Hey beautiful friends, I’ve been on a ministry trip so today I’m excited to share a#throwbackTuesday. This post hit a nerve back then, and trying to figure out the right thing to do when your child messes up is still a topic that many of us wrestle with. ~ Suzie
So, your child makes a mistake. Or maybe it’s not a mistake at all, but on purpose. Maybe it feels like your child is never going to get it.
What do we do?
How do we address repeated mess ups without yelling or losing control?
Factor in the fact they’re a work in progress
Years ago I read several studies that stated that a child’s brain is still maturing until their early twenties. It shed light on why our child(ren) sometimes seemed like such a work in progress. . . because they are.
Impulse control isn’t in place yet. They aren’t as mature as they will be six months from now, or six years from now.
You and I are continually shaping and encouraging our children as they grow into their true selves.
Factor in their age. Don’t expect them to be adults or know how to do it right the first time.
Is this a mistake or this on purpose?
Is it a mistake?
Then it’s an opportunity for you to show them or teach a life lesson. It might take more than once. It might take a really long time. Children make mistakes.
Hey, we make mistakes.
Give your child what you would want
if when you make a mistake.
Let them take responsibility. Clean up the mess. Let them learn how to offer a sincere apology. They learn as they take responsibility for their mistake, but offer grace, and lots of it.
What if it’s on purpose?
Ask these questions:
- Is this something that was done out of anger or spite?
- Was it intentionally destructive or hurtful to someone else or to something?
- Did you tell them no and they did it, hoping that you wouldn’t notice?
That’s different from a mistake. The consequences are more serious. It’s saying “if you do this, this consequence will happen every single time” and then you follow through.
Can I tell you something? This is hard work on your part. It’s easier to just clean up for them. It’s easier to yell. It’s easier to remind them of how “bad” they are. Yet none of these help them grow.
Exit left stage
Leave the drama out of it. Don’t get caught up in the emotions of the moment. Some of the most intense and damaging battles in our families involve words.
We engage in arguments to nowhere. We hammer them with words until they shut us out. We want the last word. We want them to admit that they get it, even when it’s clear they don’t. We resort to using labels that mark their heart.
“Wordfare” can cause deep rifts between you and your child. It has the potential to create issues and anger that have nothing to do with the actual problem.
She’s mad. You’re mad. Acknowledge that. Then let her know that you love her. Let her know that you believe in her.Tell her what the consequences are.
Then follow through.
Pray for your child. Pray for you. (He’s listening. He knows this isn’t always easy, because He’s watching us grow too.)
Hitting, screaming, and grounding for weeks aren’t reasonable. They’re damaging. I wish I could say that I never yelled. I wish I could say that I never responded in anger.
There were times that my response showed that I was a work in progress, too.
What I learned is that discipline isn’t about punishment, but teaching. It’s not about emotions, but a mixture of responsibility and hope for redemption.
Being reasonable means that once the consequences are fulfilled, everybody gets to move forward. You refuse to hold this one action over your child’s head until they are grown.
It gives room for trust to re-emerge in the relationship.
Find your child doing something right. Somewhere in those messups are some really good things, and they can get lost when your child makes mistakes. Words of encouragement go a long way.
No two children are alike. There are special issues sometimes with our beautiful children.
Know your child. Know your family. There’s no such thing as formulaic parenting.
If you didn’t always have the best example of how to be a parent, The Mom I Want to Be might be a powerful resource for you and your family.
I’m proud of you, moms. I love what you do. May I pray for you today?
Father, thank you for this mom who is reading this today. There are days when we just don’t know what to do and we need your wisdom. You promise to give that wisdom generously. Will you pour it out? Show this mom how to mix grace and teaching as her child grows into the incredible man or woman he or she will one day be.
In your powerful name, Jesus, amen.
Teens!!! How can one word stir up so many emotions? My oldest children are in their teens and it’s not pretty! Thanks for your valuable insite!!
With 9 children we need prayer in this area! I want to get their attention & yelling is the last thing I want to do to get it!! But it seems to be the way it happens.. ):
Good morning. Love the post. As a mom of 2 teens now and 5 more to go so far, very useful information. Thank you!
