Tag Archive for: how do I change my kid’s behavior?

Are You Coasting As a Parent?

I was listening to a podcast this week about setting goals for 2019.  I don’t know about you, but when I think of goal setting, I typically think of my career, my finances, my health, and other areas that I can quantify.  I’ll admit that becoming a better parent is on my list, but it usually stops there.  I don’t take the time to think about what being a better parent really means to each of my kids.

There was something else the Kelly Thorne Gore said in her podcast that had me thinking. 

“There are five weeks left in the year.  Are you coasting until the end of the year?  Please know that a lot of things can unravel during those five weeks when we coast.”

Hmm…an unraveling of the goals we’ve set because we are coasting.  As I contemplated further that idea of coasting I realized that it means we’re going downhill and things seem easy.  What happens when we reach the bottom of the hill?

There were seasons in my own parenting that I’ll admit I was coasting.  These were the times when life was good and I would relish the season, take a deep breath, and relax a little in my focus.  After all, my kids seemed to be doing the right things and there were no major family hiccups or push backs.

However, just about the time I was ready to deem my child mature, something catastrophic would happen that would send me spinning as a parent.  “What was I doing wrong?  Why the sudden change in their choices?  I can’t believe I’m having to deal with this,” consumed my thinking.  These are the times my heart would race, my frustration would flare, and I found myself grasping at anything that would put my teen back on the path toward maturity.

And the pattern I uncovered as I thought through the “how did we get here?” was that these were the times when I realized that I had taken my eye off the goal.  I truly was coasting without any sense of urgency or intentional focus.

Being intentional in our parenting means we have a vision for the future.  What are we really hoping for as our teen becomes an adult? 

Are we focused on behavior, attitudes, faith, friends, or accomplishment?  Is their happiness our ultimate goal?

Or are we encouraging them to become who God wants them to be with appropriate guardrails and boundaries in place while we solidify a healthy relationship?

So with five weeks left in 2018, I want to challenge you to set some parenting goals for yourself.  Not the new year’s resolution type that will be forgotten in less than a month, but the kind of goals that will propel you into the future with intent.  Goals for your parenting that will be quantifiable so that when your world does get hit with a calamity, you’ll know how to quickly get back on track.

Here’s a place you might start:

  1. What is going well right now with my teen?  What are the areas my teen needs to grow in?
  2. What is going well in our relationship?  Are there areas where I am too lenient, too strict, too involved, or too complacent?
  3. Am I in a place of influence in my teen’s life?  If not, what steps can I take to make it safe for my teen to seek my advice?
  4. Am I spending enough time with my teen?  What do we do when we are together?  What changes, if any, should I make in this area?
  5. Am I gentle and kind or am I constantly nagging?  If necessary, what can I do differently in this area?
  6. What else needs to change?

Proverbs 29:18

Where there is no vision, the people perish.

Proverbs 16:9

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.

Dare you to spend the next few weeks with God asking Him to help set you on the right path in your parenting.

“Let go…and Let God”,

If you know someone with kids 9-29, maybe a great gift idea for this holiday season might be a copy of With All Due Respect:  40 Days to a More Fulfilling Relationship with Your Teens & Tween.  A companion option might be our online eCourse that accompanies the book where they will have opportunity to learn from moms who have been there.

And we continue to get positive feedback from teachers who have read it. Why not make your teacher gift giving easy this year?

Have a blessed day of gratitude!

 

 

 

 

 

Doing Life From the Platform of Respect

A number of years ago my husband taught a junior high boys small group.  One of the topics that would always come up was how to treat members of the opposite sex.  I remember one of his lines well: “Remember, you don’t know whose wife you are dating.  Treat your girlfriend the way you hope your future wife to being treated now by the guy she is dating.”

As the conversation progressed, they would talk about holding hands, hugging, kissing, and the list would continue.

While the talks always centered around abstinence, the underlying theme was respect

Sometimes as I talk with parents now, it is like the light bulb begins to brighten.

