Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Disrespectful Children

The subject of children being disrespectful to their mothers has come up on more than one social network I participate in. So, I thought I'd share my own thoughts.

This problem most often manifests itself in boys between the ages of 9 and 12 and may extend on indefinitely if something isn't done to put it to an immediate
halt. You can chalk it up to entering adolescence if you like, but hormone surges are no excuse at all for being disrespectful to one's mother.

All three of our sons went through a time when they were disrespectful in their manner toward me. (I suppose daughters can be this way, too, but I don't recall Lydia having this problem much.) What really helped was Dad getting involved.

I chose a time when Hubby and I were alone together and discussed with him the conduct of whichever child was acting out. First of all, I asked him if he thought it was appropriate for the child to treat me in such a manner. He agreed, of course, that it was not. Next, I asked if he would partner with me to bring said child to repentance.

We then got the child alone, and Dad firmly let him know this type of behavior would no longer be tolerated. Zero (-0-) tolerance. In the future, if Mom corrected his behavior and he refused to repent, she would be reporting him to Dad who would mete out judgment later in the day. (Of course, I didn't greet Dad at the door with this. I usually waited until after dinner when the time was right.)

After this meeting, when they started mouthing off to me, I would stop the car or stop whatever was going on and give them my full attention. Then, I would tell them in a quiet and controlled manner that they were disobeying God by not honoring me as their mother. There was an acceptable and an unacceptable way of speaking to me. If they didn't repent immediately, I would have to report their conduct to Dad. If they repented, fine. However, repentance included
  • a right attitude
  • a right tone of voice
  • and even a right facial expression
If I didn't get all three, they were in for some healthy, biblical chastisement. I didn't say another word, not even when they begged me not to tell Dad and promised to do better.

Once Les spanked our sons for their unrepentant disrespect for me, their whole attitude changed toward me. I believe that is the main reason the boys and I now enjoy the fruits of healthy mother-son relationships.
It is important, also, for them to understand that they have not only sinned against their mother, but against God who commanded them to honor their mother. Therefore, the boys were taught to call upon the Lord regarding their sin of disrespecting their mother. Leading the children to memorize Scripture regarding this command are also helpful in leading them to recognize their guilt before God.[1]

If you are having problems with your children disrespecting you, I encourage you to take the motherly dominion God has given you to train your children in the fear of God and begin today to lay the foundation of future peace and sweet fellowship.

[1] Scripture regarding honoring one's parents:

Exod. 20:12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

Exod. 21:15 And he that smiteth his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death. (One may "smite" with their words.)

Exod. 21:17 And he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death.

Lev. 19:3a Ye shall fear every man his mother, and his father. . .

Deut. 5:16 Honour thy father and thy mother, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

Deut. 27:16 Cursed be he that setteth light by his father or his mother. And all the people shall say, Amen.

Prov. 19:26 He that wasteth his father, and chaseth away his mother, is a son that causeth shame, and bringeth reproach.

Prov. 30:11 There is a generation that curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother.

Prov. 30:17 The eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it.

Matt. 15:4 For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death.

Eph. 6:2 Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise;