Nothing bothers me more as a parent than to hear an adult encourage kids to “be sassy”. As if this is a trait to be admired! Many adults find disrespectful talk hysterically funny – especially from the mouths of young children. Of course, laughter just encourages the “sassy” child to continue speaking disrespectfully in hopes of getting more “positive” attention.
Unfortunately, “sassy” speech can quickly become a bad habit. Your sweet child will sound increasingly mean and disrespectful as he or she grows older. By then, it will be much more difficult to correct the speech patterns and attitudes that have developed. Even sarcasm, often considered the humor of the intelligent, is thinly veiled contempt – another form of “sassy” speech. 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:
Continue reading Top Tips for Curing a “Sassy Mouth”
If you have more than one child, you have probably experienced your share of sibling disagreements. They may seem minor enough now, but the sibling relationship can become so battered, it eventually dissolves. Siblings are going to disagree. How you help them handle their conflicts is critical.
Perhaps even more important is teaching them how to apologize to each other properly for offenses. Apologies are meant to begin repairing relationships, but most apologies do more harm to the relationship than good. If you’ve ever had someone do something hateful towards you and then apologize with, “I’m sorry if I did anything to hurt your feelings,” you understand the problem.
Continue reading Sibling Wars and Apologies
Want a formula for childhood misbehavior? Let’s plan a month when they don’t get nearly enough sleep, feed them tons of sugar, drag them all over the place, make them sit for hours in the homes of relatives they barely know…and leave their presents at home they have been asking for since…forever.
As parents, the last thing we want is our kids misbehaving or throwing a tantrum in front of extended family or in laws. The rest of our holiday will probably be spent listening to criticism and “helpful” advice.
There are actually some things you can do to lessen the chances your kids will go into full meltdown mode at your Aunt Bess’ house.
Continue reading Stopping Holiday Tantrums Before They Start
Helicopter parents. Tiger moms. Laissez faire parents. Free range parents. It seems like every time you look up, there is some new type of parenting. Most of these end up doing more harm than good for the long term development of kids.
Christian parenting is even more challenging. You are trying to help your kids develop not just appropriate behaviors, but to also have godly hearts. Who knows if the parenting flavor of the month can have any positive impact on spiritual parenting?
Continue reading Are You a Spiritually Engaged Christian Parent?
We all like to think our children won’t bully anyone or even be ugly to others. Yet, it’s often the parents of the bully who are the most surprised when they learn of their child’s behavior.
Studies out of the University of Copenhagen and the University of Koblenz Landau studied how beliefs and attitudes were attached to negative behaviors. They found that when people had certain beliefs or attitudes, they regularly engaged in behavior that was harmful to others – including violence, lying, stealing and discrimination.
Not surprisingly, all of the attitudes and beliefs that led to these ungodly behaviors are also ungodly. Of course, the study was secular and didn’t make the connection, but it is definitely there.
So what attitudes and beliefs are red flags that your child may be developing into a person who hurts others on a regular basis – often with little, if any, remorse? (Note: These have been adapted for a Christian worldview.)
Continue reading 12 Warning Signs Your Kids Will Hurt Others