By Brenda Yoder
You mean when I said, “Don’t look at me, that was disrespectful?” she asked.
I sat across from a sixth grader who was in trouble, again, for disrespectful and insubordinate behavior. In talking with her, I realized she really did not know her direct, blunt, how-dare-you attitude was disrespectful.
I modeled for her responses what were more appropriate between a teen and an adult. I told her how adults receive disrespectful words and how learning respect in an important life skill. As I saw genuine responses on her face, I realized she didn’t really know what she was doing was wrong.
As parents, it’s easy to think our kids “just know” what’s respectful and what’s not. Depending on your daughter’s temperament, birth order or personality make-up, she truly may not know she’s being disrespectful when her teen or monthly hormones are raging.
How do you deal with disrespectful responses? How do you respond to appalling behavior coming directly at you?
- Model appropriate words for the child.Teens and preteens are still learning appropriate behavior and much of what they are learning comes from social media, technology, and peers. When you calmly respond rather than react, you’re teaching them something new.
- Give emotionally neutral responses.Saying, “That is not an appropriate response” is neutral to a child because it sets boundaries around the action without it becoming personal. “You’re so disrespectful” becomes personal to a child and may cause that child to enter into a power struggle. Stay with firm words like “not acceptable” or “inappropriate” or “unhealthy” which defines the behavior but doesn’t attack the child.
- Give opportunities for your daughter to change behavior before giving her an ultimatum. Giving your child a warning and allowing her to rephrase her words more appropriately gives her a chance to make a better decision and teaches positive decision-making skills.
- Don’t enter into a power-struggle. Teens and preteens will argue just for the sake of arguing. They also won’t see your point of view. Don’t verbally push them in a corner. They will fight back. Teaching them healthier ways to respond helps them in the long run.
There isn’t a text-book answer for dealing with rebellion and disrespect, but as you study your daughter and think through past arguments, reflect on how you can better respond even when their words are out-of-line. Giving her options and modeling different, more acceptable responses provides learning tools she can build on.
Because sometimes, she really doesn’t know.
Broken and Beautiful: Brenda has a Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, and a BA in Education. As a Parent, Counselor and Educator her ministry is helping moms and daughters navigate the tough stuff of life. Have a question for Brenda? Email her at AskBrenda@thewhatvergirls.com
By Angie Ryg
Getting my teen daughter to listen to me has never been much of a problem. She is an easy going girl who is pretty responsible. But I know that may not always be the case or is the case for all daughters. I was looking up how to get your child to listen and there are so many pages of advice, great ideas, and ways to make your child listen by Friday!
One specific piece of advice stood out to me, not because of what it really taught me about my daughter, but more importantly, what it taught me about myself.
Psychology Today says, that if your child is not listening:
“Realize they may not be ignoring you on purpose.”
“Research has shown that kids engaged in an activity, such as playing, reading, or gaming, often do not register other aspects of their surroundings. They lack what is called “peripheral awareness.
This limited peripheral awareness may keep kids from registering what is happening around them–including a parent who is standing close by and talking to them–even when it appears that they couldn’t miss it.”
Peripheral awareness. It hit me as I read this that I suffer from this often.
In my push to get my child to listen to me or to get my agenda done around the house, I often do not let the other aspects of my surroundings play a part in my drive to get my to do list done.
The aspects of sitting down with my child and seeing how he or she feels.
The idea to use good eye contact and ask my child to expand on a part of his day that she was vague on in order to see if there was something deeper that may be troubling her.
And to repeat myself with not only the directions that I want her to follow, but the good things as well! I know that words matter (link to my last post), but sometimes we, as parents, have to make sure that these words are actually heard.
Erin Bishop, the founder of Whatever Girls is affectionately called Noah because of her faith, but I would like to add that it is also because she listens. She listens to wisdom when she is making decisions for this ministry and she listens when God reminds her that “God’s Word does not return void-especially the Words He has spoken over me, and that He makes a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”
Let us grab on to the words spoken over us and know them deep in our souls.
I would encourage all of us to not let our peripheral surroundings distract us from listening to what God is telling us –that we are worthy and He has a purpose for our lives.
And may we share that truth with our daughters in beautiful ways that they may hear and understand and then live to serve Him for His glory.
For to hear that the King is calling His princesses to greatness will make our daughters desire to serve Him with all they do.
What are some creative ways that you use to make sure that your daughter hears what you are saying?
At the Whatever Girls, our purpose is to lead princesses to the King of Kings. We would love for you to check out our current project, the Royal Ransom. We would greatly appreciate your prayers, and if you feel led, your financial support. Click the image below for more information.
