Ephesians 6:4... Easily provoked teens

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Benjamin, Nov 15, 2006.

  1. Benjamin

    Benjamin
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    (Eph 6:4) And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

    I am often reminded of this verse lately as my teen and preteen seem to be getting a bit sensitive at times and I find myself looking for other and new ways to communicate to them.

    In the past I might give them instructions in my fatherly backwoods hillbilly imitation style, they used to think it was funny, but now it just seems to annoy and irritate them, shoot, I was getting pretty good at it too!

    When my daughter was little I encouraged her to dress up like a cowgirl, she loved my direction and going shopping for clothes and was so cute in her little white cowgirl boots with the tassels and all, but now gets really annoyed with what I though were good natured jokes about the floods coming in about these pants that she wears that are 6 inches too short. Oh, then there is the wide belts that she been wearing that look like what is given to the champion wrestlers on TV, but dare that I would make a joke about the challenging opponents coming up in the match.

    My son is far from being thin skinned as I have never babied him, but now is telling me that his friends don’t understand my jokes, he knows I’m attempting to be humorous in my delivery, but says his friends don’t know whether to cry or laugh when I address them; I mean they may need some instruction but apparently I’m too course in my delivery and am embarrassing him.

    Yet, just a couple months ago my son was pretty proud because I confronted a knife yielding, turned out to be an expelled senior and his older friend, that I noticed were threatening a student at the bus stop and the story raised quite a stir throughout the school about his Dad running them off, but that didn’t last long! Geez, what do you want!

    Seems I’m provoking to wrath quite a bit lately, well, didn’t have a Dad around when I was growing up, so I have to learn as I go. The times they are a changing, these kids are growing up fast and I’m seeing that I need to make a lot of adjustments, and rather quickly as I work to bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord… without provoking them.

    My wife says I wiil turn them away if too strict, but of course you got a lot to teach them. I do it in love but apparently need to find better methods.

    Well for one I guess I’m joking around too much??? Got to be serious??? All the time??? This new phase is causing me to have to double think every word that is about to come out of my mouth as I look for new ways to communicate to teens.

    Anybody else struggle with this? Suggestions?


     
  2. Amy.G

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    Well, the bad new is that teenagers are provoked by EVERYTHING!
    Mom: "good morning son"
    Son: "stop telling me what to do"!
    :BangHead:
    The good news is they eventually grow out of it. Of course mine is 21 and I'm still waiting! :tonofbricks:

    Just pray, pray, pray for patience. You'll be fine.
     
  3. Karen

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    Benjamin,
    Welcome to the wonderful world of teenagers!

    You might indeed have to change a few methods that grate on them. And sounds like you are being sensitive to that.

    But in just a few years you will be amazed at what a great guy you have become again!
     
  4. Phillipians121

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    Glad to hear we are not the only ones having the same problem. We have one that is 20 and he was much easier, never talked back, did what ever you would ask of him. he was a bit passive aggressive, holding things in I'm sure. But our 15 year old is much different. It wasn't long ago he was talking up a storm and always telling what he did wrong or what he thought. Not any more. I always great him with a huge smile, letting him know i am so glad to see him and I get the leave me alone bit too. :-(

    He doesn't watch shows with me anymore. And everything irritates him. He isn't a bad kid at all so we give him his space and are there when he needs us. I can still make him laugh even when he doesn't want to, he just can't help it...he smirks.

    We leave for Italy for 9 days tomorrow to see the older one, He loves his older brother so I hope this will be a time of bonding for all of us. :love2:

    This too shall pass...this teenage moodiness I hope.
     
  5. Not_hard_to_find

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    Trust me -- those of us with children over thirteen have dealt with this! As have my children, now in their 40s. And so will their children, one who already has adorable toddlers who will become 13.

    Your scripture is good. Include with it Proverbs 22:6: Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

    And how do you do that? As a stand-alone, I prefer John 15:12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.

    We know you love them -- they know it, too! And will forever.


     
  6. Brother Bob

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    Mostly remember "he that is without chastisement"! Children love you because you are their strength. When things go wrong that love really shows up. Keep on, keeping on.
     
  7. menageriekeeper

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    Parents are sooooo annoying! :D

    To bad, teenagers will have to get over it!

    Of course right now I have the perfect teenager. It's the next two coming up that I worry about!

    I have found that getting to know my teenagers friends and letting them know how/what I believe and how I expect them to behave in the company of my daughter has staved off a lot of the embarrassment she feels. (as in, I'm just as likely to embarrass the friends in the same manner I embarrass my daughter)

    The friend came in wearing a dog collar. Yes, it really happened. I asked her if she thought she was so out of control and unintelligent that she needed to be led around on a leash. Told her straightforwardly that a collar showed that she didn't respect herself. I don't see that collar very often anymore. :D

    It is a parents duty to lie awake at night thinking up ways to torment our children. <snicker> Didn't your parents ever tell you that? I make sure to remind mine of that fact just about every time they start the "you're so embarrassing" act. Personally, I find being told that I am being embarrassing (by a teen) to be disrespectful. Usually I find a humorous way to get that point across, but occassionally you just have to speak frankly about it and tell them that you will no longer tolorate the disrespect. It is not my teenagers job to tell me, the adult, how to behave.

