When Your Child Resists You

mom talking to daughter
Are you surprised when your child doesn't want to hear what you have to say? Here's some wisdom from a Christian parenting expert. (Charisma archives)

Parents are sometimes surprised when their children resist correction. Some children seem to resent hearing instruction or advice from us. As parents we need to learn to expect some of that resistance and even prepare for it. This may seem obvious, but many parents react with emotion when they don't get a positive response from their kids. That emotion often intensifies the situation and isn't helpful.

It's as if we expect our child to say, "Thanks, Dad, for sending me to my room. I really appreciate the limits you set for me." Or "I appreciate it, Mom, when you make me clean up my room and make my bed." Children are not going to respond this way. If we expect our children to always appreciate our discipline, then we're going to be frustrated.

We don't mean that we lower our expectations for our child. Kids need correction and parents are the ones whom God uses as the tools to bring about heart change. But we do need to mentally prepare ourselves for the times when our kids resist. We must remain in control as we do the hard work of parenting.

Correction is tough, but it's part of the job. One of the greatest challenges has to do with attitudes. They seem to be automatic responses children have and those attitudes often drive parents crazy. Understanding attitudes can go a long way to changing them, but a plan that simply focuses on behavior is rarely productive. Attitudes are heart issues and need some more intense work.

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So, when you need to discipline your child, and that child responds in a negative way, remember that discipline is not intended to be fun. You need to expect some resistance, but you can persevere because you know what you're doing is what's best for your child. The discipline is for your child's good.

Hebrews 12:11 says, "Now no discipline seems to be joyful at the time, but grievous. Yet afterward it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness in those who have been trained by it."

This parenting tip comes from the book Home Improvement by Dr Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN. 

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