May 8, 2013

the stand off

The last 2 weeks have felt like a constant standoff with one of our sons(who shall remain nameless).

I'm not ready for this.

It's happening too fast.

And I need to buck up.

Because I haven't been handling it too well, truth be told.

It goes something like this, every day.

Son: "Mom, can I play on your computer right now?"

Me: "Well, no...You need to go play outside for now."

Son: {with major attitude}"But why? I just need it for x, y and z reasons."

Me:{with major attitude right back} "I don't want you on the computer all day!"

Son: {in tears, real tears} "But I'm not on the computer day!"

Me: {in loud voice} "Stop arguing with me all the time!"

Both: STOMP STOMP, as we go our separate ways. 

And he's not even a teenager yet. {{shudder}}

Lookey here. I'm the parent. He's the kid. So why am I acting just like him? He just pushes my buttons so fast with the arguing.

And I let him. And I know better.

One of my all time favorite parenting books is "Don't Make Me Count to Three" by Ginger Plowman. One of her ingenious methods of discipline involves role-playing the right way to do things, rather than just saying "no, don't do that".

And I'm not doing so hot at role modeling here. Instead of calmly teaching him how to handle his disappointments and respecting his mama, I'm doing the exactly opposite.

I'm inadvertently teaching him to get all worked up and sass right back.

As a kid, I was a hard nut to crack. Just ask my mom. I wouldn't easily fess up or repent of my wrong-doings. Darn stubborn pride.

And I would talk-back...a lot.

Don't you love how that comes back years later to bite you in the butt?

I've got a taste of my own medicine and boy is it bitter.

My son reminds me so much of myself as a kid.

It's time to break this cycle.

The other day, when things were calm, I talked rationally with my son about his propensity to argue and how we BOTH needed to work on this together. So when he starts to argue, I just say "Remember what we said about arguing?"

It's helping... it's a start. But we both still have a ways to go.

I was chatting with my neighbor yesterday. He has a stubborn son too and we were comparing notes. When our sons do something wrong, like hurt their siblings, they don't won't own up to it. The excuses and arguing just starts up.

My neighbor says that when this happens, he's like "Get over here NOW. It's you, me and God(see finger pointing action below). Look me in the eye and don't you dare lie to me in front of God."
Love this.

It's so good to have a community of parents around to help you in the trenches. Nobody wants to do this thing alone. So instead of pretending like you have it all figured out...fess up and link up with us. We won't judge. Scout's honor.

Linking up with Capturing Motherhood.

What type of kid were you growing up? Are any of your kids like you?


  1. thanks for your honesty and plan of action...i {was} and have a miniature tough nut to crack too. :)

  2. I so feel you on this one. I have been dreading the teenage days as I too remember how much I loved to argue with my mom :/ You can imagine my surprise when the PRE-teen years reared their ugly head. It has been SO hard to witness my sweet babies argue and tick me off when they don't even KNOW what arguing is! SO hard. I'm hoping we can get things somewhat ironed out so that the foundation of communication is there for when they DO become teenagers and their hormones make them act even crazier ;)

  3. Ohhhhh yes! My five year old is exactly like this and yes, he gets it from me too! All the arguing and excuses make me crazy :) Thanks for the tips and encouragment

  4. I'm so glad you blog about these topics. My oldest is the hardest with obeying. He'll ask and ask for things he's not allowed. If I say no a huge temper tantrum ensues until I give in usually. Then of course he learns that if he bugs enough he gets something. Really tough, especially lately and he's only 4.

  5. My five-year-old son (who is going on 15) and I have the EXACT. SAME. battle every day. He wants my computer, I need to do a few things on it, I try to send him outside to play, he wants to spend all day on the computer. He is strong-willed, opinionated, and very argumentative. My husband and I are convinced that he'll be some kind of lawyer when he grows up. I, too, have read Ginger Plowman's book and I am so right with you. I engage him in arguments, I was just like him as a failures as a mother are starting to haunt me!! But we try to talk when things are calm...lots of's a daily struggle. Though I'm sorry you're struggling too, I am encouraged to know that I'm not the only mom dealing with this.

  6. Why is parenting so difficult? Geez!

    Penny is inching her way into the "terrible two's" and I'm not ready for it! Discipline? Time outs? Rule setting? No way!

  7. oh man oh man. love your honesty.