    I've gained quite the reputation at my daughter's school for being the mom who doesn't take any guff. Does it make life harder for my daughter? Not that she and I can tell. As a matter of fact, once she accepted the idea that I wasn't concerned about embarrassment as much as I was concerned that she do well with God and the world, she became glad for the help. (grateful is a bit too much to expect) My standing my ground with both her and her friends relieved much of the peer pressure that she must endure.

    Hehe, Cass will say something about her mom won't let her _____. Some kid that I don't know yet will say "what doees it matter what your mom thinks". Cass doesn't even have to answer. A kid who does know me will speak for her, "You just don't know Cassie's mom or you wouldn't ask that question." :D :laugh:

    I love my reputation.

    It's been hard work though. I am very involved in my kids lives and in the lives of thier friends. I know or get to know their friends parents. I let the other parents know where I am coming from, that way it becomes their problem if they don't agree with me. I am the mom who is always there with a ride home, who will supervise a gathering and who will make sure every kid in the group is okay.

    If you want your kids to stop being embarrassed by you then be a friend to their friends. Friends are accepting even if they are disapproving. That my friend is a hard thing to balance. It is much easier to tell your kid to stay away from "the bad kid" and much much harder to allow the friendship and then become a positive influence.
     
  8. Benjamin

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    Thanks, this has been encouraging.

    That approach gives me some of what I’m looking for, because I don’t like being told that I am embarrassing them either especially when I’m just trying to do my job, and I also find it disrespectful. Where I don’t want to blow it is to not consider their feelings and simply answer, “well that’s too bad” even though I might then often add a spew of what God says my job is and what their responsibilities are as a Christian, which then sometimes if necessary, because I feel I may have been a bit harsh, I follow by that I may not be the best at doing this job because I didn’t have much of an example when I was your age, but if you can learn and do better than I with your kids some day then I’ve began a chain. Although I don’t have a problem showing some humility to them if I see I saddened them by overreacting neither do I want to be seen having to make excuses or having to constantly justify my actions to a child that doesn’t like my approach.

    Sometimes I just use the short and sweet and then, “don’t talk back” which usually might need to be accompanied by that LOOK of “and I mean it!” Problem is that as they get older I don’t think that look is going to be as effective because 1) even though I can be pretty intimidating if I want to be, your own kids seem to be like you and become immune to intimidation :laugh: and 2) it doesn’t show rationality or reasoning in a constructive way.

    I can’t help but to feel their pains sometimes when I see the horror on their faces from possibly being publicly embarrassed in front of their peers when I come up and start doing some correcting. I have gone as far as to pull them aside in private and tell them something needs to be straightened out and either they can do it or I WILL. The problem with doing that is that I don’t know what exactly is said to the friend or how that friend might respond and generally feel I could do a much better job myself, in which case it goes back to “too bad!”

    I certainly don’t want to run the friends off either and have my kids going over to their houses instead of them coming over here because the friends feel they have more freedom at their own house; and my kids BETTER NOT think they have more freedom over there!

    Yes, it is a hard thing to balance. So do you have any ideas or approaches of how to keep the neighborhood kids and friends coming to your house, or being a friend to their friends?
     
  9. menageriekeeper

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    Intimidation never works because because it doesn't teach the kids to make wise decisions for themselves.

    I'm well past the stage to where I think force is the best way to make a kid to behave. Intimidation is a form of force, just the same as giving a spanking. When children are young, a swat on the behind so they know they MUST mind mother even if they don't know why is okay. A teenager though should already know that you are the authority figure and what they need at this point is direction.

    Foul language is an issue in my house because my husband and his father think it is cute. (don't ask why, I don't know) My kids know better but occassionally slip up. I can't (and won't) punish them for something their father does. Of course 90% of their unchurched friends and even a good percentage of those who go to church use ugly language. So what to do? I remind them that God expects us to use language that is glorifying to Him. If their friends are the ones using it, I tell them that we find such language to be disrespectful and try not to use such even when we are frustrated. Since I'm the mother and usually the one in the driver's seat, the threat is implicite that if the language continues the friends are going home. Every now and again (and it's about that time), the kids and I have a time of scripture and discussion on what God expects our language to be. And I do these things over and over again.

    The issue could be anything. You must know what you believe and why you believe it so that you can teach your children what you believe and why you believe it!

