Getting Your Kids Back in Line
Joey & Carla Link
December 4, 2019
Does it seem like your kids are telling you what to do vs. you telling them what to do? Do your kids dowhat you tell them to? Do you feel like your kids are running your home instead of you?
Carla and I remember thinking this with our kids. We thought we had things under control but couldn’t seem to get our son to do what he was told to do, much less with a good attitude. What were we missing? Everyone thought our kids were really good kids. Our kids told us they loved us and we went to their games and music events. We had regular family days and had good times together with lots of laughter, but something just didn’t seem right.
We led parenting classes for years using the “Growing Kids God’s Way” parenting curriculum. We were watching it with the class one time and the video was about the funnel. The behaviors that go in the funnel (meaning they are surrounded by boundaries) are the ones your kids aren’t old enough or mature enough to manage themselves or they just won’t manage them appropriately. When your kids are living outside of their funnel, they are taking freedoms they don’t deserve and you didn’t give them the freedom to have. The #1 way to get your kids back in the funnel was to have them ask for permission for everything and anything they wanted.
When was the last time your child asked you for permission to go to a friend’s house vs. tell you they were going? Or they told you they were going outside to ride bikes vs. asking if they could? Or they took the liberty to do something they wanted to do instead of what you told them to do? Give each of your kids a percentage of the times they are characterized by doing these things. It might surprise you.
When your kids ask permission for something they want to do they are acknowledging they are under your authority and are not equal to you. When they are outside the funnel and are taking freedoms they weren’t granted and don’t deserve, they are telling you that you are not in control, they are.
Kids can seem to be responsible but then they “forget” to get their homework done because they were in the middle of a game on their computer and didn’t want to stop playing, or they didn’t get their chores done because they were distracted with what a sibling was watching on their phone. They can make all kinds of excuses, but the truth is they didn’t want to do their homework or their chores so it was easy to find something else they did want to do. Why do you give in to their pitiful excuses? What are you teaching them if you don’t throw the excuses out and deal with their lack of responsibility? What a difference it would make if they asked for permission to finish their game or watch the show with their sibling!
When you tell your kids they have to ask for permission for everything they want to have or do it will drive you nuts because they will be interrupting you all the time. But stick with it and keep in mind the bigger picture. The difficulty for you will be paying attention to when they do something they didn’t ask for permission for. When our kids were pre-teens and teens, we gave them permission to tattle on each other when they were doing something they didn’t ask for permission for and that took care of this problem!
We encourage you to listen to what your kids are saying when they want to do something. Do they ask for permission or tell you what they want to do?
It’s one thing for a parent to give their child the freedom of responsibility and not having to ask; it’s another for a child to take it.
Taking freedoms = Prideful attitude, not obedient to authority
Parents giving freedoms = Trustworthiness, Responsible
When you, the parent, have given your child freedoms and responsibilities vs. them taking them, you have so much more trust in your child that you don’t have to worry about them abusing that freedom. If they do, back in the funnel they go!