Most of us agree that respect is an important skill to build in children which will empower them for their entire life. Whether it is for future work or family relationships, having the ability to set aside frustrations and grievances out of respect for one another is a life skill that will serve our children well. But, teaching respect and teamwork is a “ground up” operation. When kids are young they struggle to find ways to compromise and get along. It can be frustrating as parents, to know how to guide our children in respectful interactions with us as well as with each other.
One couple I (Lynne) recently coached, Don and Layna, were discouraged about the disrespectful language between the children in their home. They worried that things were not trending well and, with four kids, they had a lot of challenges! Their intense daughter, Alicia, especially seemed to struggle with respect, and often fired hurtful verbal zingers at her siblings and parents.
There are few things more frustrating to a parent than an outward sign of disrespect coming from their children. You know it: the eye-rolling, door-slamming or long sighs of disdain that kids utilize to get their point across with aggravating success. In an attempt to regain control over disrespectful children what often jumps out of our mouths is,“You MAY NOT disrespect me!” (or some variation). We may demand their respect, but do we get to the bottom of what’s going on in their heart? How do we cultivate respect in children with grace?
Whether you call them tantrums, meltdowns, or “big feelings” – we all know that most kids (and therefore most parents) struggle at times when emotions overtake the ability to think and reason well. When it comes to dealing with kids’ tantrums, parents get pretty desperate. Unfortunately, even when equipped with the best tips and online advice, they often find themselves stuck in a familiar pattern of explosive interactions with their kids that goes something like this: The child gets upset and throws a tantrum, then the parent gets upset and angry. Suddenly, everyone is throwing their own version of a tantrum! Can you identify with this struggle?
Discipline That Connects is going to be re-released on September 20 through Bethany House Publishers! The 2nd edition has been expanded to include more practical advice for families that long for peace and connection.
The James family (not their real name) took the Discipline That Connects (DTC) Online Course together. The curriculum in the online course arose out of the content of the book. Read the following testimonial to hear how God’s grace-filled transformation helped their family find peace for their family – especially their 5 year old son who struggled with aggressive outbursts.
Erik and Heather recently took the Sibling Conflict Online Course and were kind enough to share with us some of the things they learned and implemented with their own family of seven.
“The Peace Process” is the method we teach to encourage kids to resolve conflicts with wisdom. Erik and Heather especially loved how they were able to use The Peace Process and see positive results in their own home pretty quickly. Heather notes, “we are still a work in progress,” but how inspiring to see a family who is growing together in peace and connection! Actually, part of raising a family is being willing to be a work in progress! So, we applaud families like Erik and Heather’s for their willingness to keep learning and keep trying new things.
Connected Families asked Heather to share about their experience
Lazy Child, Lazy Adult?
As parents, we hope to raise children that turn into productive, helpful adults, but the path to getting there can seem rough. Getting kids to do daily chores; like making their beds, helping with meals, or doing yard work can feel like an exercise in futility–or for sure an exercise in nagging. How can parents inspire kids to get up off the couch, away from a screen and ready and willing to tackle their chores? Connected Families believes that taking a different view of unwanted behaviors in kids is one of the first steps in helping your children grow into responsible, capable adults.
We often receive letters asking for parenting advice. Here’s one we just had to share about one family’s struggle with a “lazy” child. Read on to gain a new perspective on laziness.
Is There a Gift in Laziness?
Hello Jim and Lynne,
What is God’s gift in laziness? I have a youngest daughter that only does exactly what is asked and nothing more, even if it’s obvious there’s something else that needs to be done to complete the job. She also seems to go to the bathroom at inopportune times and makes herself scarce when there is work to be done. Please help me see the gift in my child.
Tattling Kids and Unhelpful Patterns
“She called me a name!” “He hit me!” When one child “tells on” another, we call that “tattling.” It can be difficult when confronting the issue of the kid who feels the need to expose all the other kids’ misbehaviors. Actually, tattling tends to be pretty irritating for all of us. What is the best way to address this issue? Read this article to understand four approaches to tattletale behavior and how one family succeeded and overcame negative relational patterns.
It’s easy to resort to unhelpful responses that keep everyone stuck in the tattling cycle:
- Whether it comes as sympathy or annoyance, the tattling child gets lots of attention.
- The tattled-upon child gets increasingly resentful and determined to pick on their sib while Mom or Dad isn’t looking.
Kids make messes. Parents ask and ask (and it really sounds like nagging) their kids to take responsibility for their things and it seems like it is hard to come up with a strategy that works. At Connected Families, we believe that there is a gift behind every misbehavior. It’s true! It might be hard to see how your kids’ messiness could be a gift, but with intentionality, and a change in perspective, both parent and child can often come to a solution that eliminates the nagging and encourages the child in her gifts.
I worked with a family recently that came up with a very practical suggestion for helping kids manage their messes, and it seemed to work. Read the following to spur your own ideas for helping your children through a particularly challenging behavior. Whether it is a messy bedroom, messy entryway, missed or lost homework, forgotten chores– consider how you might adapt this family’s solution to your own special circumstances.
Emma is one of those sunny, lively kids that spreads joy and laughter wherever she goes, along with a trail of mess–a testimony to her creativity (the gift she has). Since Emma has a sister who shares the art supplies, it was difficult to enforce consequences like putting the mess/supplies into a timeout for a few days. Each of the girls were perpetually waiting for the other one to clean up after the supplies had been used. The old adage, “If everyone’s responsible, no one’s responsible” applied well to this situation.