Do you ever feel like you have hit a wall when it comes to getting your children to listen to your instructions? I remember the frustration I felt when I had to repeat myself over and over, when it seemed like one of my children was not listening, or when they would resist instruction. I think it is a common problem in most families. So what is a parent to do?
Thoughts for Mom:
- Are you getting the full attention of your child? I remember getting to the point where I would say the child’s name and then I’d say, “Look at my face.” Then I’d give an instruction and have them repeat the instruction. That way I knew they had really heard me.
- Do you give them enough warning and transition time from what they are focusing on, to focus on what you want to say to them? It’s easy to have an agenda in our minds and forget that they are people who are surrounded by distractions and things that are weighing heavy on their minds.
- If you are being careful to get their attention and give them transition time to focus on you, and they still fail to listen or they resist your instructions, there may be a heart attitude that needs to be addressed. Pride doesn’t like to be told what to do, even in the smallest of ways. Pride doesn’t like to obey. Pride resists instruction. Now is the time to begin teaching them what the scriptures say about our prideful, sinful hearts and the only thing that can rescue us from it’s control!
- If you notice a pattern of resisting instruction in your child’s life, pray for an opportunity to sit down and discuss your concerns with them and be ready to share what God says about his behavior. Explain that you understand and that sometimes you even struggle with accepting instruction. Ask him or her if they has any ideas of how you can work on this together!
How to Pray Through This:
Verse: “Hear instruction and be wise, and do not neglect it.” Proverbs 8:33
Prayer: Father, please work in the heart of my children that they might learn to hear and follow the instructions they are given. Grow them into wise people who desire to honor You and listen to what Your Word says.
Verse: “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 7:12
Prayer: Father, I pray that I will be sensitive to, considerate of, polite to, and respectful of my children so that when I do give any kind of instruction it will not be used to cause them frustration. I pray that I would treat them in the same way that I want to be treated.
Verse: “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” Proverbes 11:12
Prayer: Father, please help me see the opportunities You provide for me to teach my children about the root of resisting instruction – pride! Give me wisdom to know how to instruct them so they can understand on their level, and please open their eyes and heart to the need they have for You.
Verse: “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:105
Prayer: Father, I pray that You would enable me to come alongside my children and communicate with them that I am on their side and that we are walking this battle with sin and pride together. Help them to see me as one who is fighting faithfully in my own battle so that they might be encouraged and learn how to fight in theirs. Show me how to help them learn how to fight!