Thanks for the reminder to PAUSE in the moment. I think as a parent of a teen we can’t hear this enough. I appreciate your encouragement and insight.
Thank you so much for todays devotional. It has made me think about how I must have marked my kids and what type of lessons have I really taught them over the years. I want to leave my sons a Godly inheritance and it starts with the lessons that I teach them. God Bless.
Raising our 3 young grandsons (ages 7, 9, 11) is a daily challenge. I try to implement all that I’ve read and hear from Christian leaders on a daily basis. Whew! Thank you for addressing this subject.
So true.. We are molding our children and our actions shape them .. Thank you for ur wisdom!
Thanks for the reminder! I need to remember to praise more than correct. With summer break coming, this is a timely message.
As a single parent raising two boys, it is a wonderful reminder to pause and know that they are still a work in progress. I pray for my children daily and I want them to be and experience all God has for them. Our words and actions are POWERFUL and leave a lasting impression on our children.
Having a “Tween” is becoming very challenging. Since I have not found a good “Raising Tweens/Teens For Dummies” book, this site has been very helpful…..Thank You
Thanks for the message to remind me that my actions are also teaching my kids lessons not just my words. I must watch my actions (or reactions to situations) as well as my words.
I am sooo often convicted that I yell to “try” and discipline. I know it is WRONG and I am working on it! I do not want to ruin my children with this mistake! I know God can work through what was used as discipline on me to help me to lean on Him for a better, Godly way! Praise God for Grace! Thank you for the encouragement and challenge to seek for better!
With my 7 year old daughter, I have already been given a powerful lesson myself on patience. My daughter has started using my exasperated words and tone when I am telling her to hurry so she doesn’t miss the bus, or to brush her teeth, etc. “Just a MINUTE!” she yells. And I realize she is doing what she was taught. She is saying the same thing I say when she repeatedly asks for a snack or when she wants me to come look at something she did on the computer and I’m in the middle of something else. Oh, what a painful lesson! Now I have to teach her that even though I do it, she can’t. I have to admit my mistake and work on breaking this habit with her. Thank you for these great ideas.
Thanks for the information, it is very helpful. Sometimes as parents we fo make the mistake of letting our emotions control us in the moment, which is neither good for us nor our children. My prayer is that God will help us daily on this journey. Thanks!
Way too many times I’ve regretted the words I said in a moment of anger when raising my children. They are now grown aand have children of their own. Many times I see them now doing the same. My prayer is for this chain to be broken and we all have more patience with our children and grandchildren. Thank you so much for these reminders in your devotion today. Should I be a winner, I will certainly pass the book on to my children.
Thank you for this reminder! We need to show our children mercy and love just as God does for us. I pray God would guide all of parents each day!
This post has been very convicting for me. Try as I might I get frustrated with my teens and end up yelling. Please pray for me. I want to be a better mom!
Wow! I don’t even know what to say. This post and the e-mail that led me here totally describe me. My oldest is 16 and I have 4 more who are yet to be teens. When I was a teen I worked with children all the time. Everyone told me how patient and great I was with children. I never imagined I would deal with so much anger raising my own children. All though it is a verbal, not physical anger I know the scars it leaves. I to was raised with an angry mom. I so don’t want to be that for my children. God has been working on me and the out burst have gotten fewer and farther between but it seems to be like a diet. You loose so much and then you hit a stand still. I don’t know what to do for teaching methods. I am out of Ideas. It seems like teens go through a phase were just nothing matters to them which makes discipline hard. Thank you for your post. I plan on scouring your site for help and ideas.
With three teens, this sounds like acresource I need. Please pray that I don’t lose my temper and am able to encourage and teach my kids instead of sending them the ‘you are ‘worthless’ message. Thank you!
May 17th’s Encouragement for Today could not have been more timely posted! I suspect you were on the same tram as my husband and son…when my son ‘mistakingly’ left my husband’s hat on the tram. I wasn’t with them and didn’t hear about the incident until they arrived in Cali and my husband called me (still fuming and continued through the night). The following morning my husband called me livid ‘still’. I suggested he calm down on his drive to work. He needed to pray during his commute to work, so when he returned home he could talk to our son in a more loving and understanding tone. Today, I fly back to Cali and pray it is quiet on the homefront.
