Tag Archive for: my kid doesn’t respect me

Can I Love My Kids Too Much?

Several years ago, when I was at my wits end with one of my kids, someone recommended  a book  When I Lay My Isaac Down by Carol Kent.  I’ve often thought about that title and how it applies to our daily lives, especially as we parent.

With more than a decade since I read her book, the words seem to be following me recently. “Am I ready to lay my Isaac down?”

For those of you who might need a refresher of the story from scripture, Abraham had a promise from God that he would be the father of many nations.   It wasn’t until Abraham was 100 years old that Isaac was born.  As the Word tells us, at one point Abraham was told by God to sacrifice his son.  Yes, kill him!

It was as if God was saying, “Who do you love more–Me or your son Isaac?”

While that seems absolutely unfathomable for us as parents that God would ask any one of us to take our child’s life, an even more profound question would be, “Would you trust God with the outcome?”

If you remember the ending of the story, Abraham chose that God knew what was best.  He went to make Isaac a sacrifice, but right before laying him on the alter, God provided a ram to take Isaac’s place.  It was as if God was saying, “I just want to see if you trust me.  I just want to know that you will listen to my voice and heed my instruction.”

As parents, most of us love our children with our whole being.  We would do absolutely anything for them.

But think about Abraham for a moment.  He was 100 years old!  He had waited a century for his child to be born.  How easy it would have been to wrap all his attention, all his resources, and all his time into Isaac and put him up on a pedestal to be front and center in his life.  How easy to revolve his whole world around this child making all of Isaac’s wishes come true.

And then I have to pause.  

Do I love God more than I love my children?

Am I willing to give up my child’s desires to focus on what God wants for my child? For me?

Do I love my child so much that my world revolves around my child’s world?

Hmm…

Definitely something to think about in a culture that is so child centered.

It is easy as moms to love our children too much.  Yes, you heard me right–too much.

We can love our children so much that we:

  • Make sure that we solve their problems for them.
  • Intervene when they are forgetful and come to the rescue.
  • Do everything in our power to not let them fail.
  • Expend all our energy on our kids rather that doing other things that we’re called to do.
  • Are too busy to spend time with God because our new spiritual gift is driving our kids places.

Genesis 22:9-18

When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10 Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. 11 But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”

“Here I am,” he replied.

12 “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”

13 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.”

15 The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time 16 and said, “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, 18 and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”

Isn’t that what we want as moms?  That God will bless our offspring because of our obedience to a mighty God who loves us so deeply that He wants relationship with us.

Don’t we want that for our kids?

Dare You to define your relationship with God in your choices as you parent.  Chose to lay your Isaac down and love Him and give your kids to Him in the process.  It doesn’t mean that we’re not there to walk beside them.  It means that we allow the struggles and we allow God to orchestrate their path, so that they learn that they have a need to depend on God instead of us in their time of need.

“Let go…and let God”,

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Have you gotten your copy of With All Due Respect yet?  It’s parenting self-discovery training in book form.  If you want someone to walk beside you in your parenting and go through the book with you, for a limited time we are inviting moms to join our With All Due Respect eCourse for free.

 

 

 

 

Has Your Kid Launched an F-Bomb?

F-You,” came the shocking words flung in anger from her 12 year old son.  It was the first time his mom had heard words like that come out of his mouth. Read more

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!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do Your Kids Trust You?

Late in the day, I received a text about my on-line purchase.  I had been tracking it since early morning.  I had gone out to my front porch several times and even out to the mailbox  in anticipation of its arrival.   The tracking service had even said it had arrived in the vicinity and would be delivered today. As I looked at the latest text it read:

Undelivered – no one available to sign.  Notice left on door.  Will try again Monday. Read more

Are You Caught In the Extreme of Parenting?

I hear it often from women– almost daily.  The excuses, I mean.  The “I don’t deserve, I wish it were better, If only I could be more, I should have,” and the list goes on.  In their mind, they never quite measure up.  And they start owning everything that goes with parenting.  They own the undone chores, or the behavior of their child, or the homework, the grades, or any wrong choice of their teen.

