A child is obligated to listen to his parents and parents have the responsibility to enforce compliance. There can be times, however, when you’ve followed all the proper steps, and your child still refuses to listen and continuously acts in a defiant manner. This is not regular. It is natural for a child to seek to please his parents in most circumstances, (barring a power struggle or occasional extenuating circumstances.) However, if your child is constantly angry, revengeful, and intent on contradicting his parents in a spiteful manner, then there is a reason for concern. Something is triggering this underlying current of defiance. So, instead of repeating the same techniques without achieving desirable results, take a step back and examine the bigger picture to try to discover what may be causing this rebellious attitude.
A common reason why children act insolent is because they are merely mimicking a poor example – their very own parents’ relationship. When parents do not treat each other with proper respect and care, the child reflects this negative home atmosphere with disrespect, defiance and disobedience.
Another possible trigger for a child’s non-compliance is a rocky parent-child relationship. He may be using non-compliance to normal requests as a means to vent pent-up anger. Parents should try to explore these negative feeling by asking themselves: Was there too much criticism, sarcasm or finger-pointing when the child was little? Was the child demanded to mimic his parents when he simply felt too different and wished to live his life according to his best abilities and standards? Or, simply, has the child been trained to disobey – has he gotten accustomed to not listening and getting away with it for too long? It takes a lot to repair a relationship gone askew. You need liberal doses of unconditional love, open communication, or regarding the last scenario. continual discipline to regain authority.
You also need endless quantities of patience, time and iron willpower. But you will get there, And if you’ve ever wished to give your child a gift, a positive relationship is the very sweetest one you can possibly give your child.
If the parents’ model a good relationship between themselves and have a healthy parent-child relationship, then the child may be a particularly challenging child. At times, God has given the child – and his parents – the challenge of an extreme temperament, excessive anxiety, ADHD, ODD, etc. This means that the child is wired differently, and therefore responds differently. He first needs proper help to learn how to control his impulsivity and act like others his age. It is imperative to have the child properly diagnosed by a child study team, so that you can understand the best way to deal with this child. Proper guidance is the key to long-term success. While the child may need a different approach, he still can succeed.
Take a good hard look at the situation. Ask yourself, does this child have any circumstances in his life that cause him anguish? Is he maintaining average grades academically? Does he have friends? Are his basic needs of love, nurturing and bonding being met? How is his self-image? At times, a parent can be a detective and see a pattern emerging which will point in the direction that needs more exploring.
While parents may be tempted to think, “Oh, I’m managing the grind. At the end of the day, nothing too catastrophic happens because my kids don’t listen.” Parents must realize that this is not a matter of how the parents are managing, but rather how the child is managing! Teaching children to listen ultimately teaches them to obey all authority!
IF ONLY my husband and I would share the same spending habits… then our marriage would really be a cinch!
IF ONLY my husband would be a little more organized… How hard is it to make sure that bills are paid on time – instead of two days past the due date?!
IF ONLY my husband would be the more sensitive type… Sometimes, I feel like all my rich emotions are bouncing off a stoic wall…
Every person has hopes and dreams and little “if only’s.” If our husbands, in-laws and children will change, then everything will certainly be smooth sailing. We think that things would be so much simpler if we would be more similar. We would avoid disagreements, misunderstandings and confrontations. We would always be on the same page…and live happily ever after.
The question is – when is happily ever after? What is the definition of true happiness? And what is the purpose of marriage anyways?
One of the integral purposes of marriage is to foster growth and realize self-development. We think we chose our spouse because of our joint similarities. Little do we know that God chose our spouse for us because of our differences.
Marriage is a self-growth seminar. But, this growth does not happen as a result of two people living blissfully together as they enjoy each other’s mutual interests. It occurs through compromising and comprehending, giving in and giving up, and making do and making up. Therefore, God preordained that spouses should be different. These areas of potential conflict are the fertile soil for growth. He is a spendthrift; she is penny-pinching. He is laid-back; she is high-strung. He is rigid; she is inconsistent. By working and blending together to overcome their disparities, they become more balanced, refined individuals. Indeed, the differences are not “mistakes that, had you known about them, you would’ve never agreed to this marriage.” Rather, they are the very reason for the marriage!
When people accept their spouses’ shortcomings, they often do so grudgingly. It is important to keep in mind that it is possible that the reason why God gave our partner these very deficiencies is to benefit us, so that we can have an opportunity to work on these areas of contention.
This growth seminar is taken to the next level when God blesses us with an expanding family. Every child, with his or her own personality and temperament, presents yet another challenge to master. Every facet of the child’s personality is here to teach us something. This child works at a slower pace, and we are forced to teach ourselves patience. The next child craves a schedule, so we are compelled to master organization. Ordinary living becomes synonymous with growing.
At the same time, realize that working together with another person’s differences does not always translate into remodeling the person. In fact, sixty-percent of a person’s character usually will not change. Even the remaining forty-percent may or may not be altered. We must be accepting and loving, regardless if our spouse or child is living up to our expectations. (After all, a person is not motivated to change by condemnation and denunciation. Rather, when the person feels safe, loved and accepted and wants to reciprocate, he can start taking baby steps towards growth.)
When something cannot or will not be altered, we can re-frame the way we view it. For example, instead of allowing your husband’s chronic lateness to annoy you, be proud that he is delayed because he juggles so many responsibilities and accomplishes so much. Or, appreciate the perks of your husband’s laid-back attitude, which equals no pressure in the house wife’s arena.
Indeed, when one realizes his full potential and reaches perfection, he experiences a truly meaningful joy. The process of working on ourselves which God has planned out for each one of us by placing us in our Divinely-designed families is having the opportunity to achieve this perfection. The areas of clashes and conflicts are the actual enzymes which can create the synthesis of a most meaningful and delightful joy.
In summary, when we think about families that live happily ever after, we can think about happiness… after a lot of hard work to achieve perfection…