Dealing with a disrespectful child

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Handling disrespectful and disobedient kids by choosing your battle

It’s easier to curb disrespect when kids are much younger. However, “scare-tactics” doesn’t really work for teenagers. The more I got angry with my teens, the more they resented me. When I retreated from the battle, I won their hearts. Issues are better resolved when there’s no anger. (James 3:6; 2 Chronicles 20:15)

→ Why I regret allowing my kids to own computer gadgets.

1. I swallowed my pride

Our ego gets squashed when our children defy our authority. We retaliate by saying “You do not talk to me that way!” The knee-jerk is always to fight back. Choosing to hold back takes a lot of humility. Christ demonstrated the ultimate humility. In so doing have won the hearts, admiration, and salvation of mankind. (Philippians 2:7)

Avoid power struggle

Often, it’s really our ego that gets the beating when our kids disrespect us. We enter a power struggle that’s won by whoever shouts the loudest. The Bible instructs us not to pay back anger with anger (Proverbs 24:29), and avoid foolish arguments that lead to quarrels (2 Timothy 2:23). It takes a lot of humility to remain calm when your child shouts back at you.

it’s really our ego that gets the beating when our kids disrespect us.

→ Use thinking words, instead of an angry response

2. Some battles are won by retreating

Although I’m blessed with wonderful kids, they’re not perfect. One of my girls had Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IDE) that when triggered, she morphed into an “atomic bomb.” Although I raised her the same way I did the others, reasoning, consequences, or prayer doesn’t seem to work. I kept losing the battle.

The battle is the Lord

I fought anger with more anger. It was a heavy “spiritual war.” I was only able to win when I retreated from the battle (Ecclesiastes 3:6). I stepped back completely to let God take hold of the situation, I was doing things on my own. God alone can change the hearts of men. My job was to lift them up in prayer. God will take care of the rest, and He did.

I was only able to win when I retreated from the battle.

RELATED READING:
The truth about Intermittent Explosive Disorder

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