By Joey & Carla Link
July 5, 2023
The kids were finally in bed. Ginger looked at her husband and said, “We need to kick it in gear and get them to be responsible for the things they need to do. I am tired of chasing them around all day trying to find their schoolwork and get them to do their chores. They were doing good a couple months ago. How did it get like this again?”
When your kids are doing good with being responsible with the stuff they have to get done and with their things, they will start to back off just a little. We don’t know why. You would think they like the perks of being responsible and having happy parents as a result, but they find little ways to do things their way instead of your way. If you aren’t paying attention, or let them off the hook with a reminder here and a reminder there, they will back off a bit more. More reminders and when it happens again, a lecture is often thrown in for good measure.
When this happened in our home, we called it the 3 week slide. Our kids would pull it together when we were consistently working on things with them and they would stay there for about 3 weeks. Then the slide started. For a long time we didn’t understand why they weren’t keeping it together. After multiple reminders and lectures from us, they would hit bottom again and we would get serious work done pushing them back up.
We already mentioned the ultimate problem. “Our kids would pull it together when we were consistently working on things with them.” It is hard to be consistent when you are being pulled and stretched in too many directions. Cell phones are a very good thing. They are also a very distracting thing.
Often, parents begin to work with their kids on behavioral issues but when they don’t know how to handle them, they give up until they get frustrated with their kids then they kick it in gear once again. Parents need to evaluate what sports, music and other activities their kids need to participate in. Young children especially do not need to go to one activity after another. Cut down on your family’s busyness. Just because everyone else is doing it doesn’t mean you need to.
There are a lot of voices telling parents how to raise their kids. How do you know which voice to listen to? We think the only voice worth listening to is the commands and principles clearly laid out for us in the Bible. God’s voice has never changed and He tells us to be imitators of Him.
“Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children.”
If you can’t come up with a consistent game plan, how can you expect your kids to consistently behave? Think of all that you have dealt with today with your eldest child. Write all the misbehaviors down and google Godly character qualities. Narrow the list down to 3 this child needs to work on then along with your spouse, pick the one to get started on. If your child isn’t characterized by doing what you say when you say it, start on obedience training. Decide how you will work with him/her to teach him what it is and what it looks like in their life, and how you will correct for it. Don’t forget to praise him when you see him doing it!
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,
goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”