What’s Wrong With This Picture?

What’s Wrong With This Picture?

By Joey & Carla Link

December 11, 2019
Have you ever had something like this picture in your parenting? You can see something is clearly not working but deciphering it makes you have to stop what you are doing and deal with it.
Trees should not have fall leaves with 2 inches of snow on the ground. In the same way, kids should obey their parents and not argue or talk back. They should respect their parents and all adults in positions of authority over them. Do you notice when your kids are not obeying or respecting you or their grandparents?
Think about these situations and how your kids respond to them (age-appropriate)
  • When you go shopping, do your kids move out of the way of other adults, small children, disabled and elderly people when going through a doorway or do they rush to get there first and don’t bother to hold the doors open for them?
  • Do they speak to older people kindly at church, or do they ignore them?
  • Do they speak kindly to other kids when playing or do they have to have their own way, especially when the kids are siblings or younger kids?
  • Do they have an attitude when you ask them to do something?
  • Do they stop saying “Yes Mom” when you call their name? While this may not seem like a big deal, did you give them the freedom to stop saying it?
  • Do they say “please” and “thank you” without being prompted by you?
  • Do they gladly share their things or is generosity a foreign concept to them?
  • Do they treat you like a peer telling you what they are doing or do they ask you for permission first?
  • Are they more focused on themselves or about the needs and wants of others?
  • When playing games or sports do they play their way or go by the rules?
  • Are they experts at controlling others with their roller-coaster emotions?
If your child(ren) is characterized by the things mentioned above, is it so common to you that you don’t notice it anymore? Why not pray and ask God to wave red flags in your face so you will be prompted to deal with these terribly self-focused behaviors and attitudes.
In Isaiah 5:20 in the Living Bible it says,
“They say that what is right is wrong and what is wrong is right.”
Is this what you are teaching your kids by NOT dealing with these behaviors?
What can parents do?

Mom and Dad need to have the same standard of what is right and wrong.

  • Do you and your spouse agree on the standards you are raising your kids by?
  • Are your standards Biblical and practical?

Parents must recognize when their kids are being self-focused and disrespectful.

  • Do you see it?
  • Are you open to your spouse or others showing you when your kids are violating your standards? Ask your friends to point a specific behavior out to you when your kids do it.

Parents need to have a plan other than lecturing and reminding when standards are violated.

  • Most parents don’t have a plan on what to do so they react when their kids’ behavior is disrespectful to them and others instead of proactively dealing with it/them.
  • With your spouse, choose 2-3 typical behavior violations and develop a plan for what you will do next time they come up.

Be willing to act no matter what the cost to you or your child’s reputation.

  • Their life-long character is more important than their child/teen friends.
  • Be willing to accept a little embarrassment and deal with your child. In the long run, others will appreciate and respect you for it.
Ultimately a parent’s biggest issue when training your kids to be focused on others before themselves is to be consistent. This is why we wrote the Mom’s Notes presentation “Fighting the Consistency Battle“. We would highly recommend you download the MP3 and PDF and listen to it together, then work through the Notes, making a plan on how to be consistent when working on your child’s behavior which will be reflected in his character.