Posts Tagged raising children

To Pooped to Parent

taz-tired

“Not surprisingly, perhaps, the most likely candidates for early exhaustion are the parents who are radically committed to their children.” (Pg. 128)

So if you are worn out from your children, this could be evidence that you sincerely care about them. You are totally committed to them. However, it would be unhealthy to throw out all other relationships and activities because of your children.

He gives a funny example about parents that are so paranoid about leaving their children, their imagination gets a little carried away while they are enjoying some free time from the children. “Imagine how they would feel if the announcer said over the public address system, May I have your attention?  Would Mr. and Mrs. James Johnson come to a house telephone, please? Your baby-sitter needs to know where the fire extinguisher is.” (Pg. 128).

John 6

1After these things Jesus went away to the other side of )the Sea of Galilee (or Tiberias).

2A large crowd followed Him, because they saw the signs which He was performing on those who were sick.

3Then Jesus went up on the mountain, and there He sat down with His disciples.

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Why do they pursue conflict?

Raising the strong-willed child can leave parents not only exhausted but puzzled. Why would a child which you have sacrificed for, want to treat you with such disdain? What is the motive of a child, to talk disrespectful to the parents that have loved and nurtured that child from day one?

Dr Dobson describes it this way, “Yet the tough-minded kid goes through life like a runaway lawn mower.” “He’ll chew up anything that gets in his way.” (Pg.109)

“Deep within his or her spirit is a raw desire for power. We can define power in this context as control or control of others, control of circumstances and, especially, control of ourselves.”

Dr Dobson talks about how adults also seek this power to be in control, but that it “varies only in degree”, between individuals.

All of my life I thought, at meal time, you selected what you wanted to eat. The cook found out what you liked and catered to your taste buds. Until I was married. I watched my wife with our children during meal time. Oh yes, she made an attempt to give them something they liked within healthy limits. For many, many meals there was a power struggle. She was determined to teach them to like healthy foods. They were determined to eat what they wanted. It seemed much easier to me, to allow them to have something they wanted versus something they needed. But she pressed on even when she was considered the bad guy mommy. I can tell you without a doubt today, the 2 older kids enjoy eating healthy foods. They got what they needed, not what they wanted.

So based on his description, that we all have a desire to be in control at varying degrees, but some kids desire to control is beyond the norm. Couple that with their immaturity and you have an out of control possibility.

If we have built 1 an altar for ourselves to turn back from following the Lord by making 2 burnt sacrifices and grain offerings on it, or by offering 3 tokens of peace 4 on it, the Lord himself will punish us. Joshua 22:23

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When raising children – keep a sense or humor

“Laughter is the key to survival during the special stresses of the child-rearing years. If you can see the delightful side of your assignment, you can also deal with the difficult”. Pg 101

Dr Dobson tells the story of the 3 year old who learned that Jesus would come to live in the hearts of those who would invite them. One day the little girl put he ear up to her mommy’s stomach. The mother asked her what she was doing, she replied, “I’m listening to Jesus in your heart”. The mother asked if she could hear anything. And the little girls said it sounded like He was making coffee to me.

I’ve read where laughter necessitates many of the same skills as problem solving. And we have all read where some report that laughter can improve your health in some cases.

read more about laughter here

There is nothing better for 1 people 2 than 3 to eat and drink, and to find enjoyment 4 in their 5 work. I also perceived that this ability to find enjoyment 6 comes from God. Ecclesiastics 2:4

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Choices young adults make

In the book he discusses how some good parents blame themselves and are held responsible by others for choices their children make.

“If you’ve launched only high flying sons and daughters, then you won’t comprehend the sentiment of these words”. he says the following, “Why? Because of the crazy notion that parents are responsible for everything their child becomes”.  (Dr. Dobson pg. 63)

Scripture to illustrate how God views this subject:

The word of the Lord came to me; “What do you people mean by quoting this proverb about the land of Israel: The fathers eat sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge”?

