About the Author

Kristen Strong, author of Back Roads to Belonging and Girl Meets Change, writes as a friend offering meaningful encouragement for each season of life so you can see it with hope instead of worry. She and her US Air Force veteran husband, David, have three children and live in Colorado...

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& you will too!
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Reader Interactions


  1. Kristen,
    God gives His children (us) boundaries because He loves us…not to spoil our fun, but to enhance it. It’s like He’s drawn this whole big picture of a world and has outlined it with bold black lines. He says, “Go anywhere within these boundaries; color it however you’d like to color it, but just stay inside the lines. Like you, I had kids that often tried to push the envelope and color outside the lines, and, yes there were many times I caved out of exhaustion, stress, or both. If your child says, “I hate you,” at some point, it probably means you are doing a good job. My daughter used to stomp up the stairs and slam her bedroom door all the time while telling me what a mean mother I was. I took her door off its hinges for awhile. The problem soon corrected itself. We can’t be our kids’ friends. They have friends. We need to be their parent. Excellent post, Kristen.
    Bev xx

  2. good stuff. I’m a mom for 26 years.. I am in a strong relationship with each of my children , we can share without criticism or feeling awkward and we are close but they know the lines and boundaries.

    mom is to be respected and honored as a parent. I would say I have a close friendship with each child but honoring God is also honoring your parents a truth we have always made clear. so bad attitudes etc don’t get over looked but brought up and dealt with .

    . each family walks their journey abit differently but I do know being close with your kids in the good times certainly helps in the bad times as long as the respect is there they will be good kids.

  3. Great article! As a mom now of 47 years, I can recall some of those years were not easy. No matter how you teach, discipline, etc. there are no guarantees. But I have come to realize given time and prayer, God continues to work. We all are a work in progress. While not in the “correct” context, my Dad used to say, “It says in the Bible, ‘and it came to pass.’ Then he would add, “not to stay.”

    • Yes, yes yes! There are no guarantees, no special formulas, BUT God continues to work. There’s always hope.

      Thank you for sharing here, Elsa. Such rich comfort. xo

  4. Great article! As a mom now of 47 years, I can remember that some of those years were not easy. No matter how you teach, how much you pray, there are no guarantees. But given time and much prayer, God continues to work. We are all a work in progress. While not in the correct “context,” my Dad used to say, “It says in the Bible, ‘and it came to pass,’ and then he would add, ‘not to stay.'”

  5. I love this reading. I have no kids. But I was Registered Childminder for 19 years. What you said is so true for even me when I was Childminding. I had to put boundaries in place as well. As if I was a Parent they where my kids. For the hours I looked after them. When their parents where at work. I always put in Good Godly Boundaries in place. As I am a Christian. I at meal times taught the kids if they were the age to talk to say grace a meal times. That was thanking God for the food they where eatting. I was careful at what they watch on television. We watch things like Salty The Singing Song Book. Which they loved as it taught them in a fun way about God. As most of kids came from non Christian Family’s. That hardly ever went to Church or Sunday School. If not at all. Even I read Kids Bible stories too them. The parents didn’t mind as it was done in a non pushey way. That I was not pushing Jesus and the Bible into their kids. But getting the word of Jesus into them in a nice way. I did have ordinary books as well. I also let them watch ordinary television but nothing with horrible things it. If under three you might not get in over where you are. We get it in Northern Ireland Peppa Pig another one would be Barney The Dinosaur. They did love that. The Parents where happy. Plus I still keep the Kids and their Parents even though I don’t see them anymore. Or that of in my prayers for their Salvation. That what bit of Jesus stuff I did nicely put into them. That they would never have got at their own home. It will rub of on them one day. They will get saved. Remember it come to know Jesus as their Saviour. If get Married themselves and have kids. Go on to show Salty The Singing Song Book too their kids. Love Dawn Ferguson-Little xxx

    • Dawn, what a gift you are to those young ones. I feel confident that when you get to heaven, you’ll see the garden that grew from the seeds you planted in them.

      On a different note, when I was in elementary school, we performed two Psalty plays. I can still remember some of the lyrics to the songs! So fun–it’s been a while since I thought about those!

  6. Kristen,

    I can see parents being more of a friend than a parent. Children who get boundaries as youngsters behave better as adults. They handle difficult situations easier. What frustrates me are parents who say things like “boys will be boys” or make excuses because their child has seizures sometimes. They are enabling their children’s behavior. Part of the problem in our country today. Youngsters as a whole don’t take responsibility for their actions. Back in my day I got disciplined. Couldn’t use the adage “everyone is doing it”. Dad would say ok everyone is jumping off a bridge go do it or something like that. Research has shown that children want boundaries. They want to know their limits. Discipline shows them you love them. Oh we don’t like it at the time, but later as adults we thank our parents. God as a loving parent puts limits on us. It is for our own good. He told Adam & Eve not to eat of the fruit of tree of knowledge & truth. They did so anyway & we are paying the price now. Thankful for all the discipline I’ve received over the years. It has made me a better person.

    Blessings 🙂

  7. Oh my! I could not agree with this article more. Although our kids are long grown with kids and teenagers of their own now, God still used this post to speak to my heart. Don’t ever stop following His lead in your writing:)
    I would like to share with your readers one gentle reminder…please remember that not every child who grows up to make bad choices had parents who did not heed the advice given here 🙂 As a parent of an adult son who has ,sadly, chosen to separate himself and his own family from us, his siblings and entire extended family , I can speak firsthand to the extreme guilt parents of kids who rebel already place upon themselves. Sometimes there are truly situations one can point to and say “this is why” , but far more often, these kids/adults were raised with love, encouragement, positive discipline, and yes, even boundaries, yet made heartbreaking choices. We all have friends who are struggling to understand why their kids make the choices they do. I encourage us all to love and encourage them and allow let our conversations with them be truly seasoned with God’s grace.