My prayer request is to pray with me for my husband, that he will learn to ‘pause’ before he reacts. This behavior is a direct result of his childhood…his mother was reactive and near abusive. Belle
My oldest son is 11. Thank you for this timely message. I need the Lord’s help.
The exact prayer at the end of your P31 devotion today was a prayer that I need to pray often. I have five young children and (although I am very careful about the words that I say) I often “lose my cool” in frustrating situations and unnecessarily raise my voice, when really consequences are correction enough. Thanks so much for both posts today…we are nowhere near the teen years yet, but I have a feeling that we’ll have our hands full!
Thank u for giving advice on how to instead of just how to not talk to our children. I struggle with impatience and anger. It is a daily battle for me because life gets so crazy with 3 small children and I also struggle with guilt. It is an endless cycle. The only one who can redeem the scarring from the situations is Jesus Christ himself! But I am tired of the constant struggle . Why can I not enjoy these precious moments all of the time no matter how difficult they are????
I would appreciate your prayers concerning this aspect of parenting. I struggle in being consistent with discipline. My words are not enough and when I use words I want to speak life to my children. I confess that at times my words “of instruction” are critical and do not build them up. My 14 year old son struggles with self esteem, so I know it is important that I encourage him before he leaves home in the morning. My prayer for my son is that he will learn to take responsibility for being on time- and learn to manage his time well. With God all things are possible and He said if we confess our sins he is faithful to forgive us and to help us.
Loved these reminders for my parenting. Almost two years ago we lost our oldest daughter (18) in a car accident. As we continue to grieve the loss of her, sometimes our emotions are spent and nothing is left for our two younger teens. Words come out not the way we intended. I love the teenage years and I see the fruit of everything we have poured into them spiritually. Your gentle points/reminders are a good affirmation and encouragement to parent well and intentionally these wonderful gifts the Lord has given. I know all too well, how precious their lives are.
Thank you for sharing your heart! Thank you for sharing the definition of PAUSE…I’ve written it down and plan on posting it where I can see it often and remember to PAUSE. I would REALLY appreciate your prayers, in fact my entire family would appreciate your prayers. Emotions are running astray as we wait for God’s plans to be revealed for our 3 foster childrens future. Resting in God’s hands is a lot easier said than lived at times. I really want to be a better mom so my children learn to really rest in the Lord’s presence. Thank you for your prayers and encouragement!
Thanks so much for the encouragement! I really needed this!
Thanks so much for the words of advice! I have a 17 & a 21 yr. old
and I wish I could go back to when they were babies and start over knowing what I know now!
Thank You for your devotional! Just this morning I was reaching the “boiling point” with my 6 soon to be 7 year old son. I hate yelling, I remember hating it when my Mom did it to me! I told myself I would not end up like that…losing self control. But unfortunately I have had to spend alot of times, apologizing, and repenting to God and LOTS of time on my knees in prayer about this issue. So Thank You for your encouragement with the PAUSE plan! My children are not yet in the teens but I know many families at that stage and my husband works with teens…and I would like to be free of this thorn before my kids are teens…I will definitely be checking out your facebook group. Thanks again and may God bless you for your obedience in addressing these family issues!
I’m so thrilled to see moms of multiples on here, and it sincerely helps us to know that we’re not alone in struggling to raise our 7 kids. Teen. Age. ERRRR! That’s how it feels in our house more times than not. We both feel like pulling our hair out most days and we laugh, asking God how on earth there is a blessing from these kids amidst the struggle with them!
Thank you for your post. I would love to win this.
Thank you for the valuable and Godly counsel. My son is fast approaching teenhood! Wow, I can see him calculating our evey move. We have such an impact on how our children will grow and deal with life. Praise God we have him for our example and he gives us just what we need in every situation. I love IIPeter 1:3!
Sometimes a mistake can look like willful action and vice versa. So how do you tell the difference between a mistake and willful action. I have a daughter I struggle with staying on task and doing her chores to full completion. How do I know that her behavior is willful or unintentional?
Please remember my daughter and her 14 yr old daughter in your prayers. She missed too many days of school because of playing sick, and now they are going to court on June 1st. The result will be severe for at least one yr, including being put on the child abuse registry. I can only lay it at Jesus’ feet and pray.
