Why Won't My Children Listen?
Parents Teach Your Children Bible Promises
Parents Remember the Promise
Parents remember the first commandment with a promise is for your children is found in Ephesians 6. It simply states that children should obey their parents in the Lord. They should honor them. Why? Because; If they follow this simple command God promises them that it will go well for them. They will enjoy long life here on Earth.
Many times parents try to strong arm their children into listening to them. Instead of teaching them what the word of God tells them. Often times you have to wonder if these parents are caught in the generational teaching cycle. The cycle that tells their mind that this is the way I was raised, so this is the way I am going to raise my child. That's ok if the cycle was not dysfunctional. But let's be real many parents came from some form of a dysfunctional family. If a parent continues the cycle, rather then seeking wisdom from Gods word, the cycle will never be broken. You will continue to do what it says in Ephesians 6:4, which is to exasperate your children. In plain English this basically means to irritate them or infuriate them.
I believe that no good parent wants to irritate or infuriate their children. Yet it happens. Why? Because instead of relying on teaching them the benefits of being obedient to Gods' word parents rely on their ability to parent them on their own. You forget that you are not alone. That you have a partnership with God. I tell every parent it is not too late to start right now wherever you are in the process. Whether they are infants, toddlers, teens, or even adults. You have an opportunity to start over. God is a God of second chances. It may not be easy when you are starting in the teen or adult cycle but it is not impossible, Give yourself and your children a second chance at a do over.
Did You Teach or Repeat Today?
When you asked them not to touch something or clean their room. Did they listen the first time?
Parents Don't Yell They Teach
Parents who yell do exactly what it states in Ephesians. They exasperate, irritate, infuriate their children. It is hard to swallow. But you keep your children from receiving the very first promise that is entitled to them by acting in a way that is contrary to the promise. I know it's hard. I have been there myself. I have gone down the "yelling" path. That is why I say start over. I learned quickly that yelling not only exasperate my child, but infuriated me. I had to break the generational cycle of "yelling". My parents yelled, so I yelled. I had to learn a better way of parenting my child. I had to recognize that my instruction comes from God. Not previous experiences. Don't rely on what you know. Rely on who you know. God is the best father, the best counselor, the best teacher. You have the book of instructions in your hand. It is free to everyone who opens it.
I decided that "yelling" wasn't working. As a parent I needed to find a better way. I meditated on these verses in Ephesians. I realized that I needed a different strategy. One that did not include "yelling". I decided that I was going to set some rules. Setting rules is good. It teaches your children that there are boundaries. I know some of you are in the teen or even adult cycle. No worries it even works for them. I decided on these three things. Keep in mind your three things may not be my three things. This is just an example of what I did. If you are going to use this strategy tailor it to your relationship with your children. Here are my three things:
- No talking back
- No lying
- Listen the First Time
Seems simple enough right? Wait there is more. Now I needed to think about how I would implement these rules. How would my child know that they are breaking the rule. Well I needed to sit down with my child to talk about the rules. Parents who yell a lot never sit down to talk to their children. They expect their children to magically know what behaviors they want them to exhibit. Your children need to know what the rules are. You can't expect them to do what you want if you haven't sat down with them to explain it to them.
In addition to rules you also need a strategy that includes rewards but also consequences. Why? because if you never reward or give them consequence, like our heavenly father blesses us or lovingly corrects us, how will they ever know they are doing something right or wrong? If you reward the right behaviors chances are they will continue to duplicate that behavior. Keep in mind that whatever behavior you reward whether bad or good that is the behavior they will continue to duplicate in life. Try to reward good behavior. But also set consequences for bad behavior.
Sit down with your children to talk about the behaviors you are looking for. Inform them of the three rules. Tell them what will happen if they break the rules. Incorporate teaching them about what it says in Ephesians. Explain to them the promise of God when they obey. But don't forget to explain to them what you are not to do as well. Children or young adults are astute. They are intelligent enough to understand. Do not underestimate them.
My child quickly learned that rules should be followed. I found myself not having to yell. I simply would say you broke the rule. This is your consequence. Do not waiver. If you waiver they will figure out quickly that they can manipulate you into getting what they want regardless of the rules. I noticed results quickly. The rules were the rules. My child became obedient when there was an understanding of the behaviors that were expected.
Guide Them Don't Bribe Them
Parents make this mistake all the time. They will bribe their children into getting the desired behavior. For example a parent might say; If you take out the garbage I will give you $5. A better way to get the desired behavior is to say; Remember that Friday is your day to take out the garbage. When they come looking for the allowance you can say; You didn't take the garbage out on Friday. End of discussion. No bargaining. No yelling. Next time I guarantee they will do it.