When was the last time you thought about a guardrail? It's probably been a long time, unless you happened to run into one. But if you did run into one, what would you have hit without it there? Guardrails cost money to install and we don't want to put dents in our car, but they are usually in dangerous places. We use them in medians to keep us from straying into oncoming traffic, on bridges to keep us from falling into the water below, or on cliffs for the same reason.
Sometimes we resent the guardrails in place to protect us, but in our hearts we know they are needed. Our church has a financial audit each year to make sure we are staying within the guardrails. It takes time and energy, but imagine the potential problems, if we failed to have this. Police make sure we follow, at least somewhat, the rules of the road. We may get nervous when we see flashing lights behind us, but imagine the road without police.
You and I put guardrails in place for our children, and they too are sometimes resentful. They try to go around the rails or make deals with us to remove the rails. Instinctively they know these guardrails are for their own good. If we give in and remove the protective rails, we actually demonstrate our lack of love and concern. They make like it at the time, but it won't be long until they see how our weakness was really a failure to protect them.
We need to think carefully about the guardrails we put in place for our children. Then stand firm.
Blessings on your parenting,