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When am I Old Enough? - Issue 198
April 29, 2011
Hi there! ....

This week: It is the time of the year where the local schools take a two week break. Though I tell my children that they don’t go to school, therefore they don’t take school holidays (LOL) we do change pace during these weeks. Actually we take three weeks because the first two weeks are so full on busy with catching up with friends and holiday activities that we really don’t get a break till everyone goes back to school! When we see learning in every activity – the things our kids do with their friends and family during the school holidays are very much a part of their learning processes.

This weekend Daniel is having a sleepover with two of his friends – they will be camping in the back yard. He’ll have to put up the tent (with the help of his sisters), find firewood for the campfire and then there will be a couple of hours of outdoor fun – much better than playing on the wii! Meanwhile the girls are also having a sleepover (two families have done a boy/girl swap) and they are having a girls night in with tying their hair in rags and playing around with nail art but just so it isn’t too girly they are going toad hunting first!

Live life with your kids!

If you are an Australian reader I would appreciate you reading this special request.



When am I Old Enough?

Kids often ask their parents, “When will I be old enough to…?” It seems that they operate on the idea that there is an age-appropriateness for most things they want. This is in keeping with the boundaries that our culture puts on kids as they grow up – you can do certain things at certain ages. But we are to live in a different culture – a kingdom culture, a culture that reflects God and His ways – what is the boundary for kingdom living?

It isn’t age. It is moral development. My son maybe old enough to drive our family car – but is he responsible enough? My daughter maybe old enough to stay up late, but can she be kind the next day? There are moral issues connected to most things that we do.

As parents who want to raise morally mature children we need to think more about their moral maturity, their moral readiness to handle certain life choices, instead of simply their age. Our child’s heart needs to be our primary guideline for the things we allow that child to do. Our heart can be defined as what we believe, our attitudes, our character, and our will. Does their heart line up with the word of God? When we use the heart as the boundary it puts the onus fair and square on our children’s shoulders – I cannot make their heart have the right attitude, but I don’t have to reward a wrong attitude just because of their age.

One such issue in our house has been earrings; when am I old enough to have my ears pierced? Now I know every family will make a different call on this, but we decided that the girls could have their ears pierced when they showed us that their inner beauty was more important to them than their outward appearance. This happened at a different age for each girl, as I expected it to for they are different people! But the standard was their heart, and that standard is the same, regardless of what age you are when you reach it.

Other issues in our house have been:

  • Being left at home by yourself
  • Being able to babysit
  • Deciding your bed-time
  • Joining family meetings
  • Being able to answer the family/business phone
  • Having an email account, or other online activity
Age has nothing to do with it – but the heart does!

We can short change our children by setting age as the standard. When we set the heart as the standard we teach our children what is important to God, it is then their choice to choose His ways.

Thy Word have I hid in my heart
that I may not sin against thee.
Ps 111:19


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Until next week

Belinda Letchford
Living life with her kids in Australia!


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