Great reminder for me about my reactions to my child’s actions. Thanks 🙂
Hello, Please pray for me in raising my 16yr son & 8yr daughter. Both know the Lord but my son is a prodigal child. He needs clarity, strength & wisdom. I pray I can be a good example to them and not raise my voice and get upset. Just the other day I got upset when my daughter spilled milk >>Thank you for the story because as I read it, I thought exactly of what I did and tears streamed down my face in complete repentance. I know my Dad did that to me when I was little so I guess I just have carried it on. I pray I will be aware of this before its too late. Thank you & God Bless
wow so timely, it is like you were a fly on the wall at my house last night 🙂 having 2 teens in the midst of end of year projects, finals and the lack of motivation to get it all dones makes for many trying days at my house. prayers are needed for all us to remember to pause and work through the issues.
Thank you much for this information; Being a grand- parent raising two grand-daughters ages 6 & 15 is alot of work! I know I have made snap decisions when something has not gone the way I think it should have. I must admit the volume is turned up in my voice @ times, I never speak negative words into my girls life; I know the power of life and death lies in the tongue. I cringe when I hear a parent call a child stupid, your are just like your no good mommmy / daddy, you make me sick! ect…. The word shut- up comes at a price in our home as well as the word stupid. .50 for shut-up and $1 for stupid and these monies are deducted form the monthly allowance monies. When their friends come over to visit or play they pay to. I plan on saving the money up to do something nice for the kids as a reward for being caught doing the right thing at the right place at the right time. Would’nt it be nice if our kids came with an instruction manual “How To Take Care of and Raise Me(ages 0-19 yrs.old) Be Blessed!
Yes, my 14 year old – going on 25 – really turns me inside out sometimes!!! He has the “attitude” that I just can’t deal with!!! I do strive to pray for him daily, that he will make godly choices, and I try not to yell when he makes a mistake or says something bad. And I cherisht he times when he says “I Love You, Mom” when I buy his favorite snack, or drink, or whatever. I still get goodnight kisses, too!!!
Love the red on your blog! I really needed your devotion today! Just this morning, my pre-teen decided to get up early and then not earn her stickers for doing things on time. I lost it when she was 15 minutes behind schedule and about to miss the bus. Thanks for the reminders!
Wow! I was praying about this exact thing on my way home from taking kids to school. God knows just what we need just when we need it!!
What an awesome God we serve!! As a parent of 3 teens and one more to go, I know the place I need to be is on my knees. God is still working on me and my children!!!
WOW! This reading really hit home with me today. My 16 year old son and I are constantly butting heads. It seems like all we do is argue and now he doesn’t tell me anything. I do need to stop and realize he is a work in progress sometimes and let him know that I love him no matter what! Thanks for reminding me before it’s too late!
Yup, the yelling thing. That’s how it happened in our house growing up and it’s a pattern I am trying desperately to break. My husband and I try to give much grace while still teaching the lessons they need to learn, but some days are so hard! Any and all help is appreciated! Thank you for your timely words 🙂
Thanks sooo much for today’s devo! My 12 year old son is going through alot of “growing pains” right now and this is a reminder on how to stop and think before I react. I’ve raised to older boys who are now in there 20’s and I made lots of mistakes with them. I pray that those mistakes haven’t left too many negative marks, so I hope I can do better raising their little brother! God Bless you and all these precious women who have shared their comments! What an encouragement to know your not alone!
This is funny because I just had this conversation with my husband this morning on the way he handled some things with our children last night and how our children were feeling about it. I’m printing off your devotion and blog to take home to him tonight to read. I know that God meant for you to have this devotion today.
I have two teenage boys, whom I love with my whole heart. I was just telling someone the other day that when I first had children I was amazed at my capacity to love. Now I am amazed at my hearts capacity to break. Raising children, especially teenagers, is not for the faint of heart. The struggle through the teen years is also a well kept secret I think. Thanks for sharing, and thanks for the opportunity to win this great book!
Wow, am I bad!!! I struggle so much with this issue of reacting out of anger. I am now seeing it in my sons in the way they react when they are angry. LORD forgive me. Is it too late for me to change so my boys will not carry this sin on and their children and on…. Please pray for me. I love my boys so very much. I know why I ‘sin’ when I am angry. Because I am scared.