And I wonder what we need to be doing differently as parents so the next generation of moms-to-be (those kids under our roof right now) don’t leave a similar legacy to our grandchildren.

You see, those self-doubts most likely stem from childhood–a childhood where the now mom (maybe you?) didn’t feel like she measured up.  She wasn’t all that she should be as seen through the eyes of her parents or teachers.  So her beloved role of motherhood becomes an idol for perfection.  She wants to get this right so she tries a little too hard to help her child measure up and be perfect according to the standard her parents set for her.

Sometimes we push too hard, or expect too much of our kids, or on the other end of the spectrum help too much all because we want to be the successful parent.  I’m still wondering if we’re trying to reach that imaginary ideal so that we can receive our own parents’ approval, or our child’s teacher’s approval, or the approval of our friends or someone else.

Maybe our parenting is focused on us rather than what is best for the child.

Ouch!  Yes, I know that hurts.

Over the last ten years, I’ve learned to look at parenting through a different lens.  But let me first share what I’ve learned by observing two moms.

Almost two decades ago I watched as two mothers each with daughters the same age as mine parented in very different ways.  One mother had what I will call an “I love my daughter and I want to point out the good in her so that she becomes a healthy, functioning adult.”  The other mother had an “I love my daughter and I need to let my little girl recognize she is a sinner pointing out those sins so that she can get them under control.  If I do that, she’ll be a healthy, functioning adult.”

As you read those, I hope you can see that one was looking at parenting from a positive perspective while the latter was looking at her role as mom through a negative lens.  If you look closely, they are two extremes.

I know that each of these christian mothers loved their daughters dearly.  But one focused on the good while the other was focused on any wrongdoing.

If we want to have influence on our kids, and if we want to change the culture in a world where right and wrong are not easily defined, we need a little of both of these moms actually.  We need the mom who can point out the good in a way that breeds confidence and instills a bond in such a way that respect and mutual admiration is established.  By doing so we develop in our child a willingness to be open to our teaching because we’ve created a place of safety.  Our children will be more apt to share their mistakes too because we provide a place where mistakes aren’t looked at as “an unpardonable sin” but as an opportunity to learn. 

But let’s face it, there do need to be times when a teen’s sin becomes obvious and action needs to be taken.  If we are always focused on the good, what should we do then?

That’s when we should ask questions.

Sometimes stating the obvious creates defensiveness in the other person.  The brain is wired to automatically think “no” as a way of self-preservation so always pointing out our child’s sin, makes our teens want to revolt and do the opposite.  By asking questions we can help them discover what may be obvious to us.

Self-discovery through questions helps our teen recognize their wrongdoings on their own without the sting of our judgment.  The “WWJD — What would Jesus do?” can take on a totally new meaning when we gently ask our kids what the right thing to do would have been.

If we are gentle in our teaching, helping our children discover their shortcomings rather than making mountains out of what should be molehills, our children will learn to create their own standard to measure up to–hopefully the biblical standard.  Instead of taking on a rebellious spirit or a spirit of never being or doing enough, they will be better equipped to recognize both their strengths and their shortcomings.  And, then hopefully they won’t measure their success based on the success of their children in the future.

Philippians 4:8-9

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.  Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me or seen in me–put it into practice.  And the God of peace will be with you.

Ephesians 6:4 

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

Don’t we want our children leaving our homes never having to question whether they measure up? Don’t we want them to feel our unconditional love even when they don’t always get it right?  Don’t we want them focused on God’s standard for behavior rather than ours or the world’s?

Dare you to ask yourself some tough questions about how you parent in your home and what you are doing to set your children up to be a healthy, functioning adult.  

“Let go…and Let God”,

For those who are tired of the conflict with your kids and want better relationships, our Deflating Defensiveness Training Retreat: A Conflict Resolution Workshop is only a few weeks away.  Deadline for signup is May 15.  We guarantee that you’ll walk away with new skills and a new way of thinking about parenting–about all your relationships.  You’ll also strengthen your relationship with Him!

Dare you to be changed!