‘We say “YES” as much as we possibly can, because we know we will have to say “NO” so much!’
This is one of the best tidbits of advice I learned from my friend Debbie who was raising teenagers.
My children were small at the time, but I still remember that conversation like it was yesterday.
And, I thought of it often during the middle and high school years with my own children.
There is so much junk, ugly, unsafe, weird, and dangerous stuff out there.
But, you cannot say “NO” every single time.
You must find some things to say “YES” to as well.
Over the course of the last few weeks, we’ve been talking about “How to Win and Keep the Heart of Your Children into Adulthood.”
- The series was launched with – “The Greatest Parenting Advice I’ve Ever Received.”
- Strategy One – “Win & Keep Your Child’s Heart with These 8 Proven Strategies.”
- Strategy Two – “8 Proven Strategies to WIN & KEEP Their Hearts – Part 2.”
- Strategy Three – “8 Proven Strategies to Win & Keep Their Hearts – Part 3.”
- Strategy Four – “8 Proven Strategies to Win & Keep Their Hearts – Part 4.”
- Strategy Five – “It’s the Best Little Teaching SECRET of Seasoned Teachers – Part 5.”
Today’s post highlights Strategy Six:
Choose your BATTLES wisely!
Not everything necessitates a fight.
Say, “YES” as often as you can.
Say “NO” when you must.
But don’t say “NO” to every single thing!
How do you do this?
How do you know when to say “YES” and when to say “NO”?
I can’t answer that completely for you.
You and your spouse are going to have to decide when to answer affirmatively and when to answer negatively. It will ultimately be up to you.
However, I can make a few suggestions that may help along the way.
1] Pray for great wisdom!
Ask God to make you as wise and as insightful as you have ever been.
Pray over the parties, clubs, purchases, teams, other kids, dates, relationships, teachers, and everything else. Invite the Lord to give you wisdom as you pray.
“But if any of you needs [lacks] wisdom, you should ask God for it.
He is generous to everyone and will give you wisdom without criticizing you [without finding fault; ungrudgingly;]. (James 1:5)
2] Consider a few qualifying questions:
~ Is it a high enough hill to die on?
~ Is it a conviction or a preference on my part?
~ Is this really a watershed moment?
~ What is ultimately the best choice for this child?
~ Will this matter in a year?
~ Will I be sorry tomorrow that I fought over this thing today?
~ Will my children learn more from doing this or NOT doing this?
~ Is this too dangerous or too much for them right now?
~ What would my pastor do? My parents do? My mentor do in this situation?
~ What does God want me to do here?
3] Be willing to try something different if your tactics are not working!
Sometimes — when what you are doing isn’t working — you need to try a new tactic, a new strategy.As a parent, don't be afraid to change course or do something new and unexpected. Click To Tweet
Let me illustrate from my own late teenage years…
There was this boy, a boy I really thought I was “in love” with.
He was charming and handsome, and I thought I might marry him one day.
But, my dad didn’t like him.
There were just some things in his home life and family that really concerned my father. And, he fought me over this relationship.
It put me in a tough place as a young adult – would I follow my heart or submit to my dad’s wishes?
I was so torn.
Then, one day, the craziest thing happened – my dad backed off.
He told me that I was mature enough and old enough to make my own decisions; he would stop fighting me regarding this dating relationship.
Amazingly, when my father quit fighting me over the relationship, everything changed.
What had once felt like a “forbidden romance” was now just a guy and a girl. The intrigue, the mystery, and the drama was immediately sucked out of the relationship.
We weren’t desperately seeking to be together (against my dad’s wishes) anymore. We were just a boring young couple who could date if they wanted to!
I lost interest very quickly after my father quit fighting me, and I didn’t even want to date this boy anymore.
My dad’s change in tactic saved the day.
And, I learned from his example – sometimes if you quit fighting, they will quit fighting too.
I mean, what fun is it as a teenager to fight a battle with authority when the authorities quit fighting back!
Sometimes, you need to say “YES” because it will take some of the fight right out of the battle.
So, I wonder today:~ What sorts of battles are you waging with your kids? Click To Tweet
~ Are you saying “NO” too often?
~ What 2-3 things might you be able to say “YES” to this week?
~ What other tactics have you learned about picking your battles?
~ Got any great stories to share? (about you or your kids)
I always enjoy hearing from you!
You can leave a comment in the section below or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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© Melanie Redd and Ministry of Hope, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Melanie Redd and Ministry of Hope with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.