Giving permission is a hot-button topic these days.
There is a lot of talk right now about what happens when someone doesn’t give permission, or consent, or authorization. This is an important conversation to have with your tweens and teens.
They need to have good sense of when to give someone or something permission in their lives and when not to give up that control. They also need to understand what it means when someone else says “no.”
However, this is much more than a sexual issue. You give and withhold permission for all kinds of interactions in your life. From who to celebrate the holidays with to how you spend your free time to how you let others treat you. It’s all important and part of the process of giving others permission, or not.
But giving and withhoding permission isn’t all negative. There are some very positive aspects to giving permission to someone or something in your life. And while you know it’s important to teach these things to your kids, you also need to have a firm grasp on them for yourself. The question is, do you know how to do it right?
There are two things moms and dads need in their own lives to help their kids enter the world healthy and strong: boundaries and gatekeeping skills (aka permission tools.) If you haven’t worked on these in your own life it will be impossible to teach them to your kids.
I’ve talked about boundaries and how to help your kids set them up in a healthy way. You can use the same principles for your own life.
Over the next few months I will be writing more about how and when to give permission and encouraging you to help your kids build their own gatekeeping skills. These are not skills that can be learned overnight but they can be practiced over time. We will look at some effective ways to give permission and learn what happens when you do it right.
This series will be geared towards parents to help you pass these skills along to your tweens and teens. We can all improve in these areas.
When you give permission, or any of its synonyms such as consent or authorization to someone or something it’s like opening the front door to that person or thing in your life. Giving permission requires action on your part and also a shift in perspective. When you give permission, you also give up control.
This can be a scary proposition especially if you haven’t ever learned how to do it the right way. I contend however, giving permission and relinquishing control is a key element of living an empowered life.
The opposite is also true. When you withhold permission you retain control. Other’s cannot just walk in the door. You haven’t given them consent.
As a synonym for permission, empowerment is an worthwhile goal. When you give permission for something, when you give up control, you become empowered. This is positive. If you look at this from a parental perspective a parent who is empowered is a benefit to his or her self, family, and community.
If you are a mom, take a look at the Proverbs 31 woman. She’s no shrinking violet. She’s empowered.
- Her actions bring good to her husband.
- She provides for her family.
- She makes wise business decisions. Ones that make a profit.
- She is prepared.
- She is a woman of accomplishment.
She didn’t just turn out this way. She put effort into her life. She began by giving herself permission.
The same is true for dads. Men who lead their families, provide for, and love on their kids are strong, empowered men. They guard the gate and control what comes into the home. Dads like this are imperative in a healthy family and flourishing society.
The goal is empowerment. The road to reaching that goal is called permission. I invite you to travel this road with me.
Let’s learn to be strong men and women with well-honed gatekeeping skills. We are busy serving and providing for others. Sometimes, we forget how to nurture ourselves and maintain our own health and stability. Often this is because we do not give ourselves permission to do and not do things.
Let’s give ourselves permission as moms and dads to learn and grow. Together we will mature and build strong bonds of faith and family.
Please join me. Hop on the bus and come along as we take a trip down a road called permission. I look forward to this journey with you because I, for one, have a lot to learn and a long way to go. But traveling with you will make the work so much more fun.
Are you ready to hone your permission skills?