By Kim Chaffin
Can you hear me now? How about now? Those words are spoken from time to time by anyone who has ever used a cell phone. Even with more and more cell towers going up and the latest coverage offered, there are still many dead zones.
At our family lake cabin, there is a clear difference between which carrier has the better coverage. I have watched many people holding their phones with an outstretched arm on our patio looking for a bar of coverage to make a call or send a text. It’s entertaining to watch.
When I have not been able to get service, I have been bothered about it. How about you? In reality, is having no phone coverage for a little bit really a bad thing? We are so worried about checking our text messages, our Instagram, Facebook, and emails that the idea of being stuck in a dead zone seems to be cause for alarm.
In our desire to be connected to the world with our phones, we have become slaves to technology. Just before I started writing this, I was working on my Bible study and I got a text. I was going to reach for my phone to tell my husband, yes, I can talk now, and then it hit me… I was in my quiet time with God. There was not an emergency and my husband would understand if I finished my study before I called him. I almost chose to set God aside to answer a text.
That knee-jerk reaction to grab my phone and forget about my time with God was a reality check. How many times a day do I reach for my phone to check social media? Am I more concerned about how many bars I have, who is posting what, and what is trending than I am with God? What about you? Are you more concerned with those things than your relationship with God?
Finding the best coverage when it comes to our cell phone seems to be an important thing. However, shouldn’t we be more concerned about finding the best coverage for ourselves? It should be much more alarming to be in a dead zone that applies to our salvation rather than our phone, and sadly for many, that is not the case. At the end of our lives, the number of bars we had, the number of texts, tweets, and posts will mean nothing. What will matter is, are you covered in the saving blood of Jesus?
God offers the best coverage for us in the long run and His coverage is free to all who seek Him. There is unlimited coverage and you will never experience a dropped prayer like you do a dropped call. With Jesus, we all become sons and daughters of God, which means as far as plans go, there is no other family plan like His. Okay, maybe that is a bit cheesy, but it’s true… Jesus is the only way to avoid the dead zone. In John 14:6-7, Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well.” (NIV)
I challenge you to put your phone down for a while each day and spend time with the Lord. Dig into your Bible, take time to pray, go to church, and fellowship with other believers. Get to really know Jesus so that you will know the Father as well. Being covered in the saving blood of Jesus Christ is the best coverage there is. It is the only way to avoid a dead zone. Put God first! I am not saying to avoid your phone and social media, just that God should be our first priority. And, by all means, share that coverage with others. Don’t let those you know and love be lost in a dead zone when they could have eternal life.
By Ginger Ciminello
“Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord, for this is the right thing to do. ‘Honor your father and mother.’ This is the first commandment with a promise: If you honor your father and mother, ‘things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on the earth.’ Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.” Ephesians 6:1-4, NLT
In my decade of youth ministry experience, I have seen every parenting style you can imagine. Regardless of how a family chooses to feed, educate, celebrate, socialize, or entertain their children, the factor with the greatest character influence was definitely godly discipline.
Proverbs 13:24 reminds us that “A refusal to correct is a refusal to love; love your children by disciplining them.”
Although my own daughter is still in diapers and the teen years feel far away, I am beginning to recognize how quickly that time will pass. As such, I’ve begun to jot down all of the lessons I learned while working with teens in regard to godly discipline.
This isn’t an all-inclusive list, but I believe we can empower daughters to obey when we serve them in a few key areas. Servant leadership is key!
- Set clear boundaries. Children need to know what is expected of them and know you mean it. This doesn’t mean your kids and teens won’t test boundaries, of course they will. But this is an area you don’t want to choose to implement when they turn sixteen. Start now and remain consistent.
- Recognize that each child is different and that you just might have to set boundaries to fit different needs. Your home doesn’t need to be judged by your children as fair in order for you to be a good parent.
- Be quick to apologize and ask for forgiveness when you are in the wrong. Even if your desire was to discipline, if you acted out of anger or spoke harshly, take the time to ask for forgiveness. Your kids will respect you far more when they know you respect them. Your mission is to live (first!) and teach (second) a life that is glorifying to God.
- Praise obedience! It takes seven compliments to undo the effects of one criticism. Peter was called “The Rock on which I will build my church” by Jesus when there was nothing remarkable in him for anyone else to see. Jesus spoke life into Peter’s God-given potential. You have that same power in your words! Use them wisely.
