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Old 07-18-2006, 04:54 PM   #31
Chris3jam
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Default Re: I need to say a few things about the idea of defiance

I get the developmental stuff. I get the sin nature stuff. I get the heart issues. I get all that. {throwing hands up in frustration} But, maybe I'm project oriented or think I have more control over the situation than I do, because I cannot reach the hearts of my children. Today at the store, they were goofing around. And I was trying very hard to contain the situation. Well, one 'popped' another one on the nose with one of those pool noodles. And they were 'discussing' the situation. And one said, "Well, what is popped?" and the other one punched him (hard!) in the head, and said, "*That* is popped!". It was bad. . . .. he's 10, and he's a big, strong boy, and caused damage to his 8 yo brother. I pulled him aside and talked with him. He said, basically, he didn't care ---- he was glad he did it. I see a very disturbing heart issues in both boys. .. .they. don't. care. About anyone, anything, whatsoever. They feel it is their right and will do whatever they need to do to exercise their right to physical expression of their unhappiness. I mean. . . I *get* it. . .. but. . . .how do I reach the hearts of my children, and why do they seem to have a much more sinful nature (if you will) than any other child I've known/met? Is it not defiance to go against what you know is right, with a person trying to help you to do right (I tried to stop him), and do it anyway?
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Old 07-18-2006, 05:18 PM   #32
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Default Re: I need to say a few things about the idea of defiance

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris3jam
I get the developmental stuff. I get the sin nature stuff. I get the heart issues. I get all that. {throwing hands up in frustration} But, maybe I'm project oriented or think I have more control over the situation than I do, because I cannot reach the hearts of my children. Today at the store, they were goofing around. And I was trying very hard to contain the situation. Well, one 'popped' another one on the nose with one of those pool noodles. And they were 'discussing' the situation. And one said, "Well, what is popped?" and the other one punched him (hard!) in the head, and said, "*That* is popped!". It was bad. . . .. he's 10, and he's a big, strong boy, and caused damage to his 8 yo brother. I pulled him aside and talked with him. He said, basically, he didn't care ---- he was glad he did it. I see a very disturbing heart issues in both boys. .. .they. don't. care. About anyone, anything, whatsoever. They feel it is their right and will do whatever they need to do to exercise their right to physical expression of their unhappiness. I mean. . . I *get* it. . .. but. . . .how do I reach the hearts of my children, and why do they seem to have a much more sinful nature (if you will) than any other child I've known/met? Is it not defiance to go against what you know is right, with a person trying to help you to do right (I tried to stop him), and do it anyway?
Can I gently suggest that just as in discipling/shepherding adult Christians, it's the same with your kids? You don't reach their hearts. The Holy Spirit reaches their hearts. We just have the privilege of facilitating that with the environment and the education and the discipling we provide in our home with our children. God changes hearts, we have no power over that.

I hear you're at wits end with your boys. May I brainstorm a bit?

I find myself in situations like you described simply dealing with the behavior, not the motives behind it at all. I don't have a "heart-to-heart" about their behavior/why/are they sorry/etc. right there in the grocery store. I stop the behavior (make them hold my hand, make them hold the cart, maybe put my 4-year-old on my back where he's not able to join in the fray, etc. If it's just really bad, they're too tired/hungry/they can't stop themselves, etc., I just abandon ship and put them in the car - just finish my shopping later (this doesn't happen often the older they get, but I'm still willing if it gets this far).

I keep it short and sweet right there. I might not say several sentences about why "popping" your brother is wrong. I might just say "knock it off. Joe can you grab me two jars of peanut butter?" Or, I might state the rule, "we don't hurt with our bodies, use your words." Or whatever. Short, simple, and to the point.

I deal with the heart issues/character issues separately, when things are quiet, when I'm alone with a boy in a car or at bedtime after reading books, or on a "date" at a coffee shop or milkshake place. Or when we're reading the Bible together in the morning. Or whatever. We'll discuss whatever I see as the main issue that continues to pop up in their behavior, pointing to the part of their character God seems to want to work on right now. I pray first. Sometimes for quite a few days/weeks. Until it becomes clear to me what God would have me address. I ask them to help me think of solutions for what to do when they feel like popping their brother. I talk about God living inside them helping them. We pray. We might even talk about not caring, about wanting to hurt someone and not caring if we do, and do we want to have hard hearts or soft ones?

