Homemaking/ Parenting

Can Child Training Actually Improve My Relationship With My Child?

Can child training actually improve your relationship with your child?? Find out what we think!

No one really likes to hang out with a miserable, pouting, jerk. I think it’s pretty obvious that if you fit that description, you will not have many friends. What happens though, if you are forced to be near someone like that every day? Co-worker and roommate horror stories can no doubt confirm this as an experience to avoid. Dealing with someone who always behaves that way will cause you to resent them over time and that can lead to other, more serious, relationship problems.

Here’s a thought: What if that self-centered jerk was your child?

*gasp*

Not my kids!

Let’s assume that you are willing to accept that your children are (like you) sinners standing in the need of God’s grace. Every child is at some point in their life a selfish jerk. They can be that way to you, their siblings, or even their friends. This isn’t your fault necessarily. Children are born with an uncanny ability to do wrong – no instruction required. However, over time if that behavior persists into a habit, what was a small isolated incident is now a big problem and one with consequences that you may not realize.

Parent-Child relationships are also Human-Human relationships

This seems like an odd statement, but it’s true. The Bible does outline certain conditions and rules that make a Parent-Child relationship different than most others. Parents have authority, and children should submit. Children should give respect and honor to their parents. These are Bible principles that help define how a home is supposed to work. But these precepts are a layer built on top of the fact that Moms and Dads are essentially people interacting with other people (the kids) inside the home.

There are Bible principles that govern general Human-Human relationships as well. Ephesians 4:1-3 sums it up nicely:

I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

If only those verses described the average American home!

When we are constantly scolding our children all day for things they do wrong, and they are pouting, crying, and stomping in return, it doesn’t sound like “unity in the bond of peace”. This may seem unavoidable! After all, if your child does wrong a lot you will need to respond to it in equal proportions.

daddy with baby girl

The problem that often crops up here is that although you are doing the right thing on a Parent-Child level, on a Human-Human level the relationship is beginning to spiral out of control. After weeks of constantly being disappointed in your child’s behavior and seeing him or her fail at the same thing over and over, you start to feel negativity towards your child. This is the same outcome that we discussed in the opening paragraph, but instead of a coworker getting on your nerves again and again, it’s your own child.

Is this happening to you?

If it is, be careful. There are some pretty bad consequences here. It is likely over time, that your child will return the sentiment. You may even begin to show favoritism to your other children that may be acting less “naughty”. When your relationship with your son or daughter is defined by the stress and hassle they cause you, it’s time for a change.

What should I do?

The difference between your child and a co-worker is that you play an active and vital role in determining the behavior and emotional disposition of your kid. If little Johnny is constantly getting on your nerves, you have a chance to change it. Imagine this scenario:

Mom: “Go get your shoes on so we can leave.”

You then resume getting yourself ready to go. When you return you find that your child has become distracted doing something else:

Mom: “How many times do I have to tell you, get your shoes on!”

Five minutes later, they’re still not on and in a sigh of frustration, you supervise the efficient application of shoes to the feet before rushing out the door.

Does this sound familiar?

Proper training can help both you and your child. When you are finding yourself say, “How many times do I have to tell you…” to your child, it’s time for training.

Training is a purposeful activity and it is different from discipline. Discipline is more of a reactionary process that occurs when your child violates a previously known rule.

In our shoe example,  you can spare yourself a lot of headache by creating a training exercise with your little ones. Take some time when you are not rushed or hurried and gather the kids. Explain that you are about to give them a command to put on their shoes and that they need to do it quickly and without delay. Explain that failure to obey will result in immediate discipline. Give the command. When everyone is done, have them take the shoes back off and start again. After only a few minutes and several repetitions, you can plant the seed that will eliminate what was a stressful moment for you that caused you to build negative experiences with your child.

Can child training actually improve your relationship with your child?? Find out what we think!

Over time, the more you purposefully train, the less you will need to discipline.

When this happens, your relationships with your kids will be less about always getting in trouble and you can focus on the next step.

Purposely create happy times with your needy child.

Last thought. Sometimes you will have a difficult child that will always be needing discipline even if you are properly training. They might be stubborn, strong-willed, or overly curious. However there are only 24 hours in the day and if you are spending most of those hours constantly dealing with their bad behavior you will reap the same consequences we have discussed previously. One great piece of advice is to make sure you spend some positive happy time with that child.

