Do you ever look at another parent’s child and think, “That parent has it so easy. That child doesn’t struggle with anything.”
Of course we know that isn’t really true. Everyone struggles with something.
The thing that is true– is our kids (like us) are imperfect and imperfection behaves as you would expect….imperfectly.
Okay, so your child struggles with_________________. Fill in the blank. His or her struggle may be a character quality , a skill, or a relationship.
After talking with a few moms about their child’s difficulties and how they handled their child’s particular challenge it became apparent there are different ways to deal with adversity.
Here are 7 ways to deal with an imperfect kid:
- Show empathy when your child is discouraged. “I understand. I struggle with___. “
- Be encouraging. “You have this skill set which will help you get to where you want to go. I have confidence in you.” Be honest and specific.
- Allow natural consequences to play out. My daughter struggled with making it to school on time yet she didn’t want to be marked tardy. (Okay I need to come clean, punctuality is my struggle too.) Her solution was to have me sign her in and give a “good reason” why she was late. I told her I could do that if I gave the real reason why she was late. She didn’t like that and told me her tardy would be my fault. I mentioned I could live with that. The rest of the school year she was able to be on time for her first class.
- Speak truth. One mom shared her son was highly contentious and bossy. He liked to argue and fight just for the sport of it. Her husband would consistently give their son the message that God gave him the gift of leadership. The dad would add, “You have a choice. You can be a harsh task-master, who no one wants to follow or a servant leader, someone everyone wants to follow.”
- Model the trait or skill to be developed. If you want honesty to replace dishonesty, be honest. Talk about why you went back to the store to pay the extra couple dollars when the clerk neglected to ring up that item.”My integrity is worth more than a free pack of gum.”
- Provide the tools and training needed to develop the skills or character trait. The parents of the argumentative boy enrolled him in debate so he would learn how to state his position without being offensive.
- Pray that the trait you want to extinguish is replaced by the desired quality. “Father, replace Aiden’s stingy spirit with a generous heart.”
Our kiddos need to be raised according to how they have been created. It’s up to us to train them in the way they should go according to their unique bent.
Train up a child in the way he should go.
And when he is old he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 22:6 NKJV
What ideas would you add to this list?
If you liked this post and you have a child toddler to nine years of age you would love Raising Little Kids with Big Love.
If you liked this article and have a tween to young adult get Raising Big Kids with Supernatural Love.