Friday, April 3, 2015

A to Z Blogging Challenge "D is for..."

...Decisions; Making Good Ones
From "Lifehacks for Christian Moms"
by Shelly Burke, RN, Author, and Editor, Nebraska Family Times

Moms face a multitude of decisions every day; some are minor (short sleeves or long sleeves?) and some are major (how should I teach my kids about sex?). There are many "experts", in the form of TV shows, friends, family, acquaintances, and sometimes strangers, specialists, books, magazines, radio talk shows...and there are as many opinions as there are experts on breast vs. bottle feeding, choosing a doctor, potty training, when to start school (private, parochial, public or homeschool?), whether or not kids need a cell phone (flip phone, regular or smart phone?) and when, how much TV is allowed, at what age dating is allowed, after-high-school plans (military, college or work?), and so on and so on and so on. With the multitude of advice, much of it based on distinctly non-Christian worldly values, it's no wonder it can be difficult to make decisions! 

Here are some steps that will help you in almost any decision you'll face. 

1. Gather information. You'll probably make your decisions based on several factors. Consider the Bible and your faith, your personal opinion and your spouse's, and what has worked for you in the past. Refer to one or two (preferably Christian) parenting books, talk with friends who share your values and pray about the situation. Don't forget to listen to your maternal instinct. After you've gathered the information you need, you can decide what's best for you and your family. Remember: very few decisions are absolutely right or wrong. 

2.  Carry out your decision. Once you and your spouse have made a decision, carry it out. Your kids not reverse a decision based on what your kids say, what your kids' friends say, what your kids' friends parents say, what your parents say, or what another "expert" says. 
probably won't like all of your decisions, but expect them to abide by those decisions. Stick to your decision unless you have a good reason to change it; do

3.  Re-evaluating your decision. If the new rule/routine isn't working after you've given it an honest effort, you decide it's the wrong decision for your family, or a respected expert expert recommends a different solution or way of dealing with a problem, you might consider changing your decision. 

A few more things to consider (or not consider): 

  • What "everyone else" says. If anyone questions or criticizes your decision, simply say, "This is what works for our family," or "This is what we've decided to do" , or, "Everyone has their own solution, and we're confident about this one." Don't get caught up in a debate; you don't have to justify your decisions. 
  • Have confidence in yourself. One of the most important things you can do for your kids is to have the confidence to assure their safety and teach them to be productive members of society, regardless of pressures from your kids, other kids, other kids' parents, or your fears that "the kids will be mad." 
  • Practice enforcing your decisions when your kids are little. When they're young, you can back up your decisions with action, carrying a child away from a situation in which he's misbehaving, for example, or not driving them to a friend's house if you don't want your child to spend time in a dysfunctional environment. As they grow, your children will realize that you do mean what you say; while that is no guarantee that they'll always be happy with your decisions, they'll be more likely to respect what your decisions are. 

This post is an excerpt from the book “Home is Where the Mom Is; A Christian Mom’s Guide to Caring for Herself, Her Family and Her Home” by Shelly Burke. 
This post is part of “Lifehacks for Christian Moms”, available for download May 1st.

I’m also blogging the A to Z Challenge at 
Nebraska Family Times, with the theme, "Words Matter". 


  1. Now that I am on the other end of the line (my kids are 29 and 35) I can say the decision I wish I had made most often was to allow them the freedom to make their own decisions. I would have given them several ideas for possible outcomes, then allowed them to choose which outcome they preferred, or which choice they would feel comfortable living with. I was too concerned with how their decisions would affect them (or reflect on me and my parenting) to realize that failure is not fatal, and having the freedom to choose would have prevented them a lot of angst when I had a hard time relinquishing the reigns. It also would have taught them the all important lesson of personal responsibility. Ah, hind-sight. :) tm

    1. It is difficult to allow kids to make their own decisions, isn't it?

      Thank you for commenting!

  2. I enjoyed reading several of your posts. I found you by Blogging A to Z. I think consistently is key in making and implementing decisions with children. And, admitting when you're wrong, which is a good learning for your children as well. Keep up the good work on the challenge! I'm near 1,850 on the list ;-)

    1. Thank you for commenting Diane! You are so right that consistency is key. And I remember that when I let something go just one time, it often took much longer to get back on track.


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