In about 6 weeks, the educators of Life Choices, a non-profit pregnancy resource and medical center, will be holding a very special “Parent Talk” event! Our Sexual Risk Avoidance Specialists, such as myself, will be educating the public on the matters of what this generation is learning when it comes to sex. We will cover what the Colorado State Standards are and what is being taught in the schools across our state. Then, we will introduce simple concepts to implement in your own home. It is our first priority that you as the parent be the first and most important role model and sex ed teacher for your child. We will cover what ages to start “the talk” as well as tips to keep that intimate and important conversation going. Other topics to be covered are: apps, social media, sexual exploitation, and more! After we cover the what, when, where, why and how… We will introduce a who, explaining the importance of accountability to teens.

Be there or be..hind! Your kids need you to know these things, and you do too!

It is recommended the kids stay home during the conference, especially the little ones, due to subject matter.

Light refreshments will be provided. Come ready to take good notes!

No RSVP needed but if you would like more info, you are welcome to call Karen, Education Dept Director at the number and ext listed on the poster.

If you are a parent of a child under college age, I am personally inviting you to be a part of something BIG in Colorado. Parents, you have more power than you know!

Make good choices!

With love, Becky

Sexting and the dangers of Hidden Apps

Recently, I was blessed to be sent to a meeting with a local detective for a NoCo police department. Most of the things he was presenting didn’t seem to have much to do with my area of concern but then… someone brought up the question about kids and Apps. And the legal ramifications of sexting and child pornography….

Before going much further I want to make a point… Did you know that our number one “issue” in Northern Colorado that detectives are fighting right now is child porn and sexual exploitation? He also linked the two together noting that kids who are involved in sexting, thinking it’s no big deal and that nothing big will ever come of it, often times end up being thrown into a prostitution scandal against their will and unable to get out. Hard to hear, right? Well that’s the main thing we are dealing with in this area and most of us have no clue.

Those Apps are a BIG deal. You can read more about which Apps to watch out for on your kids’ devices and why they are such a pressing matter HERE

In my opinion, I don’t think parents are as worked up about this issue as they need to be. Maybe they think that “it will never happen to OUR kids” or “We raised them better..” but the truth of the matter is simply… YOUR KIDS HAVE THEIR OWN MINDS… AND THEY’RE NOT DEVELOPED YET. We’ve gone over this before a bit in THIS POST but it all breaks down to how your kid makes choices. Teens are made to make choices in the moment, to not worry about the future, to constantly live in a place of taking risks. This is good for their development… if they make it that far. You see, they tend to have mental blocks against the things that can REALLY damage them and instead worry about the social implications. This is where basic exploiting originates. They’re too worried about what could happen in their social sphere, they throw away their world in trying to protect or improve it. It is a parent’s job to see that they LIVE and thrive. We cannot afford to allow our kids to be put on autopilot, especially when it comes to their social influence.

Parents of tweens and teens, I am calling you out! If you are simply “stuck” and may not feel like this is something you can deal with on your own, please seek counsel! Know you are not alone and that it is worth it to fight this fight! Life Choices education department will be holding a *FREE* (How much better could it get??) Parent Talk on this very topic in April (Exact date and time TBA). Keep your eyes out for the info and BE THERE!

 

Make Good Choices!

~Becky~

Everything is Fixable

I love my job. Have I mentioned that before?? This time I’m talking about the sex education job, getting to teach the truth about sex and share my testimony over and over. This week I am in an all-girls 8th grade class where we kind of introduce the notion that they are more than just a physical being – that sex is a really big deal, inside and outside of marriage.

In this particular job, we have outlines to follow that are in line with district standards across the board. We use activities to get the point across and I especially love the conversations that ensue from them. These sweet 8th graders’ questions are REAL and pure and intense at times. And other times they are just funny. Kids are HILARIOUS.

Today, as we were talking about consequences of sex and how one might be bigger than another, I asked a question that I ask all of my classes because I think this message is important; “What is the one thing in life that is not ‘fixable’?”
One little girl raised her hands and shouted “Herpes!”
It was… Awesome. We laughed together as a class because I just told them what a virus was and that it’s not curable. But in the same moment, she confirmed for me why I do this. Why I feel so deeply for these kids. I am definitely an advocate for abstinence (Because of my story not in spite of it). I am pro-life. I am pretty old fashioned and conservative but I also know the day we live in. I know what these kids are facing and I. Get. Them.

