Well, That Was Provoking

Tunnel VisionLife can be challenging, especially for a child. There are so many things to learn, rules to follow, and people to obey. They having seemingly little control over their own lives and can often get frustrated when things do not go their way.

One of the most frustrating trials a child can face is when their own parent provokes them. Whether we mean to or not, as parents we can push our children beyond what they are able to endure.

I find it beneficial to periodically reflect on my parenting; making sure I am not the source of my child’s frustration (and least not purposefully). Here is a list of ways that I can provoke my children:

  • Constant criticism and a failure to encourage
  • Double standards and/or being a hypocrite
  • Being angry and harsh
  • Lack of affection
  • Telling them what to do or not do without giving Biblical reasons
  • Comparing them to others
  • Embarrassing them (correcting, mocking or expressing disappointment in them in front of others)
  • Lecturing them and not listening
  • Failing to be humble and asking for forgiveness
  • Giving them a greater burden than they can bear (whether it is homeschooling work, chores, or responsibilities)

Beach BumsThe Bible teaches that we are not to provoke our children to anger. (“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” – Ephesians 6:4) While this verse speaks directly to Fathers, I am sure it must also apply to us moms.

Reflecting on my parenting and my relationship with my children, I am able to clearly see ways in which I am failing as a parent and ways in which I can improve. While I will constantly fail, I pray that I am getting better.

Do you reflect on your parenting? What do you see?

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4 thoughts on “Well, That Was Provoking

  1. I am also guilty of expecting too much from my children at times . . . being too harsh . . . failing to show the same patience and mercy that my Heavenly Father shows me . . . how many times have I been stubborn or slow to learn, yet He doesn’t lose His temper or shout out, “How many times do I have to repeat myself??!! When are you going to get it through your thick skull?!” (ha ha, not that I use those exact words with my children, but the same attitude more or less). It helps me to reflect on God as a Father figure and how he deals with his children, then I pray for patience and wisdom.

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    • (Sigh) I too wish that every grand thought passed along to me could somehow be stored in my mind databank for later use; it doesn’t seem to stick though.
      Our pastor once said that for this reason we need to constantly be reading His word and fellowshipping with like minded believers. Our minds are like sieves; the information “washes” our minds, but it also falls through the holes. The more we take in, the cleaner we are; we still need to keep refilling though or we will become empty and dry.

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