Am I Provoking My Child?

am_i_provokingLife 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
  • Micromanagement
  • Giving them a greater burden than they can bear (whether it is homeschooling work, chores, or responsibilities)

The 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.

“Fathers, do not exasperate your children, so they won’t become discouraged.”
~ Colossians 3:21

📢 Chime In!: Upon reflection, do you struggling in this area?

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5 thoughts on “Am I Provoking My Child?

  1. This is a personal stride of mine, to avoid these. My mother was everything on that list, still is. Needless to say my daughters receive showers of encouragement and understanding from me. Sometimes too much. My husband, as men tend to do, sometimes teases them and I worry his teases may hurt my oldest daughters feelings who really does have allot of struggles. I hear from him and everyone that I’m too nice, trying too hard, but this post reminded me the things I learned in college in child psychology, I’m on the right path. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mercy in all things. I pushed my sons because I didn’t understand their challenges. I got educated about them too late. I had high expectations, which was good. What was bad was that I expected them to all be alike, within the range of ‘normal’. I found out my eldest had severe anxiety, a problem I just didn’t understand. My second child had severe learning disabilities. In my own educational experience, I was shown very little mercy. I’m afraid they weren’t shown as much as I should have.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Good points and for sure things to avoid doing. I do think that our kids need to learn as well that we make mistakes as well. And that we do not try to cover them up (hint: Never pretend you have not made a mistake, own it…) but apologize and then solve it. I agree with everything you say here.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great post and yet so many parents never reflect on this very important point. I think we all falter with these ,but being aware and humble enough to apologize if we do goes a long way to healing a child’s heart. With 3 to adulthood I see how I did well with this.. I needed that nudge today as it is a constant journey as I deal with my teenager…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: My Picks Of The Week #39 | A Momma's View

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