Tag Archive for: how to respond when my kid is defiant

Wish You Could Parent With A Clean Slate? You can!

I became a grandma today!  And the flood of hopes and dreams for my kids came rushing through my mind.  And it dawned on me that my son now has his hopes and dreams for his son–a clean slate with which to start.

But let’s face it, sometimes by the time our kids become tweens and teens we wonder if those hopes and dreams are even real any more.  They frustrate us and do things that we cannot fully comprehend.  We wonder if their decisions are tied to the way we parented or if they are just part of their immature brains.  And what do we do?

We do what most normal moms do — we react, we nag, and we try to teach.

And sometimes they put up walls. 

And even though we try to explain, to encourage, or help them see another perspective, they continue to fortify the walls or begin reacting to everything we say or do.  Sometimes we find ourselves in a no-win situation.

The phrase in our house became “Can’t we all just get along?

Several years ago I was in that no-win situation.  One of my kids had put up the walls.  Anger and bitterness seemed to rage at times.  She could only see her perspective and as a mom I could do nothing right in her eyes.  Sometimes I would choose to be silent rather than pursue what I knew would be a battle.  

Honestly, when she was in our home I didn’t have the skills to turn our relationship around.  My husband, Dave, and I even went to counseling trying to learn how to repair the relationship and hopefully start tearing the walls down.   And we were taught some skills–skills to deflate defensiveness and resolve conflict.  We worked hard on the relationship with our daughter even though by that time she had turned 18 and moved out.  I continued to do research and practiced what I was learning with all my kids.  I did everything in my power to seek her out and try to connect as she would allow.

And then I met a fellow trainer, Nina Roesner, who was working on strengthening her marriage.  And we would talk for hours about the skills that most of us weren’t taught growing up.  She was doing research too and the more we talked and struggled through our own family relationships, the more we learned about what worked and what didn’t.  We started reading all the brain research and putting the pieces together in what has become an unbelievably eye-opening course.  Last year Nina piloted the course for the first time.  (She is an amazing curriculum writer!).   And just like all our training materials, lives are changing in amazing ways.  God shows up and something happens over, and over, and over.

Parent/Child relationships have been strengthened and reunited.

Marriages have been restored.

And walls have come tumbling down.

About a year ago, my daughter told Dave that I was her best friend.  She said she could tell me anything and I would listen and “hear” her.  She now felt understood.

It’s a skill I needed to develop.  It gave me a clean slate in my parenting helping me forge the relationship.

Now it’s a skill that you can develop too.  And it’s training that we only do once a year.  You’ll get to practice the skills Nina and I have both learned in a safe environment.  People have told us it is amazing!


But here’s why it is so important that you learn these skills.  

Our kids are taking notes.  They’re learning from us! 

Will they learn to deflate defensiveness and resolve conflict well by watching you?

Just the other day I was having a somewhat heated debate with one of my adult sons.  I wanted him to understand my perspective, but we weren’t getting anywhere.  (And, yes, I’m human and forget to use the skills sometimes.)  Anyway, it dawned on me that I needed to change the way I was approaching the conversation.  As I did, suddenly, my son stopped the conversation and said, “Mom, you’re getting good at your deflating defensiveness skills!”  

He noticed! 

We laughed. 

And now I know that as he learns from me, he’ll be able to carry those skills into his parenting with our new grandson!

That’s a win-win situation.

We hope you will join Nina and me this year to learn the skills to help deepen your relationships.  

Proverbs 25:11 NET

Like apples of gold in settings of silver, so is a word skillfully spoken. 

Dare you to pray about joining us!  We hope you’ll take advantage of the discount that is good through December 31, 2017.  You’ll be joining women from across the country who want to improve their relationships and develop the skills that can be passed down for generations to come. 

Please know that since we are in a beautiful retreat setting (with your own private room), space is limited.

You can click here for more information.

Learning to…

“Let go…and Let God”,





Where Does Your Mind Go When it Comes to Your Kids?

Most of the women in our groups love to talk about Dare 20.  Often they think, “Thank goodness my child would never do that”.

In my experience there are two types of moms–those who think the best and those who think the worst.  And know that it matters in the relationship that you want to have with your teens and tweens.

If you don’t know where you fall, humor me for a few minutes by thinking through a few scenarios.

  1. Curfew was 15 minutes ago and your teen has still not arrived home.  You are tired and want to go to bed.  What is going through your mind?
    1. Oh my, what if he’s been in a car accident, or drinking, or having sex, or the other hundred things that could go wrong.
    2. That kid never listens to me.  There will be a consequence for this for sure.  How dare he keep me up late when he knows I have to be at work early tomorrow.
    3. I’m sure there is a perfectly good explanation for him being late.  I’ll just go to bed and we’ll talk about it in the morning.
  2. Your daughter hasn’t yet emptied the dishwasher and set the table for dinner for the third day this week.  You’re miffed because you want to get dinner on the table before you have to leave for a school event that she is in.  What is going through your mind?
    1. She never does her chores and I’m the one who has to pick up her slack.  Maybe I should just not go to her event tonight.  Or better yet, I’ll give her plenty of chores to keep her busy this weekend.
    2. She has become so lazy and I’m tired of reminding her of her chores.  I’ll bet she is on her iPhone talking to friends.  I guess I’ll be taking that away from her for at least a week.  Maybe two.
    3. I’ll have to ask her what is going on this week that she can’t help.  I wonder if something is bothering her or if she has too much on her plate?
  3. Your tween just came in from school.  You mentioned that the two of you would be leaving in about an hour to go over to rake leaves at your parents’ house since they are unable to do it.  Instead of being excited to see his grandparents your son grumbles under his breath and says, “We always have to help them.  I’m sick of always doing things for them. I just wish they would hurry up and die so I could have a life.”  How will you respond?
    1. “How dare you talk about your grandparents like that!  They love you and have always given to you.  Now you wish they were dead?  You are so selfish!”
    2. “You should be grateful that you still have grandparents that you can help.  I’m not going to let you talk about them that way.  If you can’t take a little time out of your day to help them then maybe I should take away your iPod.  You don’t deserve it.”
    3. “Honey, I know it is hard to have grandparents who are so needy.  You usually like going to their house and helping.  What’s up that you don’t want to do it today?”

How we think and act toward our teens when they don’t respond the way we think they should says something about us.  It shows us how we think.  If we have a negative mindset (answers 1 or 2 above), then research has shown that we can actually create a self-fulfilling prophecy through our negativism.  Our kids will usually escalate the amount of negative-seeking behaviors.

Positive relationship attachment with our kids is defined by our acceptance of them.  It means that we choose to trust them and give them the benefit of the doubt.  If trust is built then our kids will feel safe with us–sometimes safe enough to share their deepest secrets.

How we respond in a given situation speaks volumes as to our level of trust in our children.

Most of us are familiar with 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.  

 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

But notice the last verse–always trusts.

When we jump to conclusions about what is going through our kid’s mind, we are not focused on our child’s truth.  We are focused on our allusion of what the truth must be.  Too many times our brains will resort to the worst case scenario creating fear for us as parents.

Dare you to take your thoughts captive and train your brain to rethink in the positive.  If you do, your relationships with your teens and tweens will deepen and trust and safety will be built in a way that builds connection.

“Let go…and Let God”,

If you would like encouragement with training your mind to think positively, we want to encourage you to join our With All Due Respect on-line eCourse.  From the convenience of your home you’ll have opportunity to go through the book with moms who are where you are in the struggle.  There you will find encouragement, a place to ask questions, and videos to help you in the parenting journey. 

We hope you will join us!

Dare ya!