The second ingredient in the Recipe for Rebellion is that of rules without responses–developing rules without allowing our children to question those rules—without allowing them to respond to our instruction. This is a common ingredient in rules-oriented families. We often do not listen to our children if they disagree with something or question something. Even those who are not opposed to telling children the why’s of rules (Ingredient #1) are sometimes not comfortable with letting children ask us about our rules.
Recipe for Rebellion
Rules Without Reasons
Rules Without Response
Rules Without Repetition
Rules Without Relationship
Can we change that to…..
These questions are often asked of us parents when we fail to give children the reason for our decisions and instruction.
While there it is true that our children should learn to obey us and trust that we have their best in mind (but again, that comes through lots of talking and letting them see that we have their best interest in mind!), we have determined four key ingredients that cause teens to rebel—Reishes’ Recipe for Rebellion.
I prayed for you today, though I didn’t know your name,
I saw a hurting look, so I had to stop and pray.
I prayed for you today, when I saw you on the street,
Playing on your trumpet, for everyone you meet.
That is the first verse of a song I wrote that we sang together as a family during family worship and in the van driving (especially on trips). It was our empathy song—the song that reminded us to try to put ourselves in others’ shoes and understand how they are feeling.
We wanted our children to ask questions–and lots of them! We wanted to be their answerer as much as possible. Thus, we “trained” them to ask questions–by answering them freely and endlessly.
Ray is the best answerer I have ever met (honest!). He is the one who made me come up with the little acronym that we teach at our parenting seminars. I have watched him day in and day out, year in and year out, answer a question. Then he paused and continued on with more answers and more answers and more answers.
“Jonathan, come in here.”
Daddy was home and was calling his fifth child, six year old Jonathan, into his room.
But Jonathan wasn’t concerned. He didn’t think he was about to get into trouble. He didn’t worry that he had done something wrong.
He knew what Daddy wanted: to praise, affirm, and encourage him. Jonathan knew that he was about to hear the words that all of our kids waited to hear in the evenings:
“I heard a good report about you!”