Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Disrespect- Older Children

I have been thinking and praying about this post all day. I felt the desperation in those who emailed me. I am so aware that I can't write a few words and make it all better! I wish I could! I will start with this..and if you read my blog long enough you will see this written over and over again.... Jesus Christ wants the best for you and for your children. He wants them to honor Him in all that they do and you too for that matter! Absolutely the first thing that you need to do is get on your face and ask the Lord for guidance....fast and pray specifically for your child and for guidance as a parent.

Disrespect is not something to be ignored. How many of you have heard these..or maybe even said them......"Oh, she is in the terrible two's"...... "Boys will be boys"......"It's just sibling rivalry"...."She is so hormonal"....."AH...girls and their attitudes"....."The middle school years are awful"..."The high school years are awful"...."I can't wait until they grow up!" We have made excuses for our children's behavior at every stage in their lives. You need to recognize it for what it is...sin. This is a heart issue. I have known parents who let "sibling rivalry" go on constantly...honestly that is just bullying in your home...it is NEVER OK.

Do not allow your children to talk to you or to each other rudely or disrespectfully. We have never tolerated these attitudes here......do we still deal with them...yes! My kids are imperfect people like the rest of us....my teenage daughter...who is very much like her mama...struggles with her attitude. She is an amazing daughter and I am blown away at the way the Lord uses her but if she is upset she has to keep her attitude in check. Just today I had to pull my oldest son aside and talk with him about the way he responded to his younger brother. I asked him if it was Christlike and I asked him what would have been a better way to handle himself and how he intended to make it right. Parenting is definitely a marathon and not a sprint! It takes a great amount of time and patience to do it the right way.

If you are having trouble with your kids I would, after much prayer....have a family meeting with the entire family and discuss the "new rules" which should include how they are expected to respond and what the consequences will be if they do not abide by the new rules. You need to let them participate in this discussion and you should try to understand their view point. You should give them examples of the best way to handle a disagreement. Children should be able to disagree with their parents. They should be able to come to you calmly and tell you that they want to talk with you and they should be allowed to express frustration or even anger. If you do not help them understand how they should go about this...you will see explosions. When they do express this...be quick to hear and slow to speak! We have many grown men and women who were never taught the right way to handle frustration, anger, sadness and many other emotions and boy are the marriages of today paying the price.

Remember a few things...You are the parent!!!! You do not need to be afraid to lead! Training takes time. Look for ways to spend time alone with your children and engage them in conversation. Tell them about areas that you struggled in when you were a kid. Tell them often how much you love them. Look for behavior that is good and praise them. Everyone of us wants others to notice when we are trying to change a bad habit!

I hope that this has helped someone. I will be praying for you!
LOVE THOSE BABIES...even the teenage ones!


Smelling Coffee said...

This is such wise advice! When we notice that we are doing a lot of correction concerning disrespectful attitudes around our house, we seem to always find a coorelation between the kids' attitudes and what they're watching on TV.

When they were little, it was cartoons with children who talked hatefully to each other, or whined and argued with their parents. These days, it's the preteen Disney & Nick. shows that have children that speak to each other and to their parents with disrespect.

We will cut out one show after another (explaining why), until we see an attitude change. If the change becomes the "norm", we'll let them watch the show again, but only every once in a while, and with us watching with them. It has worked for us.

tried and true said...

Defiantely address teh disrespect right away. However, if you have teens and they have been allowed to get away ith the disrespect, don't expect your "family meeting" to go smoothly. They will indeed see this as a time to really test your boundaries. I liked the comment "you are the parent!!! Don't be afraid to lead". Even if you feel discouraged in your leadership role know that God has ordained your role as parent and you can and should rely on His strength to sustain you in that role. Remember too, it's not a battle against you kids, it's a battle for your kids.

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