Why Does This Happen?
The first thing we can do when having these emotions is look at why this can happen. Consider that you can very easily be overwhelmed with parenthood in general. It is very easy to go into parenthood with unrealistic expectations of what it demands. Parents get overwhelmed with the constant needs of a child. So the dislike may be more of what parenting demands of us. It is a hard adjustment to have to cease to be self focused and to continually be others focused. This is further training that God allows in our lives.
Secondly, we may have a personality conflict with our child. We can struggle because we don’t understand where our child is coming from. The other possibility is that we have very similar personalities to our child, which can rub us the wrong way. Either way it is easier to grace our child if we can look into the why. We have to keep in mind that parenting is a ministry. We are called to give to, serve and train our children for the cause of Christ.
Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on this topic
What If I Don’t Like My Child?
“There are days where I don’t like my child…there I said it out loud. What does this mean and what do I do with it?” Having this realization can be very guilt inducing for a parent. The first thing to remember that it’s not about like it’s about love. You like someone because there is a commonality between you. Other then genetics there isn’t a lot of commonality between a parent and child so there may be difficult moments, which we struggle to admit, that we don’t like our children. Parenting well is a lot of work, rewarding work for sure, but a lot of work nonetheless. There are days, and nights, where it can be exhausting and little things try our patience. This week we are going to look into this topic deeper and discover what to do with these emotions.
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How To Appropriately Question Authority
We want to raise critically thinking leaders and not blind followers. A skill that’s necessary to teach our children is how and when to appropriately question authority. First thing we need to instill in our children is to always take things back to God’s word. He is the ultimate authority. So there may be a time where a teacher, youth leader, grandparent or even parent says something that is not correct. We need to give our children the skills to ask a question about it appropriately. This begins at home. There will be a time where our children may not understand or will disagree with a rule. We need to teach them that it is ok to ask questions about it. It is all about the how. Arguing is not appropriate so what it? Politely, coming to the adult and asking, “can we talk about this?” is one way to do it. Our children need to know that their opinion matters but it may not change the rule. There will be times when a parent is in the wrong and we need encourage our children if they bring this up appropriately. Discussion about things is great but arguing is not. Teach your children how to question appropriately and respectfully.
For more on this topic listen to today’s podcast.
Having Fun Within The Boundaries of Respect
One of the things that is amazing about setting up proper respect for authority in your home from early on, is it allows for more fun within the family. There must be a clear line set up but once those boundaries are in place, fun can happen with out the fear of it getting out of control or disrespectful. We have used this metaphor before but if you think of a sports field or court there is always a line drawn that is out of bounds. Everyone knows it the ref, teams playing, and the spectators. So it is very clear when the ball or player crosses that line and is out of bounds. The same thing happens in our homes. We can have fun with in the lines of respect because they are clear-cut, what is permissible and what is not. When someone steps over the line then a warning or consequence is given. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the fun needs to stop if the child heeds the warning. For example our family game nights always got very silly and fun, but this could happen because we knew where the line was. Make sure to have clearly set up boundaries that have been discussed to allow for family fun!
For more on this listen to today’s podcast.
Starting At Home
The home is the practice arena for everything external. Children first need to be taught to respect their parents. Things like voice tone, proper response, and facial expressions are areas we can work on with in the home even from a young age. From toddlerhood on they can practices as they begin to exert themselves. They can be taught to look at someone while they are speaking; this is also helpful to ensure that they are listening. They can also be taught to respond to questions that another adult asks. This includes being polite to others, a please and thank you can go along way. This also includes teaching them words of respect like, Mr./Ms. or Sir and Ma’am.
As children get older decide the things in your house that will not be tolerated because they communicate disrespect. These can build on the things like voice tone and facial expressions. Things like talking back or yelling back, and temper tantrums, which in older kids and teens look like stomping and slamming things or doors.
This is another place that we as adults can set the example. Make sure that we are communicating respect not only to our spouse but to our children as well, in how we speak to them and about them.
Listen to today’s podcast for more on this topic.