Jody and I talked a lot for a series of weeks/months about his bossiness. How it's respectful to let people make their own decisions. How instead of arguing, we can say it once and let people take it or leave it. How letting other people decide is a way to show the love of Christ, and is a way to experience the love of Christ through out interactions with others. They were some beautiful conversations. Can you imagine having conversations like this in the middle of a grocery store with two heavy-breathing, fighting boys and a pool noodle?

Anyway, these are just off-the-top-of-my-head thoughts, they might not even be coherent. But I could see you're sad about this, that your heart hurts, and that you're worried about your boys. I wanted to reassure you that their behavior (and their words when they're in the moment and angry) doesn't mean they have hard hearts. It just means they're in the moment and angry. Keep praying for your boys, and I'll be to hear what others have to say to you on this, as well.
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Old 07-18-2006, 05:23 PM   #33
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Default Re: I need to say a few things about the idea of defiance

Quote:
I see a very disturbing heart issues in both boys. .. .they. don't. care. About anyone, anything, whatsoever. They feel it is their right and will do whatever they need to do to exercise their right to physical expression of their unhappiness.
Is this attitude, by any chance, a reflection of the attitude of someone they respect or love that is close to them?
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Old 07-18-2006, 05:27 PM   #34
Chris3jam
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Default Re: I need to say a few things about the idea of defiance

Quote:
Is this attitude, by any chance, a reflection of the attitude of someone they respect or love that is close to them?
I don't know. If I think about it, it could be a reflection of what dh says. Whenever they are 'disobedient' with him, and question him, one of the things he says *a lot* is "I don't care! It doesn't matter what *you* think or feel! I'm the dad, and I *say* so! It is not for you to ask questions! Only to obey!" It happens a lot. But. . . it just seems like they've taken the selfish sin nature up a notch or two.
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Old 07-18-2006, 07:37 PM   #35
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Default Re: I need to say a few things about the idea of defiance


i agree with amy...its up to the Holy Spirit to change their heart. right now, with the ages they are, i feel like maybe it is almost more appopriate to be concentrating on their salvation even more than their behavior. i don't have kids that old, so i don't pretend to know how it works...but i do know one thing: when ministering to unbelievers (which i think we have to assume all children are until they have accepted Christ as their Savior), i am more worried about getting them to the feet of Jesus and letting HIM work on their heart than i am about changing their outward behavior. just my 2 cents.

please hear this: it may seem like your boys have a worse sin nature than others, but that is because you are around them every day and you see EVERYTHING. trust me...if you could see my heart...the way i speak to my daughter some days...the way i don't pray ferevently for some of my unbelieving family...the way i gossip...the way i talk back to my dh...etc etc etc. they are no worse than you or i....they just haven't wrapped their arms around Grace yet.
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Old 07-18-2006, 09:17 PM   #36
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Default Re: I need to say a few things about the idea of defiance

If somebody you love and trust tells you that the world works like this:
You are bad.
You can only be made good by being hit.

Then how should you behave when people don't hit you?
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Old 07-18-2006, 09:58 PM   #37
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Default Re: I need to say a few things about the idea of defiance

Thanks...thanks...thanks...

I'm with Godchick here - reading & learning

Crystal & Amy can you come live near me and be my mentors???? Pleeeeeeeeeeeeasssssssse?
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Old 07-19-2006, 06:46 AM   #38
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Default Re: I need to say a few things about the idea of defiance

Quote:
Originally Posted by Narritjan

Crystal & Amy can you come live near me and be my mentors???? Pleeeeeeeeeeeeasssssssse?
This made me almost faint! LOL!

