I plan to ignore you

We had a snotty kid last night. He didn’t get his way and tried to make enemies out of all of us. The more we engaged him, the sharper his tongue became.

So, we disengage.

We call it “Planned Ignoring”: I plan to ignore you when you are unreasonable.

I know, this goes against our grain when a kid is disrespectful. We feel the need to stop them in their tracks. But, have you been in a  power play with a teen (or a toddler) who wants to be in control of everything? It is a lose-lose situation.

The mouthy attitude is an attempt to derail us; if we engage the word choices we are distracted from the initial issue at hand. So we plan to ignore the words –for now.

“Answer not a fool according to his folly,lest you be like him yourself,” Proverbs 26:4. I’m not saying my kid is a fool, but he definitely has his foolish moments—as do I.

We wanted to get away from him. But, the truth is, he needed to get away from the rest of us. So, he was sent to his room.

Calmly I said, “Go to your room now”.

Off he went while the rest of the family was able to continue on with dinner and homework and conversation.

The son who was silenced took out his phone weapon and began texting his attitude. The words were unkind for a usually kind boy. The words hurt.

But, we planned to ignore, “Answer not a fool according to his folly”. We had to give each other pep talks, “Don’t engage, wait until tomorrow”.

Engaging in the folly increases the fight and the need for both to win.

Waiting is difficult. We second guess ourselves in the recesses of our mind. But tomorrow, he will wake up calm. Tomorrow he will no longer be in fight-mode.

Early in the morning, I walked into his room and sat beside him in bed as I usually do. I played with his hair and spoke in a loving voice, “Are you up, son?” I rubbed his back. Love is unconditional.

When a child hurts a parent, a parent must love unconditionally. Besides, kindness is received unexpectedly when we know we deserve the opposite. Kindness heaps hot coals on our heads.

“I am taking your phone away for a few days”.

“Why?”

“You were disrespectful to your parents last night. You used your phone to send abusive messages.”

“I did?”

“You know what you did. You may have thought you could get away with talking like that last night, but you did not. There are consequences. You will receive your phone in a few days.”

Peacefully, I walked out of the room.

It was the right moment to address his folly, “lest he becomes wise in his own eyes” (Proverbs 26:5).

Planned ignoring is difficult. Finding the right consequences to fit the crime is not always easy. But probably the hardest thing for me as a parent, is not reacting in anger or hurt feelings in the heat of the moment.

Someone has to remain in control of the situation, and it is good to have a plan—a team-parent plan—to remain calm, steady and focused.

I spent  the next 24 hours in prayer. I’m praying for wisdom in our interactions, praying our boy will have a repentant heart so he can grow forward.

I’m praying for the prime moments to instruct a child about responding with respect next time he is in the heat of the moment.

Are you interested in knowing more about “Planned Ignoring” or would you benefit from support in your parenting choices? These resources may help you:

“The Secrets to Modern Day Parenting” linking modern solutions to everyday problems. Series information: http://www.womangonewise.com/2012/01/12/bible-and-family-life-speaker/

Exceptional Families Coaching: Practical and personal coaching to support you and give you tools for a flourishing family life: www.exceptionalfamiliescoaching.com

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Every little girl needs her daddy’s love

This is a post by guest author, Christie Lee Rayburn.

She twirls like a ballerina in her new holiday dress and shiny shoes, “Daddy, don’t I look pretty?”

She jumps into his arms of safety after he encourages, “Come on sweetheart – you can do it – daddy will catch you!”

She loves holding her father’s big, strong hand as they walk places and she adores hearing his voice call her his “little princess”.

“She” is every little girl – yearning for her daddy’s love as she grows up.

The power of his attention

Not only would I testify to this in my personal life as a daughter, but I have had a front row seat observing the relationship between our only daughter and her daddy. I’ve been taken aback as I watch the yearning in my daughter’s eyes for her daddy’s belief in her capability. I see the incredible difference her father’s reactions make in her perception of her talents or skills. His words determine the outcome of her self-assurance and potential. One encouraging word literally boosts her confidence to dream and take risks, while one critical word can send her straight to the land of insecurity and doubt.

Fathers affirm competence and set the path for a woman to believe “I don’t have to prove myself. I can do anything.”

It’s amazing how my husband has become her personal mirror to our girl. The truth is that so much of her self-image is reflected in the way her father sees her, the way he interacts with her, and the way he talks about her to others. When he compliments her and assures her of her beauty, she feels like the most lovely young lady in the land. However, a simple throw-away comment or too much teasing can confirm her inner thoughts of ugliness; ugliness that no amount of make-up can cover. Most dads don’t realize the power they hold in establishing their daughter’s self-worth.

Fathers set the stage for future relationships

Fathers are very important role models for their daughters, especially in the puberty and teen years. A father is the first male that a girl comes to intimately know. He sets the stage for his daughter’s future interpersonal interactions; especially with men.

Just the other day our daughter declared to her dad “you ruined me!”

My husband reacted, “What? That sounds horrible! What on earth do you mean that I ruined you?” She went on to explain when it came to dating and marriage, he set the character bar very high. She admires that her dad loves God so openly and has such a giving heart. She respects that he is a strong man with a tender heart. But, mostly, she never doubts that he loves his wife completely, creatively, and faithfully. She has watched it all firsthand. How could she settle for anything less in a young man?

So, from a mother’s perspective, let me encourage every daddy out there to invest big in his little girl’s life.

Be deliberate dads

Support your daughters interests and ask questions about what she is involved in. Build her up every chance you get. Be there for her games or performances. There is no substitute for your presence.

Compliment your girl. Hug her. Tell her how much you love her and how beautiful she is a million times while she grows up. Realize the powerful mirror you are in her life.

Go ahead and “ruin her” and set the bar high by the way you treat your wife. Make your daughter feel like you want to be close to her. Take her on a date. Show her how she should be treated.

Dads, no one replaces the unique spot you hold in your daughter’s heart.

Every little girl and every big girl wants her daddy’s love.
Share with us how your dad made you feel loved or how your husband shows special love to your daughter.

P.S. – Send this to a dad of a daughter.

CHRISTIE LEE RAYBURN
Mirror Mirror: Confetti Café.
ChristieLeeRayburn.com

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