If you haven’t figured it out yet, the reason kids don’t listen to their parents—but they listen to others who say the same things—is not the presumed “rebellion”, but the innate academic need for a second opinion. Smart kids do that; smart parents encourage that. Parents that don’t court questioning inadvertently raise kids who rebel in late teens and change morals monthly from their 30s through their 60s.
A parent who respects my opinion once told me:
…teachers never punish him. They are very gentle and tender to him, not even yelling. But, he listens to them and obeys.
Honestly, the reason why… And I love you a lot in saying this… you don’t know what you’re doing, the teacher does; that’s because this is your first time working with kids, the teacher has had TONS of practice with MANY family styles and personalities. You can learn, but just having kids doesn’t make you an expert in how to deal with them; practice does. That’s a hard truth of life that even teachers don’t want to talk about.
That parent loves the kids, but is not blinded by emotions for them. The successful parents I have seen maintain a “professional dispassion”, even toward their own children. Sobriety does the job better and anyone can get drunk on love. But, even the best parents get the “difficult” children. This is by design.
God locks us with people we seem incompatible with to help us grow in love. God welds us into relationships where we depend on people who compromise standards that the Bible demands we follow. You may be dependent on a boss or employee who does things that go against your values; you feel like cooperation means you must compromise. Children and parents have the same conflicts—diet, exercise, learning which skill, “accept me for who I am”—all of this is by God’s design. Never fail His tests.
Forgive, stand for morals, sprinkle charm, rise above pettiness, and return kindness for injury. Be thankful; whatever angers you exposes your faults. Even when you feel you are compromising in situations you cannot escape, God has you learning some sort of virtue.
Proverbs 15:4-5, Matthew 6:43-48, Ephesians 4:1-6, Colossians 3:18-21