    You kids must learn to make sound decisions and those decision must be based on the Word. They are going to make mistakes. My kids slip up and use ugly language in the wrong place, they suffer the consequences. I don't make things easier for them, nor do I make excuses for them. I will very easily tell someone that I taught them better but they don't seem to believe me (talk about embarrassing, just tell one of your kids teachers that in front of your kid). This puts the blame for the behavior right where it belongs: on the kid!

    Clothing issues? I'll flat tell a kid that their skin needs to covered that I'm too young to be exposed to their stomach (a current issue at my house) or ask them are they sure their belly button is clean cause I'd hate for them to go out in public with fuzz in their belly button and it showing like that. Makes no difference if it is my kid or my kid's friends. Usually a sarcastic remark like that will open up a conversation about issues of modesty and what boys really think about.

    Music? Why would they want to listen to music that encourages behavior that will lead to an unwanted pregnancy or an STD? Kids often don't realize how easily they can be influenced by "marketing". It has to be pointed out to them.

    The list could go on and on. What has to happen is that you don't take offense (ie, get mad, yell or whatever) when your kids do something you think is wrong and that you have open conversations even if you never come to a complete agreement. Several times I have told my kids that when they turn 18, get a job and move out of my house they can make their own decisions and I won't say a word, but until then they are going to do things my way. I tell their friends the same thing. You don't get to decide what you are going to do until you are independent from whoever is supplying the money, the ride and the food.

    Addressing eveyone in the group instead of simply correcting my own kids also helps with the embarrassment issues. I use word like "do you all think this is a wise idea" or "I don't think you all should be doing that, what would your parents think" or Do you all think we could find something more productive to do than _____?" Those kinds of questions make the kids stop and think about what they are participating in, instead of just going with the flow of the group. It also opens up the avenues of communication.

    I save the "not my kid" things for the big issues like sex and drugs. Why won't I let Cassie walk the mall at 14 with her boyfriend unsupervised? Because I don't want grandchildren at 43. Embarassing? Maybe. But I don't want grandchildren at 43 and I don't want my 14 year old to have the responsibility of a child. The kids understand the logic. Then we can have a discussion of why God reserved sex for marriage. What does Cass think? Doesn't matter. This is one issue that is not up for discussion until she is 18, has a job and a home of her own. :D
     
  10. Benjamin

    Benjamin
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    My daughter and I talk a lot about the blessings of abstinence, temptations and all, and she has a good understanding on that one. She lets it be known around her peers that it is a value of hers. A while back she was telling me that they were discussing it in a large group and a couple of boys were ticking her off by calling her a prude and although she is no push over and lets them have it I could tell it was bothering her a little.

    So, I told her with an imitation of facial expressions, eye movement, and body language, you just walk up to those boys and say, “PRUDE!?!...I think NOT…My husband is going to be… one… lucky… man!”…give a wink and walk away. She thought that was pretty funny.


    Yeah, I really need to move past the intimidation phase completely as they do realize I am the authority. This is the hard one for me even though they are really good kids I’ve just been struggling to let go of this one while trying to find new methods; it worked good when they were little but they have totally outgrown it.

    My Dad left when I was young and Mom was completely overwhelmed, coming from a small town back in Illinois and being stuck in a big city, never had worked outside of being a housewife, was away from all her family, copped a really big attitude against all men and this while she really struggled to keep the bills paid and provide food, she cried a lot in frustration and all her dealings with me quickly turned to violent rage and picking up what ever as a weapon and attacking was it until I was 13 and too strong for her, after that I was basically on my own and learning life the hard way. So anyway, you see this child raising of teens is an especially foreign situation when it comes to communicating with gentleness.

    Therefore, I know I need to instruct and have these conversations without getting mad, or even pretending to be mad, and not even raising my voice, or making them mad, as I don’t want them to think that is how things should be dealt with or to be imitated. I really don’t have that many discipline issues with them, just not sure how I will become able to handle any disagreements; they both make straight A’s, have strong values learned in the Word and even preach it themselves, I just realized I can also count my blessings as I’ve never even heard either of them use an ugly word, and I’m also realizing I’ve had a lot of control over them so far. Maybe I just worry about losing that control seeing a lack of communication skills on my part with all the new issues arising and needed answer with deeper explanations and just don’t want to be dissed as they get out in the world more and more. My gosh, my daughter is 14 and I still think of her as my baby, no wonder she thinks I treat her that way; to think of where I was at 13!


    I tell mine until they finish college and get established, then married, they are to listen to their father’s instructions and even after that should give considerations toward getting advice as a wise child. They understand that this legal age at 18 stuff means very little to me as far as being a license to disregard my or their responsibilities in the father/child relationship.

     
  11. menageriekeeper

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    Benjamin, I have tales from my childhood too. It wasn't fair to either of us, but we have to be the one to break the chain of abuse. I think we've both done a good job. :)

    Oh and I'm going to remember the "lucky man" remark. I think my daughter can use that one! :laugh:
     

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