Trust you are ready for a brand new week. Here is the third installment in Donna Jones powerful article. I trust this is helpful:
- Everything is a battle.
At its core, all conflict is a power struggle. Every parent will have conflict with his or her child. Power struggles are to be expected. However, if your child makes everything a battle, your child has an attitude issue you must address.
Sometimes well-meaning parents accidentally reinforce a child’s bad attitude. In my book, Taming Your Family Zoo, I discuss nine common ways good parents accidentally contribute to bad attitudes. Here are a few of the most common: Arguing with their child (thus avoiding the real issue), giving in to their child (kids quickly learn just how much it takes to wear us down), ignoring their child (negative behavior can be a cry for positive attention), or failing to make expectations clear and realistic.
Instead, be concise and concrete in your instructions. Establish clear boundaries with clear consequences. Be quick to reinforce positive behavior and prompt in dealing with negative behavior. Does all this take effort? You bet. But consistency trumps complacency every time. The sooner you become consistent, the sooner you’ll see a change in behavior, and just as important—a change in attitude.
- Your child has an “I don’t care” attitude toward life.
This one is a biggie. Mainly because an “I don’t care” attitude means your child has likely experienced some hardship, heartache, or upheaval that’s robbed him of hope. If you’re the parent of a child or teen with an “I don’t care” attitude, you must get to the root. Is it possible your child has had too much criticism and too little encouragement? Could it be your child has had too much failure and not enough success? Or is another culprit the cause? A demotivated friend group, perhaps?
Kids with an “I don’t care” attitude often flounder and suffer from low self-esteem, which is why it’s vital to help your child see the possibilities beyond himself. Is there a new hobby he could explore? A new sport to try? A musical instrument he’d love to play?
A kid with an “I don’t care” attitude won’t likely be self-motivated. He’ll probably need your parental kick-start to get him going. That’s okay. We all need a push in the right direction every now and then.
- Your child blames others.
“But it isn’t my fault!” What parent hasn’t heard these words? True, sometimes it isn’t. But if your child never takes responsibility for his actions, he has an attitude issue. What can you do to help your child turn this type of bad attitude around? First, make sure you aren’t inadvertently reinforcing it.
While at the gym recently, I overheard two teachers discussing a student with attitude issues. “I’ve tried to talk to the parents about their son, but they just won’t listen. They think the problem is his teachers, coaches and peers—anyone but him. I kind of feel sorry for the kid. If his attitude keeps up, he won’t stand a chance in life.” Though none of us want to believe our child would say or do something wrong, the fact is, they do. Remember: Attitude improvements can’t happen without attitude ownership.
I am glad you are joining me on this parenting/grand-parenting journey.
Rejoice! Pray! Give thanks!
Bill Welte D.D.
President/CEO of America’s Keswick
Written by Dr. Bill Welte, President/CEO of America’s Keswick: Bill has been married to his child sweetheart for 40+ years, and has three married kids, one that is engaged, and 11 amazing grand kids. He loves music and is an avid reader.
Think About This: Every day you need it. You and I simply can’t live without it. What is it? The indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. – Dr. Paul David Tripp
This Week’s Verse to Memorize:
“Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” James 5:16-7