Thank you for the incredible compliment of putting my name in the same breath as Crystal's. She taught me everything I know, and I still have tons to learn
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Old 07-19-2006, 08:27 AM   #39
ArmsOfLove
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Default Re: I need to say a few things about the idea of defiance

Quote:
Originally Posted by pneumaphile
Quote:
Originally Posted by Narritjan

Crystal & Amy can you come live near me and be my mentors???? Pleeeeeeeeeeeeasssssssse?
This made me almost faint! LOL!
'[pk.';[p' Thank you for the incredible compliment of putting my name in the same breath as Crystal's. She taught me everything I know, and I still have tons to learn


I have so many dreams over the next few years of doing more travelling and spending time with moms and famliesjh,hhm--that was ds taking over I had to interrupt my post to rescue two toddlers from a situation that resulted in this song:

Buuuuuuubies Toilets are not safe for you
Buuuuuuubies they aren't a toy for you
Buuuuuuubies when toilets have pee pee in them
Buuuuuuubies it's not a safe thing to do

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Old 07-19-2006, 08:53 AM   #40
ArmsOfLove
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Default Re: I need to say a few things about the idea of defiance

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris3jam
*sigh* I could use a GBD Supernanny.... . and a surgically inplanted backbone. Before I lose my children altogether.
What state are you in again, Chris? You can pm me if you don't want to publically post it
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Old 07-19-2006, 09:00 AM   #41
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Default Re: I need to say a few things about the idea of defiance

We're in GA. . . right in the heart of "spank 'em 'til they're sweet, the Bible tells us so" territory. We're outside of Atlanta. I bet if I quit 'hiding out' and spending more time than ought to be spent on the computer, we may just have a shot. But, I crumple when they ask to watch "Magic School Bus" or "Fetch with Ruff Ruffman" or "Cyberchase" (and stuff like that). *sigh* And TV does not help. Ah, well. Off to the bookstore we go! And I hope we can keep some semblance of appropriate social behaviour!
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Old 07-19-2006, 10:34 AM   #42
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Default Re: I need to say a few things about the idea of defiance

Chris - first off, I HATE it when people say stuff like this to me, so I'm . . .but I know you won't me cuz you're all nice like that! Your boys sound much like my now 13yo stepson. He will say lovely things like, "Good! I'm glad I hurt Booger, and I'm going to do it again as soon as I can!" and you know what it's almost all tied into? Food. We have to watch him like a hawk for blood sugar issues. If he is off a healthy diet, or if he has not eaten frequently enough, he is a whole different evil little person. Now like I said, I hate it when people boil whole huge behavior issues down to, like, "oh, that sounds like a dairy allergy" and you're going, "but my child just lit the counch on fire, how is that a dairy allergy?!?!?!?" but I have seen it in action with this kid. I know how you feel, at your wit's end and ready to throw in the towel. I so know. for you, mama.
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Old 07-20-2006, 06:51 AM   #43
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Default Re: I need to say a few things about the idea of defiance

Chris , I have a child that often says things like "i don't care" or "I know what you said , I'm not doing it.".

My response is always "Then we have a bigger issue here. Your heart is in a bad place. Such a good heart to be locked in such a bad place. "

I usually get this as a response "oh."

sometimes I'll get "I still don't care."

No matter the response to my statement the next thing we do is pray. Not always easy when you'd rather smack their lil faces. Sometimes we pray together , sometimes we pray seperately. Just depends.

The prayer usually goes something like " Dear Jesus , we have a good child here. I am so very thankful you blessed me with such an awesome child. We've got a problem with some heart issues. I know that we can't change the heart on our own ,that we need you to do it. Please help change *name's* heart. Thank you . Amen."

And then I repeat what started the whole thing. What ever direction that was. Example :Now then, we both know that hearts don't change immediately , but we need to make effort. A good start is helping me do the dishes right now. Let's go."

Hope that helps a wee bit.

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Old 07-20-2006, 08:23 PM   #44
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Default Re: I need to say a few things about the idea of defiance

Thanks Jennifer3kids -- That is a real help to me, will file it away in my toolbox
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Old 07-24-2006, 08:08 AM   #45
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Default Re: I need to say a few things about the idea of defiance

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArmsOfLove
As far as I'm concerned, I could honestly care less if something is defiance or willfull defiance or ignorance or an accident or sleepwalking I respond the same way. I don't have to play the game of discerning intent, I assign a positive one because it makes my life more pleasant.
I love that--it sounds so liberating!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArmsOfLove
So GBD can be both harder and easier than punishing. Harder, because you need to be creative and tuned in and learn how to work with your child. Easier because you don't have to try and be a mind or heart reader.
I suppose I can save myself a lot of trouble in some areas by not trying to read my DD's mind.

Thanks for the great insight.

Cindi
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