Tag Archive for: I’m tired of the fighting

Asking Your Kid–Why Did You Do That?

I can remember as a child hearing those words of frustration and accusation with a tone that said I had done something wrong or stupid. “Why did you do that?” 

And like most kids, I typically responded with something like, “I don’t know.”

And then I would be told that I was being sent to my room or being grounded for whatever “it” I did.

What my parents didn’t know, which meant I did the same thing with my kids because I didn’t know, was that one of the steps to maturity is understanding why we do what we do.

Think about that.  If we don’t teach our kids to understand their words and actions, if we don’t get them to look internally at what they are feeling, then chances are when a similar instance occurs they will respond the same way.

Read that last sentence again.

Last weekend as I attended a workshop at our church led my Milan and Kay Yerkovich, authors of How We Love, the thing that stood out to me was that to have deep communication and connection we need to be able to know how we feel.  We need to understand those emotions and how to communicate them so that other people can empathize where we are in the moment.  It is through those feelings that we better understand not only the other person but ourselves as well.

So how does that play out with our kids?

Let’s say your son hits his sister so you send him to his room.  Now what?

Once he’s calm, a good place to start might be:  “Give me three words to describe what you were feeling BEFORE you hit your sister.”

And if you grew up like I did and emotions were never talked, it might be difficult to help your son put words to those emotions.  If so, download the list of soul words from the How We Love website or maybe ask questions using the words most of us understand.

Jealous? 

Angry? 

Annoyed?

Upset?

Then let him figure out the trigger to his outburst.  Suggest he should sleep on it.  Let him know that you’ll talk about it tomorrow so that he can come to fully understand what happened and why.

Then be sure to circle around tomorrow and talk about those three words.  How did he get to the point of hitting his sister?  And then define the restoration with his sister.

What should we do about it?

Yes, we.

This is the place of determining the consequence for the action. Let your tweens and teens talk through what that might be with you.

  1. How should he restore relationship with his sister? 
  2. And is there a consequence he should endure as a reminder that this is not to happen again? 
  3. And what action will be taken if this occurs again?

My guess is that if you haven’t done this in the past you will be amazed at how creative your kids will be in the restoration with their sibling.  Teaching them to express their feelings in the moment will bring empathy and compassion from the person who was hurt–which means a deeper connection.

2 Corinthians 13:9-11

We are glad whenever we are weak but you are strong; and our prayer is that you may be fully restored. This is why I write these things when I am absent, that when I come I may not have to be harsh in my use of authority—the authority the Lord gave me for building you up, not for tearing you down. Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.
Striving to grow in relationship with our kids.
“Let go…and Let God”,

 

 

 

 

 

 

Building Family Relationships in the Middle of Conflict

A dear friend called me a few days ago asking for prayer.  Her husband and daughter were fighting again.  The previous night had been a standoff shouting match with words that should have never been spoken coming from their daughter’s mouth. 

“Oh my,” I responded.  “How did you handle it?”

“I quietly stepped in and suggested that they both have a cooling off period.

“How did that go?” I asked.

“Well, I think.  We agreed to get together tonight for another try at the conversation.”

This wise mother (I’ll call her Shannon) then told me what else she had done.  

She chose to become a relationship architect.

Sometimes we forget that as moms we have the power to intercede in a way to bring healing to the relationships in our home.  Rather than sit on the sidelines watching things unfold in a way that will most likely bring disaster, we can help soothe the relationships with the ones we love.

It takes time and requires us to tread lightly so that we don’t become an arbitrator or the third person in a triangle of “he said, she said”.  But if we engage in a way that encourages reconciliation from both sides, the family can become much stronger and be able to resolve future disagreements better as well. 

It is natural for most women to see both sides of an argument and to understand each person’s perspective.  Because of the way most men’s brains are wired, relationships don’t always come naturally.  Men are focused on fixing a problem and don’t necessarily see the full picture.  That’s why it is important that we help them in a way that can bridge the gap between Dad and his kids.  Let’s face it, most dads are super busy and don’t have time to focus on some of the sometimes petty things that our teens may want.  Since we typically spend more time with our kids, we might better understand the underlying reason for our teen’s request.

That’s where we can help bring reconciliation to the conflict. 

Shannon took time to talk with her daughter that night after the shouting match once things had quieted down.  She wanted to better understand her daughter’s request to borrow money.  Not only did Shannon listen to her daughter, but she was able to shed light on Dad’s perspective.  She helped calm the storm that was brewing in her daughter’s heart before they would meet the next evening.

As I was talking to Shannon she was agonizing over the fact that she wouldn’t be able to talk with her husband before the meeting.  “I did send him an email though.  Here, let me read it to you.”   

Honey, I was hoping we could talk before our meeting tonight, but I know you’re busy.  I understand how you feel in wishing Ava were more mature.  You are right.  She does need to dose of reality at times.  I’m just wondering if this is the hill we should die on?  I know that you love her dearly and want what is best for her.  I’m just wondering if rather than saying “no” in this situation if it might not be an opportunity to teach her some responsibility.  I was thinking if we ask her to do ____, _____, and _____, that we could see if she might take some initiative and show us that she can be responsible.   We could also tell her that if she doesn’t follow through then we will not be giving her money in the future.  That way we’ve given her advance notice of what is to come if she doesn’t do what we’ve asked of her.  I know that this is between the two of you, but I wanted to share a different perspective.  I’m praying that God will give you wisdom to move forward with her tonight.  Love, Shannon.

All I could say to this woman was, “Wow!”

Talk about getting it right! 

I realized later that Shannon had enlisted quite a few women to pray during the meeting time with her daughter.

Shannon did everything she could possibly do to bring reconciliation to this father/daughter relationship. 

When I asked her how it went her response was, “Praise God.  It went better than I ever expected.”  

What about you?  Are you willing to step in to engage as a relationship architect in your home and do you surround yourself with prayer warriors?

Matthew 5:9

“How blessed are those who make peace, because it is they who will be called God’s children! 

Romans 12:18

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

Dare you to be a relationship architect in the next conflict that brews between your husband and one of your kids.

“Let go…and let God”,