My husband and I are recovering drug addicts. Our teen is 14. He is growing up so fast. We are having a hard time remembering he (Mike), is not us at 14. Please keep him in your prayers and us. We need God’s grace to give grace!
Thank you for the reminder. I am a mother of a 17 yr old and 10 yr old daughter. I know what it was like growing up with all the yelling in my house. I try not to lose patience, but it seems like most days, I fail at it. I know God has called us to be good stewards over our children and family. I want to be a better mother and wife. Please pray that in the midst of the difficulties throughout my day, I’d remember that yelling is not one of the fruits of the spirit. I want to draw my family close to me and not push them away. Again, thank you for this devotional.
Thank you for the reminder. Parenting is truly the most difficult job I’ve ever had – and not just difficult in the day-to-day, but has such long-lasting ramifications. I pray that God will give me the grace to parent the children He has entrusted to me.
Just sent my nine-year-old off to school, frustrated again. Both of us. He is my baby, and the most unorganized child I know. The girls (10 and 13) are in the middle, and my oldest has just asked us to cancel his 16-year-old water skiing party. I thank God for His Word, and women like you for encouragement and guidance through all the curve balls in life! Words are so powerful – I seek wisdom and self-control moment by moment!
The hard part for me is staying calm… so often with our son I start out that way and he just HAS to argue everything or blow off what I’m trying to talk to him about etc and it’s frustrating beyond belief to try and communicate which then leads to yelling at times… or an impasse…. appreciate the reminder and would appreciate prayer.
Sad to say, that picture of the mom yelling at the daughter looks like me and my son at times.In fact I cannot do this on my own. I need God’s help to remind me that I cannot do it. I need God’s Grace. My son is in a learning time. He is 14. I am discovering how different he is than my daughter (she is almost 19).
Ladies,for you who are scared that your present family is going to be like your own birth family and maybe that was not so great, here is a word of encouragement that I received in prayer. My present family is a new creation. It is not the family that I grew up in. God is present in this family and I am not going to pass down the wrong things to this family.
With my 17 year old daughter, I need to constantly remind myself of your advice that “wordfare” never accomplishes anything. I’m trying so hard to be a better Mom than my own Mom has been, but at times I find myself falling into that trap of belittling her when I’m angry about choices she has made. Thank you for your reminder. This is my first visit to this page!
I read this today and as I do tears fall down my face because lately it feels that all I do is raise my voice in frustration. Our son who will be 13 next week is the most loveable person but he is so arguementative. I don’t know if it is the age or what but it drives us in sane. Most times we try to ignore it but most times it ends up into a shouting match. The funniest things is that one minute he is apologizing which we are happy for and the next he is doing the exact same thing again and apologizing again. Is it possible that a kid can take advantage of saying he is sorry. We feel that it is the case here in this home because he never changes his behaviour to show otherwise. I know the words are suppose to be enough, but shouldn’t there be a change in behaviour and some remorse for what just happen. All I know is I love my kid and I don’t want him to ever feel that we don’t love him or that we make him feel worthless. Pray for us and for our family that we maybe come closer together and just has in love with one another as the day we brought him home from the hospital. Thanks for the reminder of how fragil these gifts from God really are and that we need to handle with care. Blessings.
so hard to not get caught up in the emotion of the moment! Thanks for the words of encouragement! They really do help!!!
I’ve given this a lot of thought and prayer to raise my four children in a way God says, “You are special and worthy.” I like the PAUSE>
I love my teen-agers, but there are a lot of times I sure don’t like them. How hard it is to control ourselves sometimes. It is better to walk away for a few moments and get a grip before letting the tongue rage. Much easier said then done. Great reminder – thank you. Nanci
Wow! God’s timing is awesome! I blew it with my 10 year old this weekend. No, he’s not a teen (yet) but I already feel that “shift” in the relationship starting. Thanks for the encouragement.