In a world where the media rules, majority opinion rules over fact and truth, and what used to be considered inappropriate is now not only appropriate but trendy, these sweet kids are… For lack of a better word… Confused. They have no idea what is right or wrong. Only the opinions of their parents and other influences can determine that, and if the parents are under the influence of the media…well…
These parents are effectively raising this generation to be narcissistic, trend following zombies void of Truth. Respect. Honor. Self control. Not all of them. But a lot.

What’s happening is by the time I am getting to these kids they have likely already had some experience in the area or have the people around them unintentionally giving them the message that they should. I have seen so much tragedy the last year of teaching than in all my own years of middle and high school and raising my own kids.

So back to the question. What is it? What is the one thing that cannot be fixed in life?

Death.

Think about it. Death can never fix life. If these kids get too many messages that they are not good enough or that there is no way out of their situation, they are at a much higher risk for suicide.

Did that just get a little too heavy for you? Read on.

Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for ages 10-25 years old with Colorado being one of the states with the HIGHEST rate*

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So what should we be doing?

1. We need to be telling our kids the truth
Parents. Its our job to train up our child. Its important that we teach them right from wrong in the beginning so they will always have a voice in their head. Kids do dumb things. Its part of their development but we play a vital role in communicating the values and morals that our kids carry for the rest of their lives. Speak truth to them and be consistent.

2. Speaking of truth, what IS the truth?
I have said this time and time again to my inquiries… In order to TEACH you have to KNOW the subject. And by KNOW I mean KNOW… You know? You must believe with all of your heart that what you’re teaching your child is the truth of all truths. Facts. What do you believe about the world, God, promiscuity, drugs, broccoli, respect, gender, bullies…? Such a long list and this isn’t even the tip of the iceberg! Parents, I want to challenge you to call a meeting with the spouse and other adult influences in your kids’ lives to determine your world view and how you are passing that legacy down. Because you need to know where you stand on these issues BEFORE they arise.

3. Speaking of influence…
Who is your child’s greatest influence, other than you? If you said friends you’d be half correct. Their friends… And the media… Is IN their heads. When I say media I am talking about movies, news, magazines, music, and especially social (FB, Twitter, YouTube, IG, etc). The eyes are the windows to the soul and if what they are being exposed to tells them they have to be in the “IN” crowd to survive… And these things most definitely ARE… then we’re not doing our job well. Now, I like a good Mean Girls party as much as the next #90skidd but my daughter was to a certain maturity that I deemed appropriate before she watched it. And when she did it was with me. And we talked about it. All the way through the movie..lots of talking. Lots of questions and answers. Just her and me.
I’m not saying to never expose your kids to the world (because I personally believe if we do that they cannot effectively be a light in the darkness) but I am saying they need guidance and YOUR influence.

4. And the most important thing of all…
Drive it home that EVERYTHING IS FIXABLE. Everything.
I tell not only my own kids but especially my students, every single presentation, with tears in my eyes because I just can’t hold it back… Everything is fixable. The only thing not fixable is death. If you get an F on a paper, can we fix that? Yes! What if we can’t? Then we move on. This too shall pass. What about something more serious like the herpes we mentioned earlier?? Herpes is not curable but it can be managed. I tell them that we can figure anything out.
These kids are so afraid of the what ifs and are literally STUCK in the moment (it has everything to do with how the teenaged brain is developed) that they simply can’t see what’s next. That’s why adults tend to think teens are “so dramatic”. Kids just can’t. Teens just can’t. Its our job to speak life and truth over them and to make sure they have a safe and consistent place to come home to. I’m pretty sure if more kids heard THAT mesage we’d have a much lower suicide statistic to deal with, especially here in Colorado.

We get ONE CHANCE, ladies and gentlemen, to raise a good, noble, productive member of society. You’ve heard the saying, “The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world”? Well this is how. Take your job seriously and raise this generation so that they can effectively make a good next generation themselves.

Make good choices,
Becky