Homeschooling can be a challenge. There are routines to be established, decisions regarding curriculum (or non-curriculum) to be made, discovering how to best help your children learn, and more. The one challenge you don’t need is your children’s lack of obedience.
As any parent will tell you, when a child chooses to be disobedient, life becomes stressful and downright unpleasant. Now, try taking that disobedient child and making them sit through a learning session; on any topic! It’s enough to make one shudder in fear or erupt like an active volcano. Life with a disobedient child is a struggle.
While my OCD nature balks at the idea of stopping all learning to deal with this issue, it usually is the best. When the obstacle of disobedience is removed, our learning day runs more smoothly and everyone is better off.
How does one go about removing the barrier of disobedience and restoring their children to a right relationship within the family and with God?
Pray – As always, all things should start in prayer. Pray first, act second.
Is This Really Disobedience? – We need to determine if this is an act of disobedience. Sometimes our children are not trying to rebel, but are merely attempting to communicate something important or express their personalities. Before we enact justice, we need to determine whether the situation calls for it.
Identify The Problem – If this is an act of rebellion, we need to determine from where the problem stems. Is my child looking for attention? Is there a need which is not being met? Did they not get enough sleep, need some food, or perhaps this is a character issue?
Work Through the Problem – Depending on the situation, we will need to determine the best course of action. My child might just need a few minutes of exercise to get back on the right track. I might need to feed them a meal, make them take a nap, or something more serious. If this is a matter of character training, I will pray about how they should be disciplined and discuss the situation with my husband.
Train, Train, Train – Repetition is good for a developing mind, this is true. However, it doesn’t hurt us oldie but goodies either! We need to train ourselves to identify a toxic situation before it becomes a full-blown mess; diffusing the situation early on, if we can. For the littles, we need to train them out of bad character and into good; this means lots of practice! We teach them to identify when they need something and how to communicate this need. We disciple and train for character as often as possible.
Tie Strings – It is just as important to make sure we are reestablishing the relationship with our children as it is for us to train them into right behavior. Training without affection and re-bonding with the disciplinarian leads to further disobedience in the future. Our children need to know we do these things because we love them, not because we are dictators trying to rule their lives with an iron fist. As our children are working through their struggles, we need to constantly be offering encouragement and opportunities for affection. They need to see we love them even when they are disobedient; helping them every step of the way.
Parenting a disobedient child is indeed a struggle. Being a homeschooling parent with a disobedient child simply magnifies the situation. Take the time to defuse the situation, getting to the heart of the matter, before the day gets out of hand. With this obstacle out-of-the-way, your day will proceed more smoothly. Who doesn’t like that?
Time to Chime In: When your child is disobedient, what measures do you take to get things back on track?
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.”” – Ephesians 6:1-3