Thank you Suzanne your message today totally hit home. I have a 12 year old daughter that I yell at so loud. I later apologize to her and say, “It’s not you Erin it is me; I am frustrated and I don’t know how to express myself”. Your words today crushed my heart. I love my daughter so much but I cannot even discipline myself. God Bless you and the other ladies that write these devotions. I need help raising my two youngest children. My oldest is alrady grown and he has grown up to be a responsible adult but I need to pray for my children daily. Thank you.
I’m reading each of these and I love the honesty. Know that it’s never too late to start over. When I interviewed the hundreds of teens for Real Issues, Real Teens, they said that they were all willing to give a second chance to a parent who had messed up. You matter, mom!
For those who say they have blown it, please understand the power of a sincere apology. Don’t make it a big deal. Simply let them know you wish you had handled it better, and that you love them.
And for those who say it’s hard, you’re so right! I pray that these tips are helpful (think long-term, it won’t happen overnight) and that you will seek a source of encouragement. Moms Together on Facebook is my group for moms, and I’d love to invite you there so we can stay in touch! http://www.facebook.com/MomsTogether
Thanks for the devotional this morning Suzanne. I really struggle in this area. I pray everyday that God helps me to become the mother to my children that He desires. As a single mother of a 7 yr old girl and 15 month old son, I find myself truly stressed and lashing out at my daughter and yelling frequently as a result. I know and pray that God will help me break the cycle of yelling and ‘losing it’ as I grew up in a household where yelling was consistent. Please pray for me that God will help me in this area as I desparately want to be the kind of mother that does not need to resort to yelling.
This is a powerful blog! I am the mother to a 2.5 year old and I pray everyday that she is a teen that I can handle…….I can’t do it without God and my husband…She is currently a “Mama’s Girl” 98% of the time and I am treasuring that while it last even though I pray it never goes away. This was my 1st visit to this page as I receive “Encouragment for today” and I honestly can’t live without that email everyday so I am super excited to learn more via this blog. Thank you!!!
I am grandma to two teen girls, this would be a great resource, thank you!
Thank you for today’s devotional. As a mom of three boys two of which are teens, it is very hard at times not to lose my temper. My middle son is very strong willed just like his mother, and it can be overwhelming at times just to try to deal with him. I do not always react in a way that is helpful to them, more so one that is angry and fed up. Please pray for our family that we will allow God to change us and bring healing to our broken relationships.
Lord, thank you for reminding me that anger is not the way you want me as a parent to shepherd your youngest sheep. Please provide me the wisdom to teach our children with the love that comes from You.
Thank you for this! Exactly what I needed to hear as a Mom. Thank you, thank you!!
Thank you for your thoughts on this… I found myself yelling at my 16 month old just the other day. My husband is constantly saying “when you get worked up, she will get worked up too”..as a christian we are called to a higher…well…call on how we treat one another. Especially, I think, I our children and those we are around every single day. I am working on controlling my temper and keeping my thoughts and actions in line with God’s word. James is a great book for keeping a control on my tongue. It seems especially easy to holler when I am tired and so have to work extra hard to not hurt my kid by my words or tone of voice. Thanks for encouraging us mommas (and daddies!) to take some time and PAUSE!!! Love it.
Thank you for your message today. I often feel like that teen that you described today. My husband lashes out at me and I always feel so defeated and inadequate. I never seem to be able to measure up to other women and if I ever question him or try to explain why I did something, I get more of a tongue lashing than I care to remember. He is a deacon and very respected man at church, but such a different person at home. I try to be kind and loving and want to have a marriage that is God honoring. And because of our marriage flaws I have raised my children to become disrespectful and impatient. I only will reap what I sow and it definitely has all come back to me. If only I could learn to trust and believe God’s word. Thank you for the message today.
Great devotional and post here today. I think as mom’s we could all use some extra prayers in the parenting department. Not acting out in anger is hard to do some days, especially when everyone is tired and caught up in the moment. All I really want to do is encourage and build up my kids but that’s not what usually comes across. Sigh. On those days, I pray that they will forget all my mistakes and parenting errors and still become the people God has designed them to be.
I have 3 kids (2 teens and one in elementary). I love them all but have to admit that the teens are driving me crazy at times. It so often feels like no one is listening to me no matter what “tactics” I take. It has made me wonder lately how often God feels like I’mnot listening to Him!
