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6 Signs Your “Good” Child is Actually Rebellious

6 Signs Your "Good" Child is Actually Rebellious - Parenting Like Hannah

 

In Do You Need to Worry About Your “Good” Child, I shared the concept of children who are sneaky in their disobedience. Because they are rarely caught and corrected, they can spiral into habits and attitudes that are very dangerous for them and those around them.

So how do you know if your “good” child is actually much more disobedient and rebellious than you realize? It’s tough, that’s why that type of child often gets by with it well into adulthood. There are some warning signs though, that alert you to dig a little deeper into your child’s character, behavior and ultimately heart.

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Do You Need to Worry About Your “Good” Child?

Do You Need to Worry About Your "Good" Child? - Parenting Like HannahWe tend to think there are basically two kinds of kids – “good” kids and kids who can’t seem to obey or control their behavior. While we all know that is a little too simplistic, what concerns me is that there is a type of child who is in a lot of danger, but often goes unnoticed until it is too late.

When we took parenting classes before our daughter was born, the class warned us about “sneaky” disobedience. They said the child who regularly practices it is in danger. Looking back on my decades of work with children and teens, I have come to the conclusion the parenting class authors were correct.

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6 Top Tips for Handling “Sassy” Kids

6 Top Tips for Handling "Sassy" Kids - Parenting Like HannahWith the amount of constant conflict in our society, it’s no surprise our children believe they can say whatever comes into their heads to anyone at any time. “Good” kids probably won’t say things that will have them labeled as bullies, but often the things they say (which in their minds are smart and funny) are actually very rude and disrespectful.

The problem is there is no real societal standard the way there was several decades ago. Chances are if your child says something “sassy” or disrespectful, it is just as likely to be given positive labels as negative ones. Yet, as Christians, we are held to God’s standard – not society’s. We know God wants our children to speak in ways that are loving, kind and respectful. How can we train them to speak the way God wants them to speak to others?

It’s definitely easier to train or disciple your child in any godly behavior when you can count on other adults to reinforce what you are teaching them. Even if you don’t have that support system though, there are things you can do at home to move your child towards more godly speech.

Here are my six favorite tips:

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Fun Activity to Teach Your Kids About Peer Pressure and God

Fun Activity to Teach Your Kids About Peer Pressure and God - Parenting Like HannahWant a fun family devotional that will also give your kids some tools to stand up to negative peer pressure? Grab some large sheets of white paper, some paper lunch bags and markers. Gather your family and tell the story of Joseph and his brothers found in Genesis 37:12-36 or the story of Samson found in Judges. Discuss the times in the story when someone wanted to do something, but was pressured into making a different decision by someone else.

Ask your children if they know the term for when you are pressured by others to say or do something you don’t want to do. See if they can give you examples of positive and negative peer pressure. The story of Joseph, for example, would have ended in his death instead of being sold into slavery if Reuben had not pressured them into changing their minds.

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Teens, Alcohol and God

Teens, Alcohol and God - Parenting Like HannahFor some teens, the most exciting things they learn in the Bible are that Jesus turned water into wine and the Bible calls drunkenness a sin – not drinking. What your teen may not realize is that just because something is permitted, doesn’t mean it is wise to do it. (I Corinthians 10:23 and 6:12) In fact, many Christians have decided to avoid all alcohol for a variety of vary valid reasons.

The problem is parents rarely share those reasons with their kids. In fact, some parents are still experiencing “Iwannabepopular” syndrome and may have not resolved their own issues with alcohol. It’s difficult to help someone navigate an issue with which you are still struggling.

For topics like alcohol, most teens need real, honest discussion beyond the “It’s a sin. You could go to Hell. End of discussion.” lecture common when I was younger (FYI – not from my parents.). It’s not that drunkenness isn’t a sin. Or that your kids shouldn’t make obeying God their top priority. It’s just that they are still spiritually immature and may need additional information and/or motivation before making a wise spiritual choice.

So what bits of information does your child need to know about drinking, drunkenness and God? There are a lot of things you can share, but here are a few that seem to resonate with teens.

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Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. (Deuteronomy 11:18-19 NIV)