Attitude and Wrongitude

A roll of the eyes. A sneer. Sarcasm. Mimicking.

It's not outright defiance, but it's certainly not respect. The Fifth Commandment (honor your father and mother) comes with a promise — "so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you." I don't want you to miss out, I tell my kids, reminding them of No. 5 when I call them on attitude. It's true — their future success is one reason I want them to speak to and treat me respectfully. And I think young followers of Jesus must resist their generation's call to stick it to "the man" (as Dewey Finn charges them in School of Rock) when "the man" is their own Mom. Or Dad.

So I give them the spiritual reasons when I require a change of attitude. But I also express my sorrow and pain, even as I'm enforcing the consequences: I feel like I don't matter to you. And that hurts. I guess I use a two-pronged approach: establish clear boundaries with discipline and speak the truth in love to foster empathy. I hope it works. How do you check your kids if and when they don't treat you with respect? (Comments, please. It's getting lonely blogging out here without anybody chiming in.)

1 comment:

Ann said...

loved your comments ... one simple thing that I do once in a while is give my son a real good look in the eye and then an ever-so-slight smile and often times it dispels all the conflict and we both crack up. I love it when it happens (and it doesn't always). it reminds me of the power of laughter and how it can sometimes put us all on an equal playing field.