Such a timely message for me. I struggle daily to get my emotions in check when dealing with my daughter. Thank you so much for this reminder that I need to rely more on God than myself.
Thank you for this. We actually had an incident involving my 4 year old over the weekend that left me so angry I didn’t know what to do. I was so tempted to yell and scream but I managed to stay calm, and as you said show grace. It was tough but I know she will learn from these actions. Glad that I have found your blog to follow and continue to learn more!
Ijust recently became a stay at home mom/wife, my husband and I both have issues with our son. This book would really help give us ideas on how to deal with us and him. Thanks
Just what I needed to read today, as I’m leaving my home driving to work (I’m a teacher)in tears. Another argument this morning with my 17 year old son. I’m a single mom and he is my only child left at home. I am at the end of my rope. It seems like every day is an argument. Where did I go wrong? I raised two other sons who graduated from college (with honors), have excellent jobs and I am sooo proud of them. My youngest will probably not graduate, has been in trouble with the law, is disrespectful, does not have a job, and is unmotivated. Help!
Thanks for your Proverbs 31 devotion and post. Here’s a verse I try and remember when I feel myself ready to get angry with my children. It is Psalms 103:8 “The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.” It’s so easy to get angry when mistakes happen and hard to look past the moment and try to focus on a long-term lesson. Thanks for the reminder and the practical steps you outlined!
Wish I would have learned this earlier and know I still blow it at times but VERY good advice.
Thank you for such a crucial reminder!! We have our children for such a short time & our words make all the difference in our relationships. I have 3 girls of my own; 2 of them teenagers!!! I’m going to share this with my prayer group (we are all moms of teens). Thanks!!
This is so good! I struggle with coming up with consequences that teach and show grace. Our children are not teens yet, but this topic is already needed in our household. Thank you!
I pray for every parent and every future parent. Thank You Lord that You will continue to give us the grace to help shape our children as they grow up. Help us to teach them to love You.
I wanted to let you know I have three teenagers and a 7 year old. Sometimes I feel like each one is from a different planet and I don’t know their languages or understand their cultures. We face the added dimension that 4 of us have bipolar disorder. Your message today reminded me I need/ to praise their strengths as well as discipline their wrong actions and explain about making mistakes. I will ask my hubby after work about getting this book. I think it could really help and encourage me. Thank you for your work and guidance.
What an excellent devotion! That was a blessing I needed this morning. As a mother of three teenage girls and a 9 year old all too often we get caught up in the moment instead of thinking long term. Grace is such a beautiful word. Thank you again, I am going to pass these words on to my mom friends!
Thanks for your message… w/ two almost 9-yrs old, hardly consider them “teens” yet, but your message is so fitting as I’ve been learning the power of encouragement.
Both consequences & discipline can be so challenging to find that “fit” that makes an effective impact … so that they actually learn & grow, not just punishment. I guess that’s the teaching part.
Recently my girls asked me about “how” I “know” verses… as I was “cooling off” & they heard me reciting one day… with their curiosity, I made a special “WORD Power” sheet for them to read, including verses about words & encouragement. It has really made a great reference point for us all when tensions run high! We are all trying to remember our words of encouragement!! One of their verses is Eph.4:29 “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
I have a daughter who is leaping into the pre-teen/teen years and it has been a struggle sometimes with defiance and emotions. Thank you for your encouragement in this blog!
Thank you for your encouragement in this blog!
Krysla, isn’t it funny how unique each child is? My friend, Laurie Wallin, on Moms Together has two children who deal with mental health issues (bi-polar being one) and I hope you’ll join us on http://www.facebook.com/MomsTogether. She has taught me that this adds some different challenges in parenting. I love her practical and spiritual tips and take on being a mom. I appreciate your input!
Gwen, I love your idea! When we revise our thinking from “punishment” to consequences, we see that: 1) they need to be consistent. Your children need to know what to expect every time. No surprises. Is it going to Mount Mama this time as she explodes, or is it going to be “I give up, Moma” as she throws her hands in the air. 2) they need to be reasonable and have a starting and ending time 3) they need to be balanced by love not anger. You are doing what you are doing to shape and encourage your child into the man or woman they will one day become. It’s not about the moment. 4) they need to be an actual consequence, not just a long lecture (teens can tune this out in a heartbeat) or a token. It needs to be something that fits the crime and it’s not fun. Cleaning a mess, paying for a broken item, taking responsibility for their own actions. Having said that, we do this as parents w/o drama, without a lot of unnecessary words, and we do it knowing and believing that our kids are valuable to us and to God and they walk away with that knowledge, in spite of the consequences.
