“This is, like, so unfair!”

How many times have you experienced this:

You fall into sin. Bad stuff happens as a result of your sin. You get angry, upset, depressed. You get mad at God – “God, why is this happening to me? I don’t deserve this!” You get angry at other people – “Why can’t you all just be more forgiving!” Maybe you try and sanctify it a little – “It isn’t God, it’s the devil. He’s so awful. He just makes life so tough!” Or it’s other people – “Everyone is out to get me. At least I have God.”

Then again, maybe you don’t know how many times you’ve experienced this because you don’t see the connection. So, let’s try this instead. How many times have you experienced this:

Your child – or a younger sibling, nephew or niece, or a child you care for – does something foolish and wrong. You enforce a consequence, or allow the child to experience the natural consequences. They get mad at you – “This is, like, so unfair!” They get mad at others – “Just leave me alone! You’re all so annoying!” Maybe they try and sanctify it – “The toy is naughty! The devil made me do it!” Or they blame – “It’s just that my brother was being so mean!”

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Call Your Child’s Bluff

Since I get his stuff in an email newsletter format, I don’t really have a good way to link or reblog what he posts. But Kirk Martin has some really great parenting advice and I always appreciate his emails. I decided to share today’s email, because I thought it was especially good, not to mention the fact that I think he was specifically targeting me with this advice. So, what follows is Kirk’s hard-earned parenting wisdom for when a child decides he’s just not going to do his part:

(You can find more of Kirk’s stuff and information about his materials at www.celebratecalm.com)

Call Your Child’s Bluff

Calm is not a doormat. We don’t let kids “get away” with anything. Quite to the contrary. When you are in control of yourself, you can see clearly and discipline effectively. When you are yelling and upset, your kids are actually in control of you. And that never works well. Here’s a tough discipline tool.

When kids declare, “I don’t have to do my chores,” our typical response is to rationally point out how much we do for our kids, how we need to work together as a family, how important it is to learn the value of a good work ethic for future success. Blah blah blah. Your kids don’t care. So here’s what I did with Casey when he was younger.

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Children on the Roof

Yesterday evening our boys came down from playing up in their bedroom with some startling revelations about what they had been doing.

“P didn’t get any outside time today,” stated A, “so I let him go out on the roof.”

It was one of those parenting moments that left me and my wife staring at each other utterly speechless. You know the kind. But I wanted to be absolutely sure I understood them right, so I asked them to demonstrate for me.

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