  8. swee'pea is EXACTLY like me. in his stubborness. in his analness. in his insecurities. sometimes it is SO HARD for me because I'm LITERALLY staring at myself in a mirror when I'm disciplining him or trying to coax him out of a rough patch. like "duh, girlfriend. you should be talking to yourself!" as if me talking to him and telling him it is okay is like trying to convince MYSELF to shape up and understand that YES, IT REALLY WILL BE OKAY! i thank God though over and over again for giving me a child like me... i've learned so much about trusting in God, letting go of my own feelings of inadequacy, and relying on Christ to bring up this boy as well as mature in my own walk. i pray for continued wisdom for the next 13 years he is in my home and beyond!

  9. this was great. just the thought of being in trouble was enough to deter me from doing something. my oldest is the same way.

    i thought i was this really awesome parent. i was humbled 'cause it turns out i was just blessed with a really well behaved first born . i am not doing anything different with my son and boy oh boy does he test the waters. i am learning that each child is different and parenting (not the rules) need to change with each individual. what works with one does not work with another.

    great great great post today!

    i am tucking this in my back pocket :)

  10. Loved your post. Here's something that REALLY helped me during those years. It's the idea that scripture tells us not only to "put off" (list the sin issue here) but also to "put on" (list the Biblical righteous principle here). I used to make up 3x5 cards with the issue written on the top, then listed Bible verses underneath to deal with the sin to be put off and the righteousness to be put on. Even though I had THE BEST lectures in the world ;) in reality, God's Word is what spoke the loudest to my strong willed child's heart. (I started this after they had made a profession of faith in Jesus.) Now they were disobeying God,and needed to listen to the Holy Spirt, not just Mom. I would have them read a verse (or 10 if I was that angry. Yikes!) Tell me what the sin issue was, and what they were NOW going to do instead. It worked better than any lecture. God's kind of like that. Claudia

    1. Claudia, my mom had a similar system for me. =) It was definitely more effective than lectures! Now I'm an elementary teacher in a public school and I so wish I could use those sorts of tools, but they're waaay out of the question. Having something bigger than mom (or teacher) really matters.

    2. Wahoo! Claudia is my Precepts leader and youth group leader so she has some great advice for us! Will be making up some of those 3x5's for sure! Thanks for popping by Claudia. Smooooch! xxoo

    3. Davi, it is easier now. I had posted a link to a useful tool, but in doing so, I probably broke some sort of blog rule that I haven't read. The book is called "Transformed Into His Likeness" by Armand p. Tiffe. It is actually bound like a calendar, and has a "put off" column, a "put on" column and a "scripture" column. Way easier than finding all the scripture on your own. These types of resources are big in the "Biblical counseling" realm, also called "nouthetic counseling". As for "popping up"... I finally figured out how to sign in under my blog spot account. What I CAN'T figure out is how to change my silly name. What's with the 's after my name??? It looks like I'm swearing.Too funny. Claudia

  11. delicious, delicious post. thank you for sharing your heart and linking up! definitely going to check out that book... much needed here. xoxo.

  12. This is awesome. You look bigger so I think you will win. You got this;)
    Love the pics, gave me a smile this morning:)
    Looks like a great read... Before or once I have kids I'll have to check it out.

  13. I really like that you, me and God bit. (file that away) Roxy is oh my stars dramatic and over-reactive and if something happens or gets lost or she can't find it or I tell her no the, what I term, devastation, starts. "This is the worst day EVER!" "I will never EVER find it again!" "You will hate me forEVER!" I think you get the picture.

    It's exhausting! I don't think I was like this, and honestly it was The ONE main reason I never, EVER (oh my) wanted girls. Yes, it's true, I said it. But the moment I laid eyes on Roxy, I told God I'd have 4 more if that was what he wanted.

    I yell too, and especially with her. She knows what buttons to push, or is learning. And for whatever reason the over dramatic-world-coming-to-an-end attitude gets under my skin sooooooo quick. I really need to mindfully work on that. I have had similar conversations with her where I have rationally said you and I BOTH need to remember to work on this.

    We both keep forgetting. *sigh*

    I would love to hear if you have any other parenting books you'd recommend. I've heard of one called Raising Godly Tomatoes I thought sounded intriguing.

    1. haha godly tomatoes...that's funny.

      I also loved Tedd Tripp's Shepherding a Child's Heart!

  14. As you know, Davi, I love your blog. I nominated you for the Bouquet of Three award because you were the absolute first that came to mind. Inspiring, sunshiney, versatile, and all-around lovely. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with the world!

    1. why thank you kindly! aren't you a dear???!!!!

  15. Hi Davi
    First time commenter- finally getting a chance to catch up on my reading. We have a one year old son and I fear for my sanity come his teenage years! My hubs is stubborn and strong willed as was/am I...Lord help us! I will be bookmarking this page for future reference and ordering that book for bedtime reading. Thanks for sharing your experiences- good and bad... A great resource for us newbie mamas!
    Cheers, Joy