The Awesome Thing about Your Kid’s Misbehavior…

The Awesome Thing about Your Kid’s Misbehavior

The rough-looking teen’s tough veneer had softened. I detected tears in his eyes.

“No one has ever said anything like that to me.”

Just minutes before, I met this teen in a line at our local amusement park. After a brief conversation, I dug a little deeper and asked Jared what he was good at. “Are you kidding?” He seemed angry. “Look at me.” Violent tattoos, tattered dark clothes, a defiant countenance and multiple piercings on his ears, nose, eyebrows and lips were suggestive of a hard life.

The Power of Defiance

defiant jesusJesus was defiant.

He defied Satan’s temptation. He defied the religious structures of the day. He defied legalism. He even defied death.

One of our problems as parents is that we treat our kids’ defiance as if it is entirely bad. We then seek to make it go away – sometimes at all costs.

What if instead of a thinking of defiance as a problem we saw it as evidence of a gift God put in our children, coming out in unrefined, selfish,  or sinful ways?

After all, it takes boldness, conviction, strength of will, and a plan to be defiant.

What if our job was not to make defiance go away, but to affirm and re-purpose those talents after the pattern of Jesus’ defiance?

Apply It Now

Powerful Strategies to Fill Your Parenting with Peace and Confidence [podcast]

headphones parenting peace confidence podcast

Recently Jim and Lynne sat down with the folks over at the Positive Parenting podcast to talk about how to discipline in a way that actually connects with kids.

The full podcast is 30 minutes — Listen or download below:

Download: Positive Parenting Ep39 Audio – Connected Families

In this episode…

  • Why methods matter less than the messages you communicate
  • How to help kids make wise decisions — even toddlers!
  • Questions you can ask to de-fuse volatile situations
  • How to find the good stuff even in kids’ misbehavior
  • What to do when teens feel distant and disconnected
  • Four powerful messages that all children long to hear

The Inspiring Parenting Behind the World’s Greatest Inventor

 

Thomas Edison often tops the list of the world’s greatest inventors.

We have him to thank for (among other things) the phonograph, the first motion picture camera, and the lightbulb, about which he famously said of his many failed prototypes, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

But we’re interested in a less famous quote of his: “My mother was the making of me. She was so true, so sure of me: and I felt I had something to live for, someone I must not disappoint.”

You see, as a child, “Tom” Edison was seen as a difficult child with a learning disability (dyslexia). His strict teachers didn’t understand why he couldn’t memorize and recite his lessons like the other children, and referred to young Tom as “addled” — a catch-all term at the time to mean that he was mentally incapable. This caused Tom to storm out of class one day, heading home to his mother.

How to Find the Good… Even in Misbehavior!

angry child school find the good misbehavior

Yellow | Flickr

“…whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute – if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise – let your mind dwell on these things” (Philippians 4: 8, NASB).

Ricky had just been suspended from school for threatening his teachers – an unusual thing for a fourth grader. I was enlisted to help him and his parents learn new skills for coping with his anger. During our first meeting I asked Ricky, “What are some things you’re good at?” He shrugged, unable to give an answer. I probed further, “What are some good things the adults in your life might say about you?” Ricky about hit the roof!

Is Kids’ Misbehavior Actually Bad?

 

We have been trained to think in black and white terms about a lot of things. Kids’ misbehavior is one of them.When kids misbehave we say to ourselves and to our kids, “That was bad! It needs to stop!” The opposite of bad is good. So we usually tell our kids to stop doing the bad and “be good.” This was done to us and it’s natural to do it with our kids.

But is it really true? Is what kids do either all good or all bad? The answer is no! Even in the worst of behaviors, the image of God does not vacate humans. Even in the best of behaviors, sin still easily entangles.

When is defiance better than obedience?

 

I’ll never forget her statement. I was speaking to a grade-school teacher in a Christian school about behavior problems with her students. In the context of the conversation she actually seemed more upset about the obedient kids than the defiant ones.

She declared, “I can always tell the kids parented by strict parents who follow parenting programs that demand first-time obedience. They do what you say but take no risks. They won’t give answers unless they know they’re right. The kids who fight back, they are usually the bold ones, the creative ones, the energetic ones. Many of them are leaders. I love the chance to shape these kids!”

The “Gift Gone Awry”: Jim’s Favorite Idea from the Online Course

Jim here. I’m really excited about our Discipline That Connects Online Course! There’s one idea in it that we’ve developed over the years that we just love to share because it has helped so many parents. So here it is!

If you want to learn more about the “gift gone awry” as it relates to discipline, sign up below for our newsletter to be notified the next time the course is offered. Each weekly email will also give you a dose of encouragement!

Here are some additional blog posts about a few of the topics I mentioned:

 

10 Best on the Connected Families Blog 2014

We can hardly believe it’s 2015 already! Before we dive into a year of new blog posts, we thought we’d dwell for just a moment on some of your favorites from 2014. Here are the ten most-clicked parenting tips of 2014.

P.S. If you know a friend or relative who might benefit from some Connected Families insights, this would be a GREAT post to share with them!