“Yes, children really are people. And if we fail to honor the truth that the only person who can control you is you when we interact with our children, we are inviting them to prove it to us. If you say, ‘Get over here right now,’ even a compliant child can demonstrate to you that you don’t control her. She simply dictates the speed at which she complies. That’s when we start reaching for hammers, for ways to intimidate our kids in order to convince them that we do control them. But it’s a lie, and as long as it guides your actions, you will keep manufacturing ways to convince people to give their self-control to you. When you do, you effectively train your children to be controlled by andy, aggressive people or whiny, manipulative people, and try to control others in the same way.” from Chapter 4 of Loving Our Kids on Purpose by Danny Silk
Oh this truth that has been a theme in this book has been so convicting for me. I can’t control my children. I can’t make them do anything. I learned this especially when I had a particularly strong willed child around the age 3-4years old. I learned quickly that I actually could not make her do anything. Sometimes consequences just don’t work.
What I wish I had learned then is that had I worked on building a loving relationship with this child instead of getting angry that she wasn’t compliant and doling out discipline and consequence time after time, often in anger, things might have been a little different and improved with time.
Another aspect of this is something we really need to work on. Not letting others control us by making us angry, frustrated, etc. This goes back to chapter 3, “can I control myself even when my children are misbehaving?” Am I going to GIVE AWAY my self-control?? I don’t want to do that.
I have tried and tried to tell my kids that if you will ignore it when someone is bugging you they will stop. But for some reason my kids have trouble with this. And we have lots and lots of annoying sibling behavior toward each other. I’m convinced if they all acted like it didn’t bother them all the annoying behavior would stop. LOL!! I need to help my kids understand that regardless of what their sibling is doing to them, they still have control of their own reaction and attitude!
Facebook Live Video on Chapter 4
Have you ever believed that your feelings control you and you’re incapable of changing them? I have. It’s been a difficult paradigm to shift.
How can we help our children understand their own FREEDOM to make WISE choices?