Tonight the kids and I were watching a DVR’d Fixer Upper episode. Like most of you, I love Chip and Joanna and the beautiful houses they design over and over again. I honestly don’t know how they even keep up with all of the stuff they’re involved in these days. Joanna Gaines has a “line” of everything you can think of, from clothing to furniture to baked goods to paint. She is obviously a business mastermind, and I wish I could figure out how to make just one thing that I do make any money at all. But, I digress.
Tonight on the show, a couple from California decided to move to Waco, and they were looking for the perfect house for the two of them and their two kids. Normally, when a couple is choosing a house they go and look at the houses, and then they decide which one they want, sometimes on the spot. But, in this episode, the couple said that they couldn’t decide which house to choose without the input of their children, because choosing a house without asking the kids what they think just seems “unfair.” Adelade sort of yelled at the TV: “Why?? The kids aren’t paying for it!”
It was probably one of my prouder moments as a parent.
Because, YES! She’s right. Kids don’t buy houses. Kids don’t change jobs. They don’t decide whether or not their parents should stay married. They don’t pay the bills. They don’t have to do any of those things because BEING A KID IS AMAZING.
Don’t put major life decisions on your kids. You are the grownup. You decide where you will live. You worry about all of the logistics of it. You decide who will share rooms and who won’t. You figure out if you really want to mow that acre of yard all summer.
Somehow we have gotten it in our heads that kids want a say in everything. Wrong! Kids want you to figure all that life junk out and let them go play with bugs in the backyard. Kids want you to be one working out exactly how much this mortgage is going to cost. They don’t want you to rely on them to make the decisions. They want to be told where to sleep. They want food in their bellies. They want plenty of time to play. And, when you give them those things and choose not to consult them on your major life decisions, they don’t find that “unfair.” They find it freeing and beautiful.
Childhood is so short. Let kids be kids. I know many of you don’t believe it, but kids like to be told what to do. They like knowing you are in control. It gives them security. It makes them feel protected and taken care of and safe.
I’m not trying to be too hard on that couple from California. I think they just wanted to show the kids the backyard. But, I guarantee you that there are adults out there–lots of them–who are afraid to make decisions without their kids’ input. And, that just isn’t healthy for anyone.
You are the mama. You are the daddy. You are in charge. Let the kids know it. And, let them live in blissful peace, without a worry in the world about which roof you’re putting over their heads.
And, God bless Chip and Jojo.