If you are like me, most of our parents tried to teach respect with negative reinforcement.  “If you ever do that again, I’ll ______________.”  I’ll let you fill in the blank with how you were parented. 🙂

As I was growing up the same methodology was used with the breaking of any rule.  Breaking the rule = punishment.   Or maybe I could talk myself out of the punishment this time.

One of the conversations that I try to have with parents as they think about trying to get the “right behavior” from their teens, is to address the behavior change through heart change.  

In other words, give them an understanding of what it means to show respect to themselves and everyone involved in a particular situation and maybe you’ll change their heart and their behavior.

A woman approached me about her college student who was living under her roof for the summer.  She was frustrated that her son would come in sometime during the middle of the night while she and her husband were asleep.  While the mom always kept the light on so her son could see to get in, the garage door would wake her up.  Then she and her husband would hear the kid fumbling around in the kitchen making a snack while they were attempting to go back to sleep.  She was at the brink of saying, “If you can’t come in at a decent hour, you will need to find somewhere else to live.”

But thankfully she stopped herself.  Had she done that, most likely she was have instigated defensiveness and anger from her son tearing apart the relationship.

After we talked through her scenario, here’s what she said chose to say to her son.

“Honey, I know it’s hard to come home and have to live with our schedule.  However, I’d like to talk through what’s happening.  I know you really enjoy being with this girl.  As a matter of fact, I like her too.  I think the two of you are good for each other.  Can I put a different spin on this whole dating process and give you a different perspective of what is currently playing out?”

“Sure,” came his response.

“I know that you easily lose track of time while the two of you are together.  You seem to have a lot of fun together.  However, may I suggest that you become the leader in this relationship and show this girl how to respect herself.  She needs her rest and so do you.  You will always have more time to be together.”

“I’m also guessing that her parents will be more open to you as someone they would like their daughter to see more of if they see you as respectful.  Didn’t you tell me that they both work?”

“Yeah.”

“Well, I’m wondering if they get woken up when their daughter comes in? 

One of the ways to get others to respect you is for you to respect them.  By getting your girlfriend home at a reasonable hour, you are communicating that you respect the girl and her parents.”

“I never thought of that”, he replied.

“There is another piece to this.  I know that you don’t mean to wake your dad and me up when you come home; but the fact is, you do.  When you are getting food from the kitchen after you come it, it keeps me from getting back to sleep easily.  This is starting to make me feel disrespected and resentful.  I’m guessing that is not what you are trying to do, but you need to know that I don’t like feeling frustration towards you.  I love you and want the best for you and for everyone involved.  You have the ability to influence what people think and feel based on your interactions with them, and I’m hoping that you will work on respecting yourself by respecting the other people in this situation.  Just know that I love you and want this to work for all of us.”

“I never thought of it that way.  I do want her parents to respect me and I’m not trying to interrupt your sleep.  I’m sorry.  I’ll try to do better.”

When I asked the mom how it was going after the conversation, she was honest.

“Well, it certainly isn’t perfect yet.  However, he is better about texting me when he is going to be late.  I’ve also noticed he’s a lot quieter in the kitchen now,” she laughed.

“And the other thing is, I’m more confident in continuing to have the conversation.  I’m realizing that one time with these kids doesn’t solve the problem.  But just understanding why he’s coming home late puts my mind at ease so I’m learning to sleep better and not worry.  And I’m beginning to understand more about who he is now on a heart level rather than a behavior that is frustrating me level.”

Zechariah 8:16

These are the things that you shall do: Speak the truth to one another; render in your gates judgments that are true and make for peace;

Ephesians 4:16

From whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.

 

Dare you to look at life through the lens of respect as you teach your kids how to interact with others.  When kids learn self-respect, they can more easily apply it to how they can influence others in a positive way.

“Let go…and Let God”,

 

Do you know parents who are struggling with their tweens and teens?  Or maybe you have kids that are starting to pull away in a way that feels foreign and a bit unhealthy?

That’s why With All Due Respect was written.  

It will challenge your thinking as you parent toward the launch of your kids into the adult world.

Here’s what one mom had to say:

“I can’t believe how much this book has shifted my thinking, my behavior, and my expectations.  I had no idea how much I could do to influence my “problem” child.  Thank you for writing this book!”