As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, you will no longer quote this proverb in Israel. For every living soul belongs to me, the father as well as the son both alike belong to me. The soul who sins is the one who will die (Ezekiel 18:-1)

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Strong-willed children can be a great source of frustration

I have been traveling this week and wouldn’t you know, the internet connection in my hotel room is terrible. That is unusual because most decent hotels have stepped up and realize the importance of the internet connection to a business or even casual traveler. Here’s to making the best of  it.

Following are some interesting quotes from Dr. Dobson’s book.

“Even a cursory examination of these responses makes it clear that strong-willed children are a source of great frustration not only to their mothers, but also to their fathers” Pg. 53

Our children are the most important blessing and responsibility a husband and wife can have.

“From this analysis and several dozen others, it was apparent that mothers of strong-willed children are especially vulnerable to their rebellious kids”. Pg. 55

They usually spend the most time with the child. In many cases the mother is the “go to” person while the father is away at work or working on other things regarding the home. But maybe there is another reason related to the giftings of a mother.

“One-fourth of all tough-minded youngsters do not get along well with either mother or father, and 14 percent are still charting their course in your adulthood. Like their parents, these are the teens who desperately need outside influence of the right type”. Pg 57

This has helped some families with their strong-willed child. Someone who could be a good example for this child, a family member, a friend of the family someone you trust that could speak to the teen from a neutral position.

“This is what we found: for the children with many problems, their parents tended to be either permissive with them or they were rigid/severe”.  and, “The conclusion is that when children are beset by major social problems, their parents react in extreme ways either by throwing up their hands and refusing to discipline them at all, or by becoming so rigid and severe as to oppress them. Pg 59

I know that I tended to react in an extreme manner when first learning to raise children. Why? I guess because I learned it somewhere and never recognized it as being wrong until I had my own children. When you realize this is the real deal and you can have an effect on your childrens future, it makes you pause. I sincerely re-evaluated how I responded to my children and made a change. Its not easy to break a habit but anyone can do it. I’m not suggesting there is always only one perfect way to respond to a situation, but every conflict requires a balanced response, a measured response. In other words thinking hard about the message you are sending to your kids.

James 1:2
My brothers and sisters, 1 consider it nothing but joy 2 when you fall into all sorts of trials,

3
because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance.

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Parents who hurt

Dr. Dobson shares a story about a mother who had 3 daughters and did her best to love them and set a Christian example in their life. She invested hours in each one of them hoping to show them how much value they had. She wisely gave them space when they needed it to grow as young ladies. The result, two daughters that could not have turned out better and one that caused astonishing grief and pain. At 18 she ran off with a 28 year old ex convict who had been married 3 times before.

She describes the pain and heartache she felt during this time as almost unbearable. “I didn’t know that anyone could endure that much pain and still live”. (Pg. 72) She describes the sting she felt when innocent folks would ask how the girls are doing.

Ps. 39:7
“And now, Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in You.

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More than 30% said I’m a failure as a parent


This is what Dr. Dobson found in his study based on responses from fathers and mothers, 30% said, “I am a failure as parent!” and “I simply can’t cope with my kids.” (Pg. 52)

So you are not alone out there. Its not just your family that feels like they are being put through the fire. And recognizing the child’s bent towards strong-willed vs compliant traits helps you to see how it contributes greatly to the issues you are having.

Take a look at his data, “…we find that 95 percent of parents raising very compliant children felt good about the job they were doing, compared with 11 percent of the parents of strong-willed children”. (Pg. 52)

Recognize the seasons you are in with your child. Identify their strengths and weaknesses. Consider the influence of hormones if they are of age and female. Teach them right from wrong.  Pray that God will help you through the season. Pray a blessing on your children. Forgive them and start over again.
1 Kings 8:

14 The king (Solomon) then turned to face the congregation and blessed them:

35-36 When the skies shrivel up and there is no rain because your people have sinned against you, but then they pray at this place, acknowledging your rule and quitting their sins because you have scourged them,
Listen from your home in heaven, forgive the sins of your servants, your people Israel.

Then start over with them: Train them to live right and well; send rain on the land you gave your people as an inheritance.


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