• Promise Collective

Why won’t my child listen to me!

“Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.” - James Baldwin.

Why won’t my child just listen to me and change into the perfect being that I keep asking them to be?  Do you feel like a broken record as well? “Don’t hit your brother, Don’t yell, don’t speak so rudely to me, don’t back chat!” Do any of these sound familiar? My sons are my pride and joy, they’re my mini mentees. I am more invested in them than pretty much anything else in this universe. I want them to grow in their knowledge and application of the amazing examples given to us in the bible. I want them to be just like me ..... that’s probably where things get a little more unhinged. 

I know my perspective of who I am, I know I’m a dedicated professional, slow to anger, patient and always approachable. I know that I am a devoted and loving husband who is supportive and kind. The problem is who or what I model for my children in discipline when I’m at my most frustrated point. Those moments where I’ve just finished being the perfect man for every other sphere of my life and then come home to a testing child. Am I alone on this one? That Man that they see isn’t always the one that I’m so proud of portraying and working so hard to become with God’s grace. In that moment I am weak, tired, quick to anger, inpatient and unapproachable. I’m the complete opposite of who I pride myself to be.

If that’s how I act when I’m at my worst in front of my children then of course this is going to be the same being that my children model when they’re at their worst.    Keep in mind that they have a whole lot less experience and patience before reaching this point. I have a quote that I love to use to help put things into perspective for situations like this and that is, ‘What I do in moderation they will do in excess’. It’s the rule to every leadership position. If I’m showing my kids how to dabble as close as possible to the line with their behaviour I can expect that they’re going to start walking over it when it becomes their turn.

I’m not a complete bozo, I know that we all have off days so don’t go beating yourself up for being human. What I am saying is out of all the times that you’ve had to discipline your child or have that end of the afternoon conversation, what percentage of those moments have you acted as a positive role model for your child? If you genuinely take the time to look at it you might just find that, like me, you’re not exactly happy with the stats. 

If that’s you, set a goal. 

The bible doesn’t say to cut and stop all bad things in a blink of an eye. It simple says start putting them into practise. James 1:19-25. We all fall over and stuff up during the learning process but don’t stop practising making the right decisions in these moments and it won’t be long before you look back and see just how far you’ve come with God’s grace. 

Jesse Manners



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