Posts Tagged rebellion

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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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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Compliant vs. Strong-willed child

Would you think there are more or less strong-willed children. In Dr. Dobson’s book they tested many groups using 35,000 families for their resource (Pg. 29). The data was then analyzed by University of Southern California Computer Center. One of the things they found, there are “twice as many” (Pg. 36) very strong-willed children according to the test studies. Dr Dobson goes on to say, he believes the ratio to be higher because some of the infants within the families had not yet been recognized as strong-willed.

Other findings: (Pg 43-46)

  • “There is no strong tendency for temperament to be related to birth order”.
  • “There is a slight trend toward compliance for first-born children and strong-willed for secondborn.”
  • “Strong-willed males outnumbered females by about 5 percentage points”.
  • “About a third (36 percent) of very strong-willed children are recognized at birth”.
  • “The data suggests temperament of the child is inherited from the parents”.
  • “Only 3 percent of very compliant children go into severe rebellion”.
  • “Only 14 percent of very compliant children go into mild rebellion”.
  • The very compliant child makes the best social adjustment in adolescence
  • The very compliant child has the edge in academic achievement
  • The strong-willed child is more easily influenced by group opinion and peer pressure
  • The very compliant child has higher self-esteem

The study goes on to explain that 53 percent of the most rebellious children will return to what their parents taught them at home. And 85% of hard-headed, independent children, will eventually lean toward the values taught in their home. 15% reject everything their family stood for. (Pg. 49)

This section of the book goes into much detail about strong-willed children and to sum it up, a strong-willed child can be a good thing if they learn to honor and respect the creator of the universe.

Ps. 34:11
Come children! Listen to me! I will teach you what it means to fear the Lord.

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Crisis of confidence in raising children

Dr. Dobson explains on Pg. 15 how mothers are blamed for everything that goes wrong with their children, from toilet training to education. He reminds us that books have been on written telling us how we are not doing it the right way.  Its no wonder so many parents feel guilty no matter how much love and commitment they put into it.

I think he is pointing out the concept, that its not healthy to be parenting from a standpoint of guilt or self-doubt. And he goes on to say something I consider a very important reminder, “Throughout the scriptures, it is quite clear that the raising of children was viewed as a wonderful blessing from God a welcome, joyful experience.” Dr. Dobson (Pg. 16). And I believe in general this is the case. But lets not forget there are folks who are dealing with grueling circumstances beyond what it considered the norm. But If the scriptures tell us that children are a “blessing” there must be a specific way to raise those children.

So if you are struggling with a child, remember, it happens, I guess you already knew that. Sometimes we may be approaching it from a standpoint of guilt or fear. So…….its time to renew your thinking in regard to your children.

First start with compassion

Psalms 103:13
As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on his faithful followers.

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Have we become “tenative” parents?

How has the environment in which we raise our children, changed in relation to the environment in which our parents and their parents raised children?  Teenage rebellion, sex, alcohol, drugs, haven’t these temptations been around for ages.

One of my first jobs was selling IBM typewriters. Who would have thought typewriters would become obsolete. I’m sure there are still a few out there. But I remember being carted off to Detroit for IBM sales training school. I believe it lasted three days. They brought in their top sales people and trainers to instruct us on how to prospect, how to handle an objection from a prospect and how to close a sale. Lots of time and money directed into selling their product and motivating their sales force. Every day was intense education about how to sell and understand the benefits of the product. One simple concept which stuck out for me, is the “sales funnel”. Its quite straightforward, the more possibilities you have in your funnel, the more sales you will realize. If your funnel is overflowing with prospects, your chances of making a sale increases. I remember they used a projection screen to put this huge graphic on the wall, of a stick looking man with a large funnel mounted on top of his head. If you operate for 30 days with an almost empty funnel, guess what? You will not have many sales based on the percentages. The concept is true. 

Ask a typical Grand Parent, whether or not they believe our children’s funnel is full and overflowing with temptations such as teenage rebellion, sex, alchohol, drugs, etc. as compared to what they had to contend with while growing up.  Dr. Dobson asked his father how he dealt with the pressures associated with being a parent, listen to his answer (Pg. 13), “I never really gave that a thought.” Then Dr. Dobson goes onto explain that it wasn’t that his father was short on caring about his children, but the enormous amount of pressure our children experience today was not at hand back then. They did not walk around with their funnel full of peccadillo’s most of the time.

Sure, kids and adults made mistakes back then too. But in general the quantity and quality of available enticements was quite different. Here is a recent headline made in reaction to a so-called comedian’s bit:

Women's shelter cuts Sandra Bernhard after Palin gang-rape line...

So its no wonder we have so many “tentative” parents walking around.

I know it is politically incorrect to suggest that values have changed over a course of time, but they have. As parents, we can recognize this reality.

Heb. 13:8
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever!

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