RULES OR RELATIONSHIP:
A SIMPLE MAXIM FOR PARENTS
By Carey Nieuwhof
My guess is that in your house—like my house—there’s a constant tension between rules and relationships. Your nine-year-old is supposed to help wash the car, but instead decides that riding his bike is a far more important to the functioning of the universe than cleaning your dirty minivan. How do you respond?
On the one hand, you need . . . rules—boundaries, guidelines, and limits that make life work and shape character. On the other hand, you need . . . relationships—love for each other, respect, and even some basic kindness.
But rules and relationships always seem to be in tension with each other, don’t they? Clamp down too hard on the rules, and the relationship suffers. Or work hard on relationship and the temptation is to slack off on the rules.
Here’s a maxim that I think can help those of us who struggle with this tension:
Never ruin a relationship over a rule.
Never ruin a rule over a relationship . . .
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