Josh is a very strict parent. He is a very loving parent, but he has set some pretty defined boundaries and he expects his children to stay within them. You have to be 13 and getting the grades that are expected of you individually to have a phone. Those phones are monitored, as are all social media sites. This is illustrated below in the picture where Josh is looking over his boys' shoulders at their phones. They know better than to try to hide them.
Our boys are getting to the age where they are a bit more socially independent. They are wanting to go and do things with friends, minus the grown-ups. There are rules: they need to come up with a plan, including when, where, who, how, and why. Once they have a plan, they bring that to their dad and the receive a "yes" or a "no." For example, Jackson made a calendar to take to his dad. He has "plans" in June. He has scout camp one week, and the next week he wants to go to Sandy to hang out with his friends. He came to Dad with a calendar, showing that he would ride Front Runner, than Trax to Sandy on a Monday. He showed where he will stay and what he will do each day. Then he showed that he will be home on Saturday night, just in time for Fathers Day. It was a "yes."
Braxton (gotta love him!) came to Dad with a plan that he was going to go to a movie with a girl, another girl, and another boy. Josh told him they would have to choose a movie that would allow him to be home by 10. Braxton wanted to see a movie that started at 9:20. That was a "no." Braxton changed the movie and was home at 9:20. Good plan, Braxton! Then Braxton came to Dad on Monday to ask if he could go to a girl's house that he likes after school. Dad told him that parents would have to be present, and that when he arrived at her house, he would need to call his dad so that he could talk to the said parents. Braxton acted like that was silly. Dad said, "no." Then Braxton talked to the girl, telling her that it was a rule that parents had to be there. She said that her parents had the same rule! Weird!!
Josh later explained to both boys that we have rules for a reason - and it's a good reason! He told them that Satan loves for them to be in positions that can cause mistakes. It is our job to help them avoid those situations! He also told them that he and I are always allowed to be the bad guys! They can always tell their friends that their parents are mean if that helps them to get out of a bad situation.
In other news, our van is a little high maintenance. It has to be jumped every time we have to start it. Before church, after church... really any time. Our kids are going to be master jumpers!