Sandi H. It’s never too late!
I’m an award winning mom, for all the wrong reasons! My 14 year old daughter & I are having increased difficulties in communicating.
Pray for me to make changes to become the wife, mother, friend, sister that He designed me to be. I need help!
Wow I really needed that today. My husband is a new Christian and my 11 year old daughter is his step-daughter and we have twin girls togeter (21/2years old). My husband still uses the old way he knows to correct our oldest daughter and not the new way in which God intended us to train up our children. I struggle with this daily and then get accused by my husband of being too easy on her. I have issues with the yelling and pray for them often as she grows up to be a teen. Our twins see him yelling at their sister and her crying and they start pointing their little fingers at their sister and do the same thing they see their daddy doing. I have even caught them doing it to each other at times. I need to also come before God and become a better parent because I have let some of his parenting rub off on me as I stay at home with the girls everyday. School will be out next week and I pray that I will be burdened this summer to become the parent the Lord wants me to be and maybe my changes will rub off on my husband. I have printed out today’s devotion and some of the comments for my husband to read because they have surely impacted me as a Mom and a believer in scripture and the Lord. Thank you so very much. Have a blessed day.
I have three teenage daughters and a six year old and oh how I
needed to hear this today. Would love to win the book. I need
all the help I can get, but I know God is in control. Thank You!
Thank you for this wonderful post. What great ideas and encouragement. We are trying VERY hard to make our house a “non-screaming” house and are doing really well at it so far, but all prayers are always appreciated. 🙂
Going thru what I hope is a phase with my almost 6 year old daughter… I feel like I am yelling all the time over the simplest of things, not wanting to go to bed or wake up on time, not wanting to brush her teeth or get dressed, things she has had to do everyday of her life! I feel like a broken record!! It seems that anything I ask her to do must be repeated 4 or 5 times and then a meltdown occurs & I lose it and start yelling. No punishment seems to really affect her… the only response I get is “You are mean!” My husband tends to react the same way when I ask him to do something so I can’t help but wonder if that is where she is getting this reaction from!! Quite frankly, I am NOT doing the right thing, the problem is that I can’t seem to stop the vicious cycle. Prayers are needed badly. I also have a 2 year old that is picking up on this temper tantrum behavior & I am not sure if I can handle another person in my house acting this way!! I’m praying for a clear cut answer for this, I feel like such a failure as a parent.
Learning to control my own emotions has made a huge difference in my relationship with my teen daughter. I hope to do better teaching life lessons as situations arise. I don’t feel very articulate to teens so this is a good reminder to watch for the moments and do what I can with them.
Parenting the behavior of my children seems like a reflection of my own shortcomings. Its like looking in a mirror at my own character defects when I see them acting out. Thank you for reminding me to pause and look to Him, the perfect parent of us all. I don’t want a behavior change but a heart change not only in them but in myself. thanks for sharing your insight on this.
I am grateful that God’s grace covers my mistakes as a parent. You don’t have to actually say the words to convey the message that your child is falling way short of your marks. I read, when my oldest was little, to always look at them the way God intends for them to be rather than as they are, because they reflect what they see in your eyes.
Thank you for your obedience to share. I am currently in the midst of being set free from the bondage of anger. I homeschool our 3 children ( ages 11,8,3). We are just completing our first year at home. God has used this year to show me my weakness and that He wants me to be free! This week alone has been very tough. Thank you for your encouragement and practical applications in this area. I don’t want anger as part of the legacy I leave behind.
Thank you so much for publishing this. This issue is my greatest struggle. I seem to be so impatient and so quick to anger over silly little things, sometimes. Thank you for helpful insight and a reminder to be better …
I wish I could have done it just like you said…. but I blew it the majority of the time..
Thanks for sharing this! And wow, how applicable it is in adult relationships..e.g, is it on purpose or not…avoid drama and “wordfare”, yes! Thanks!