Monday, December 6, 2010

Its a hard job!

Sigh, double sigh. Since this summer, I've been battling with Jacob. He likes to argue with me. He contradicts almost everything I say. Even something as simple as "Jacob, go put your coat on." And he will stomp off or shout "NO!". He tells me he doesn't have to listen to me, he tells me I'm not the boss. He does recognize that Scott is the boss around the house. But the problem is that Scott isn't here 24/7.

I think some things are inherited, genetic. But how does he pick up the WELS belief from little on that fathers should be the head of the household and mothers are secondary?

I am not enjoying being his mother. I didn't expect us to have these battle of wills so early. I really feel disconnected with him. I don't feel like he's my buddy right now. And I'm guessing that he isn't going to be voting me for mother of the year. He has said a couple of times after these fights that no one loves him or no one likes him. I have explained to him that it is because I love him so much that I expect him to follow our rules. I gave him the example of God giving Moses the Ten Commandments to give to the Israelites.

He has also been giving Scott some attitude too. So, I feel better that its not just me, but I do wish he just realize he's got to be respectful and follow our rules.

I've done the Magic 1,2,3 thing, I've sent him to his room repeatedly, I have washed his mouth out with soap, I've taken away privileges, and now I told him that I would be taking away Christmas presents.

The other downside of this attitude is how he acts towards his siblings. He yells at them, is not patient with them and very bossy.

I know God will give me guidance through this, but I am really losing my patience.


Anonymous said...

I just read a very interesting book from NPH called Teaching Law and Gospel by William Fisher.

It is for teachers (and the questions at the end of the section are really challenging) but some sections are very applicable to parenting. I've been looking for a... book that showed how to use law and gospel while disciplining rather than the super-nanny approach or some other secular positive reward system that focuses on good choices or good moral values. Wesley will let me have good practice with this ;) The point is that you tell your child that he has sinned against God (period) and assure them that Jesus has paid for their sin. The Gospel message strengthens their faith and motivates them to live for Christ. It is the Holy Spirit's power that they will be given the strength to repent and live godly lives. Telling them to be good and do good will not do this because they are not hearing law to admonish their old man and the Gospel to encourage their new man. It gives examples of what not to say... like "if your sorry, God will forgive you". It's a very thought provoking book. Since parents are their children's first teachers it is very applicable for parents. Proverbs 22:6 Train[a] a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.


notfinishedyet said...

Hi Jean,

I'm sorry you're having such a rough time with your boy. I have a daughter about the same age, and while she isn't usually openly defiant, she is quietly defiant. I will tell her not to do something, and she'll stop, but then she'll find a new way to do it wrong, and I'll have to tell her to stop doing that, too.

Tammy's suggestion is very good. It probably won't solve the problem short-term, but in the long-term it helps kids see their wrong actions as sin that needs to be forgiven. I think that's very, very important.

Another book that I've found helpful is called "Taming the Spirited Child" by Michael Popkin. I've found a lot of good tips in there for heading off battles before they start. It also gives good suggestions for staying emotionally connected with your child during this difficult time.

With the thought of emotional connectedness in mind, I would recommend being sure to spend a little time with your boy at the end of the day at bedtime, perhaps after he's tucked in for the night. Sit next to him on the bed, ask him questions, and really listen to what he has to say. Give his emotions respect, even if you don't agree with them. It sounds like your boy has a lot of angry feelings, and at seven years old, kids still don't really know how to manage their feelings. And finally, make sure that he knows that even though you don't love everything he does and/or says, you will always love him, and nothing he says/does will ever change that. Your love for him will sometimes prompt you to give him consequences that are unpleasant for a while, but in the end they are always prompted by love.

God bless your efforts to raise up a strong man for him!

~ Emily