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 have 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.

Time to Chime In: Do you reflect on your parenting? What do you see?


10 thoughts on “Well, That Was Provoking

  1. Thanks for sharing this challenging theme. I just put up a post about learning how to speak my childs’ “Love Language.” There’s a great book on it called The 5 Love Languages of Children, and it has really helped me in those provoking moments.


  2. Great post. I struggle with patience and kindness. Rightly so my children act out when I react to them with anger. Too much stress makes me a miserable Momma to be around. So I am working hard at limiting stress in my life. Tired kids make me crazy. Its my fault for keeping them up too late or doing too many activities. My kids act out when we are in a hurry. I am learning to slow down and be with them. When I drag them around they get worn out and than family life is nothing but exhausting. I want my children to remember that their childhood was filled with a playful Momma who enjoyed life. Kids do better when they feel better and Mommy’s do too.


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