Why Is Confrontation Good for Our Kids?
Why do we ignore or try to wish away behavior problems with our kids?
It’s not laziness. It’s fear of confrontation.
Food battles. Nighttime struggles. Whining problems.
Where do they all begin? With confrontation.
Moms get tired of confrontation. It’s hard. It feels impossible sometimes. We don’t feel like we have the strength to take the 2 extra steps now in order to make it go away.
Mothering is all about confrontation. Picking your battles in motherhood is sometimes optional, but more often than not it isn’t. I don’t want to pick any battle, do you? Our nature is to maintain peace at all costs.
The problem is that peace comes at a cost. Every. Single. Time.
What does confrontation really look like?
1. A face-to-face meeting
Anyone who has looked a 16 year old in the face when they’ve missed their curfew can tell you, that’s an intense meeting. Eye to eye, waiting to see who will be the first to speak. It’s a very powerful moment that parents experience. It’s not comfortable or sweet. But the reaction has to be swift and sure.
2. The clashing of forces or ideas
How about that 3 year old who thinks that his or her idea of what meal times should be like is better than yours? You bet there will be clashes — and thrashes — and forces of all nature.
3 year olds are just bigger, louder 2 year olds with more vocabulary. Gotta love 'em.
Worse yet, the expectations we place on them are bigger and more complex. This is the year of the 3-year -old particulars. They like particular everything: socks, food, blankets, colors of things — EVERYTHING! Why? Because they’ve discovered that they can. They are trying to execute some power in a world where they feel powerless. That’s fine, until it comes to things that are important for their development as little beautiful creations of God, “made in His likeness and image.” (Genesis 1:26)
Blanket, yes; TV-watching, no.
You know it’s possible for your kids to stay in their beds, in their rooms and sleep all night because you’ve seen it before. What? They didn’t get the memo? Ugh. That means that you are the lucky one who gets to inform them.
Talk to any mother about what they wish they would have done differently in the area of behavior and they will all say the same thing,
“I wish I would’ve known where this was leading. …
By ignoring awful behavior, we say, "That's ok. I'm totally cool with that. Do that more, please!"
Where can we find the strength to confront those issues with kids in a loving way? Is that possible?
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