My daughter is 12. She has been “pushing the boundaries” of the rules of our house and her school lately. I had this song lyric in the back of my mind… Hold the Line… something something something. Couldn’t remember the band or the rest of the song.
The next day, still thinking about this problem I was having with my kid and trying to remember to just “hold the line,” I turned on the radio and there it was playing loud and clear. Toto. “Hold the Line… Dah da da da… Love isn’t always on time… Whoa whoa whoa…” The words fit so perfectly to how things were going with the kid. It’s not in the way that I hold her, or the way I say care, or how I’ve been treating her friends, or even that I stay til the end…
What helps my kid learn what she needs to learn in life, what I am trying to teach her, is that I hold the line. Like army generals calling on the troops to “hold the line.” This is the ground I will not surrender. No matter how much I am fired upon. No matter how scared I am. No matter how much easier it would be to back off and give in and let her take over that territory. I hold the line.
If you refuse to do your homework,
I will not give you the treat you are hoping for.
If you yell at me,
I will not back down and let you have your way.
If you have “intolerable” behavior,
I will not allow you any tv or computer or other fun stuff for the rest of the day.
The rules are the rules and they will remain the rules. Your world is safe, it is predictable, and what we expected yesterday is what we expect today. The rewards for good behavior will be what they have been in the past. The consequences for bad behavior will be what they have been.
It’s not in the words that I tell my girl. It’s not in the way I look or the things that I say that I’ll do.
It’s what I actually do. Stand there. Don’t budge. Hold the line. No matter how many years she has known the rules, she will break the rules, and it’s my job to remind her they are still there.
Hold the line… Teenagers don’t learn on time… Whoa whoa whoa…