Do not let your relationships with your kids be defined by their bad behavior. Find something they like to do and do it with them. Forget about the dishes, they can wait. Play blocks with your son or daughter, read them a book, jump in the leaves with them. While you shouldn’t cease to train and discipline, don’t forget to form happy memories as well. They will help your child know that you love them, and it will keep you from becoming resentful of them during periods of seemingly constant trouble.

 

Your turn! Do you believe that child training can in fact improve your relationship with your child? Do you find yourself doing more discipline or training in your parenting?

This post may be linked up with any of these blogs.

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16 Comments

  • Reply
    Christia Colquitt
    December 14, 2015 at 2:13 am

    Great post. I am always getting comments from others about how well behaved my children are. They are amazed that by disciplining my children and I have a closer relationship. I enjoyed this read. Your content would be great at my linkup party. I would love to have you join me http://faithfilledparenting.com/2015/12/faith-filled-parenting-link-up-party-3/
    Blessings to you and your family.

    • Anastasia Safee
      Reply
      Anastasia Safee
      December 14, 2015 at 8:46 am

      Thank you for the invite, Christia! Checking it out! 🙂

  • Reply
    Amanda @ The Fundamental Home
    December 14, 2015 at 5:16 pm

    Our children are teenagers, and we are seeing the fruit of all the years of patient training. It does work. I tried very hard to spend far more time encouraging excellent behavior than punishing behaviors that were frowned upon. It was also important that my husband and I set the example. Because of all this, we have wonderful relationships with our children. Excellent post!

    • Anastasia Safee
      Reply
      Anastasia Safee
      December 14, 2015 at 9:54 pm

      That is so great to hear. I often hear from mom’s who have strained relationships with their teen girls and it makes me worry. But just last night my husband reminded me that if we do things God’s way things will turn out okay (and not to worry so much! ha!) Thanks for joining the conversation, it encouraged me tonight!!

  • Reply
    Jen Schneider
    December 15, 2015 at 7:10 pm

    Great advice and very encouraging! I look forward to playing some trains with my little one tonight to build some positive moments with him. Training is a hard thing to do when you get in the rut of focusing on the discipline side of things. Thanks for reminding me what is important.

    • Anastasia Safee
      Reply
      Anastasia Safee
      December 15, 2015 at 10:31 pm

      My kiddos and I watched part of a football game tonight (BIG football fans here!) to connect. My Little guy loves to snuggle up so making time for that is so important. I am so glad to see you are connecting with your children. It is SO important! We all need that reminder sometimes.

  • Reply
    Pam
    December 16, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    Excellent and wise post, Anastasia! Thanks or this post!

  • Reply
    Forever Joyful
    December 16, 2015 at 10:45 pm

    Thanks for encouraging diligence in this area.

  • Reply
    Kristi Miller
    December 17, 2015 at 2:26 pm

    I like that you tie this up with spending positive time with your kids. I think we can get so busy with life that we forget to stop and take things at their pace sometimes. The days that I consciously spend some time doing what my daughter wants us to do rather than me guiding everything are the days filled with the best attitudes, best behavior and just the most fun in general. Thanks for your post!

    • Anastasia Safee
      Reply
      Anastasia Safee
      December 18, 2015 at 9:37 am

      I can so relate, when I put my to do list on hold and play more with my kids than we end up having such a better day overall. It truly does help! I need to get better at setting that to do list aside more frequently though!

  • Reply
    Mrs. Chrissy T
    December 17, 2015 at 10:39 pm

    What a powerful post. So rich! Thank you. Enjoyed my visit.

    • Anastasia Safee
      Reply
      Anastasia Safee
      December 18, 2015 at 9:38 am

      Thanks so much for the encouragement Mrs. Chrissy! So glad you enjoyed your visit!

  • Reply
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    December 20, 2015 at 12:52 am

    […] Blog Post from Giftie Etcetera(mis) Adventures Mondays Blog Hop by Mindie at Born Again Farm GirlCan Child Training Actually Improve My Relationship With My Child by Anastasia at […]

  • Reply
    Valerie
    December 20, 2015 at 3:42 am

    Thank you so much for sharing this at #100HappyDays! It was very timely for me because I just had a hard day with my 12-year old refusing to do her chores. She ended up with more chores because of it. I like your points about training the kids how to listen. I also loved that you said we should not let our relationship be defined by their bad behavior. Sometimes we have to take the time to make positive memories and reconnect. Such truth!

    • Anastasia Safee
      Reply
      Anastasia Safee
      December 21, 2015 at 10:21 am

      On those hard parenting days, it is so hard to remember to take a step back and have a positive interaction with your child. I know I’ve been there many times! Thanks for the link up!

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