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How to handle a disrespectful child

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By Dickson Tumuramye

The Bible teaches us: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.

“Honor your father and mother,” as the first commandment with a promise: “That it may be well with you and that you may live long in the land” (Ephesians 6:1-3).

Out of the 10 Commandments, this is the only one with a promise of blessing and long life. Therefore, respecting and obeying parents is not an option for children.

It pleases God when children respect their parents (Colossians 3:20). We know that respect is earned and not coerced. When you respect yourself, you will also be respected.

Therefore, children will also respect their parents as long as they respect themselves.

However, this is not universally applied. Some stubborn children still do not respect their parents even when the parents respect themselves.

Some do not listen. They become adamant and remorseless about their mistakes. While others even fight with their parents.

It is heartbreaking for a parent to be trying to make ends meet in order for their children to live comfortably, but they receive is the disrespect from the same children. This leaves them at crossroads.

What to do
First, remember that parenting is a journey that we learn on the job. It is not for the faint-hearted.

So, families should have in place value systems and clear disciplinary measures so that children grow up knowing what it means when such values are broken.

Agree on boundaries and set limits. You should let them know what will happen if they do or refuse to do certain things.

Talk to your child about life choices/consequences. (Source/All Pro Dad)

Explain to the child about life choices and consequences. Use denial disciplinary approach and take away some privileges from them, especially what they like most.

A parent should take time to study their child’s behaviour and learn the root cause, especially if the child has not been behaving in a given way before.

Is it peer influence? Could the child on drugs or other substances? Is the child stressed or depressed? Is it self-rejection manifesting?

Did you mistreat this child to the point that now they no longer see the reason to respect you as a parent? Could you be the problem? Are you a role model?

When you detect that your child is becoming disrespectful, do not wait till the situation escalates, warn the child and, where possible, take disciplinary action.

The Bible says: “For what son is there whom the father does not discipline?” (Hebrews 12:7).

If you refuse to discipline your children, it proves you do not love them. If you do, you would be prompt to discipline them (Proverbs 13:24).

Teach children submission at a tender age. They can learn from Jesus who was submissive to His parents (Luke 2:51).

Therefore, we should train our children in the right way they should go so that when they grow up, they do not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6).

The writer is a child advocate, parenting coach, and founder-Men of Purpose.
tumudickson@gmail.com

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