Getting to the Root

Article by Dan Marcello, Young Families Pastor

When we were kids and would misbehave, what’s the most common thing our parents would say to us in anger and frustration? For me, it was “I hope that someday, when you’re a parent, you have a kid that behaves just as bad as you so you know what it feels like!”

Recently, it was mentioned in our Young Families group that when our kids act out, it could be potentially because we as parents aren’t taking the time to address the root of what is going on. As a result, children tend to act out in frustration, trying desperately to get our attention, escalating the situation for everyone.

For example, some children have a tendency to misbehave and get emotional when their parents are too busy to spend enough quality time with them. While we do need to put consequences to a lack of obedience and tantrums, we also need to be careful to not allow ourselves to just react with that same frustration, skipping over the fact that children do not always know how to identify stressors and reasons for what makes them cranky, emotional or defiant.

Would you join me this week in trying something different? In those stressful moments when our kids act out and misbehave, let’s not allow our frustration to get the best of us. Instead, pray and ask ourselves the following questions, “Is my attitude contributing to this problem or helping to solve it?” “Is there something else going on below the surface that also needs attention?” After that, we have to make time to talk about what is going on with our children and find healthier ways to deal with our problems. When we make time to do this, we’ll be able to better get to the root of the issue and see real progress in both our relationship with our children and their ability to identify and make changes in how they behave.