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Dealing with Disobedience (Part One)

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Does dealing with disobedience exhaust you? I think it gets the best of us at times because if you’ve been a parent your any length of time, then you know this is an ongoing process.

Although I have repeatedly mentioned that I am far from a parenting expert, nor I have done everything right, I wanted to preface this post with this admission again. With that said, I think that we as moms have so much wisdom to offer one another along this parenting journey that we are all walking.  

Additionally, there is too much to say for one post, so this will be part one. Sorry to keep you hanging, but I am trying to avoid overwhelming you 😉

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disobedience

Disobedience, we all face it, we all have to deal with it, and we are all looking for new ideas, wisdom, and support.

The one thing I know for certain in terms of dealing with disobedience, is that in order for discipline or correction to be effective it needs to be something that is so much deeper than fixing the surface issue at hand. We all know how effective it would be to solve the problem of the low fuel light in our car by covering the symbol up on our dashboard. Likewise, if we ignore the low fuel light it only leads to deeper problems.  Disobedience works in much the same way.

So, how does one administer effective discipline or correction? In my experience there is no right answer, other than to say that it is a matter of reaching the heart of your child. Following are the steps that I follow in order to speak to the heart while correcting the behavior.

First is examining your own heart to determine if this problem exists because of something you are carrying or harboring.

This can be hard to do, but it is something that we do often do as moms. If we are sensitive to something our child does because it is oddly familiar to us as something that our spouse or our parent does or has done that has wounded us, we need to address that wound first so that we can examine the issue with open eyes and an open heart.

If there is no issue or it has been dealt with, proceed by asking your child for their account of what happened, including the “why.”

Often, you need to read between the lines of what your child is communicating. Kids frequently speak in code, especially if you live with teen girls, I should know 😉 Oftentimes they tell us how we can “fill their love tank” when explaining their side of the story (and yes, it is important to let them plead their case). So often disobedience involves an element of a misunderstanding or a lack of feeling as though needs have been met. Putting the time and effort into this step can often help shed light on how to proceed moving forward.

In the next step, I require my kids to tell me what they feel is at the root of their behavior (selfishness, envy, pride etc).

It is so much more effective to administer correction if they acknowledge the issue first. Whether they identify the problem or you do, this is where it needs to be identified so it can be addressed. I have listed some great resources in our character curriculum that define and speak eloquently on character issues.

If my kids are old enough, I require them to research Bible verses that speak to this specific character issue, both in the positive and the negative.

Sometimes I allow them to use this book, For Instruction in Righteousness: A Topical Reference Guide for Biblical Child-Training or this book, Creative Correction as an aid. If they are not old enough for this step, I require them to define the character root as well as its opposite trait. For instance, if we were dealing with laziness, they would have to define laziness and then tell me that the opposite trait is diligence.

Dealing with disobedience is something that can be so exhausting, but following these series of steps are a great way to get the disobedience in your home under control!

Just a few more steps to go. Be sure to check them out in Dealing With Disobedience Part Two.

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