- We have the right to look at all text and email messages
- We will look at and check your computer history
- Your phone and computer....not yours, ours....we pay for it, we have rights to it
Ultimately as parents, our job is to protect Emma from all harm while in our care. That means there will be times when we have rules that she may not like. That's OK. If my teenage child liked everything that was going on in our home I would most likely not be holding boundaries! Boundaries matter. Rules are for her good, even if she can't see it, even if EVERY other parent does not agree. (which is what we all hear from our kids) :-)
Many days I grab Emma's phone and read through her texts. I learn so much about her and her friends with this practice. One particular day I was reading her messages from a good friend and my heart sank. As I scrolled up and kept trying to find where the thread began, I realized this issue had been going on for several days. Emma had not said a word to me which was unusual. I began to pray.
We went through our normal morning routine and I didn't speak of the texts. I wanted to spend time in prayer and ask God for the best way to support Emma in the situation. I continued to pray throughout the day that He would protect her heart, her relationships, for the truth to surface, for a healing of a longtime friendship if that was best for her in the long run....or allow it to fade away if that was what was best. I found myself praying, "Lord, you know what the next 4 years of high school will hold...please protect her, even if it's hard now. Over and over asking God to hold her tight, bless her heart, and for His best and help her heart to handle whatever His answer might be. And to give us the wisdom to love her through it all.
When she returned from school I began to just ask questions to see where she was emotionally regarding the situation. As we began to talk through the situation and the possible solutions I shared with her my heart that day. I shared the constant prayers for her. I shared with her the underlying benefit of my reading her texts...prayer coverage! I honestly believe she was able to see, for a moment, the beauty of this rule.
You see, our children must know we love them enough to hold a boundary. They have to know we will go against culture or what EVERY one's parents are doing to protect them. This is where they feel safe and loved...even if they don't acknowledge it or even when they fight back. Ultimately, our highest call is to parent in light of their eternal future and hold boundaries that guide them that direction. When being confronted on a decision I often say, "I am not concerned about what other people's parents are doing, I am the one who has to stand before the Lord one day and account for my parenting decisions for you." That is the truth.
So, go ahead and hold the line friends. It shows our love and commitment to our children far more than being their friend or letting the reigns go too early. Rules mean love and protection and there really is hidden beauty in them!