- Speak well of your daughter. I can’t tell you the hurt I see in the eyes of a teen when I watch a mom or dad belittle their child in front of others. I remember one mom in particular who was desperate to curb some of her daughter’s behavior. She walked up to me with her daughter in tow and lamented the situation in public view and with a very loud voice. Your daughter longs to hear you encourage and speak well of her.
- Don’t avoid the tough conversations. If your daughter is not getting wisdom from you, she WILL seek it from somewhere else.
- Pick your battles. My parents battled my brother over the length of his hair for years. My mom eventually decided it was better to have a pleasant house than military precision in that department.
- Pray for them and with them! Let your children hear you praying for them, not just that they “would be more obedient” – but that they would “know their purpose, have courage, find expression for their gifts” – use prayer as a time to praise the Father for them!
- Be the parent. It’s a place of authority given to you by God. Feel the weight of it and then lead from there. Your child has plenty of friends. They only get one mom
My daughter is only 19 months old, but I know the foundation we are building with her NOW will be critical in the years to come. When our children choose disobedience, me must use that opening as a doorway to speak the Gospel into their lives through consistent discipline and affirming love.
Talk to your daughters. Love your daughters.
“Take them by the hand and lead them in the way of the Master.” Ephesians 1:4, The Message
Following and learning,
By Justin Farrell
Eye roll, hair flip, “whatever”. If these three things are occurring in your home more frequently than rinse, lather, repeat, chances are you are living with a teenage girl. While our teen girls may challenge us in ways we thought only happened in movies or to other parents, how can we as parents, counselors, coaches, and mentors help them navigate the ups and downs of these years to become the upstanding women we always knew they could be? The key to answering this question is knowing what’s behind the eye roll and identifying the area where teen girls tend to struggle the most: their self-esteem.
Casey Claypool, a mental health therapist and child mental health specialist from Vancouver, Washington, suggests one cause to the low self-esteem epidemic is due to the way the media portrays women. She explains, “within the majority of teen culture, there has not been much of an emphasis on inner-beauty and service to the community; rather, the culture highly emphasizes the importance of outer appearance, sexuality, competition, and conformity. You can see evidence of this on the cover of gossip magazines, the character quality in reality television, and the lyrical content in top-40 radio. Clearly this is not the only factor in the struggle for teen self-worth. This really is a systemic problem. With the advent of Facebook and Smartphones, girls are now encouraged to post pictures, comment, and gossip about each other. It is common and seemingly culturally acceptable to objectify themselves and each other through these modes. If we are to evolve beyond this societal struggle, we must encourage and teach our young girls to develop their inner-self and to build a foundation that can weather the storm of hormonal upheavals, first break-ups, and speech class. It is not new news that the images they are subjected to are unrealistic and unobtainable. However, these messages still find their way into the subconscious minds of impressionable youth. These messages are some of the primary factors that undermine a girl’s sense of self and worth to society”.
With so much talk about the challenges of having low self-esteem, what can be done to help our girls feel better about themselves? Claypool notes that, “We need a better awareness of how media effects us. We can help girls by teaching them to tune in to how certain media effects how they feel about themselves and the world around them. Our kids are being programmed to mimic what they are seeing on TV, such as the Kardashians.”
Our girls have an uphill battle to face due to the power of the media. However, this power can be swayed back in a positive direction with the right guidance, love, and support from those who care the most about girls: the adults in their lives. Even if our support is met with eye rolls and hair flips, deep down inside there is an emerging, confident young woman who will be forever grateful for how she was supported during her teen years. And if fate has its way, which it usually does, our daughters will all be blessed with daughters of their own some day.
Quiz: How is Media Impacting Your Self-Esteem?
1) Do you ever feel bad about yourself for not owning something?
2) Have you ever felt that people might like you more if you owned a certain item?
3) Has an ad made you feel that you would like yourself more, or that others would like you more if you owned the product the ad is selling?
4) Do you worry about your looks? Have you ever felt that people would like you more if your face, body, skin or hair looked different?
5) Has an ad ever made you feel that you would like yourself more, or others would like you more, if you changed your appearance with the product the ad was selling?
Adapted from the Media Awareness Network as found in Dr. Anita Gurian’s article, “How to Raise Girls with Healthy Self-esteem.”
We would love to have you join us for the Whatever Girls “What If Prayer Challenge”; it’s never too late! For more information about our challenge, go here: http://thewhatevergirls.com/whatever-girls-what-if-prayer
Justin Farrell is a married father of two living in Vancouver. He is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker and a Child Mental Health Specialist. He is the author of the book, God and Grandpa: Lessons Learned on the Road Trip of a Lifetime. It is available online at Amazon.com. He also writes a blog that can be found at: www.courageousvancouverdad.com