ANGRY PARENTING

ANGRY PARENTING

Go beneath the yelling. What is happening inside of you at the time? Anger is a BIG emotion to cover up a softer emotion like being sad, scared, or lonely. If you can ask Holy Spirit to identify the softer emotion, it will help you with being able to address the true heart need. Anger is just a mask that protects your heart and afterward leaves you feeling worse. The sad part is that your real heart and need never get heard because of the mess anger creates. Your heart matters! Give it a voice (not a scream).

LIES DON’T FIT

My daughter started to cry, more like wail. I came running into the room thinking she was hurt, and she said, “He called me a boy!” I reassured her she was a girl, but the crying would not stop. I asked her what she would think if I told her she was a puppy or had purple hair. She thought that was pretty silly. Exactly! Just because someone calls you a boy doesn’t make it true. She was distraught because she accepted what he said, which didn’t fit.

Children need to learn that rejecting words spoken over them is okay. They need to be taught that not everything they hear (from others and in their minds) is true. Lies don’t feel good, make sense or bring peace because lies are demonic. Children can be empowered to say NO to lies!

GOING AFTER IDENTITY

I am going to give you some great exercises to do with your children to go after IDENTITY.

TRUTH NOTES – I often get a fun package of sticky notes (fun shapes, cool colors, cute animals) and then write words of truth to each child and stick them in their underwear drawer, between their folded shirts, in their lunch box, on the mirror, in their shoes – the ideas are endless. If they have a test, I will write, “You can do this!” and place it in their book or “Remember, you are never alone,” in their lunch bag. If my kids spend the night elsewhere or when they go to camp, they are armed with TRUTH notes from mom!

THE REAL YOU – When your child is feeling bad, believing a lie about themselves or just need some love, ask them, “What does Jesus say about you?” We cannot teach our children enough about the truth of their identity and what God says about them. The rest of their lives, they will get messages from others – their boss, friends, magazines, movies, and even unintentionally from us as parents – that communicate that they aren’t good enough or worthy. Taking the time in moments of peace to speak the truth will profit your child’s ability to become spiritually strong and fit for the long haul.

WHO AM I? – Take an index card and write words that fit your child: “smart”, “loving”, “kind”, “secure”, “special”, etc. Wrap up that card inside tissue paper and place it deep within a gift bag (or brown paper bag). Do this before you bring it to the children. Now have a stack of Kleenex or tissue paper, and one by one as you wad it up call out lies: “stupid”, “mean”, “ugly”, “useless”, etc. As you call out each lie, place the wad in the bag. Do 8-10 lies/wads of paper. It’s okay to get crazy and have fun with this (they don’t know what’s coming, and the more they participate, the better the ah-ha moment will be). One mom taped a chocolate kiss to the index card to give them a visual of how sweet the treasure is inside of us. Explain to the child that the gift bag represents the heart that is in each person on earth. Remind them of the mean lies that were deposited into that heart. If a person hears that they are ugly, mean, unwanted, gross, etc., ask them how they think that person will act. Keep going until they take out each lie one-by-one until they get to the truth card. Ask them to open it up and read the card. Explain that each person on earth has something of value written on their heart FROM GOD, who made them. We are to go around FINDING that nugget of gold in each person. When they walk by someone at Wal-Mart and say, “You have beautiful eyes,” they are calling out the TRUTH about that person. When they speak life over someone, they are calling out the good!

CELEBRATE – I look for ways I celebrate their identity. My son was going through the highs and lows of being a teenager and frankly some days he baffles my mind. Since I am aware the changes are actually about him becoming a man, I will often go to him and put my hand on his heart and just say, “I bless your journey into manhood.” I am always calling out WHO my children are. We can’t put the entire focus on WHAT they do, or we will be teaching them that approval is attached to performance, but we can call out WHO they are despite what they do.

TINY BABY – Go to a craft store and in the baby shower section, you will find a package of really tiny babies (to be used for games and on cupcakes). Place the baby in the palm of your hand and just focus on it for a moment. This is a great visual for children (and you!) of how big the Father’s hands are. No matter what we are going through, Papa is always bigger. He’s got us and we are safe and secure.

WHITE HEART – Take a piece of paper and draw a huge heart. Spend some time being quiet before the Lord and then ask Him to show you what HE has written on the heart of your child (do this separately for each child). What are the passions, dreams, desires, and strengths HE has put deep inside of them? Write down whatever you hear and then deliberately partner with God to call that out in them.

HELLO, MY NAME IS… – Go to the store and get a label/sticker and write things like “loving”, “kind”, “helpful”, “worthy”, etc. on it. Throughout the day, call out your child’s identity and remind them who they are. Ask Holy Spirit to make your ears sensitive to hear when your children call out a lie about themselves. Things like, “I am not good at this”, “I can’t”, “I am not smart”, “I am stupid”, “No one cares”, and show them their name tag and ask, “Is that who you are?” Show them it is a LIE from the enemy, and they can easily toss that lie out. It is so important that children get practice in hearing GOD’S words about them and learn how to toss out the lies. They will use this tool for the rest of their lives!

TREASURE BOX – Get a small box or wooden treasure box and place a mirror on the inside. Really build it up and tell them that inside this box is what God treasures the most, what He sent His son to die for, what makes Him smile the biggest, and what He is most passionate about – then have them slowly open the box and see for themselves. For Christmas one year, I did this and wrapped the kids a mirror with a ribbon super glued for the hook. We hang them on the tree every year as a reminder that we are the gifts God enjoys the most.

“Identity” is a very big word rich in meaning. This is just a tiny sampling of what we can teach our children about identity, but the most important thing is that they realize that there are two opposing views – what God says about us and the lies the enemy whispers. We need to choose which one we will believe and which one we will kick out the door.

Don’t feel pressured to do these exercises all at once. Instead, be committed to being intentional about teaching your kids what God says about them throughout your journey. 

HeartWork Did you have a mom/dad who saw the treasure in you? How would your childhood have been different if you would have had a parent who consistently called out the truth about who you are? What kind of parent do you want your children to have?

THE DIFFICULTY OF BAD CHARACTER

The Word says in 2 Timothy 3:1-5: “But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.”

If this is what our children are up against, how can we stand against this force of reckless rebellion? By intentionally teaching and training character at an early age! What is good character? How can we teach our young children? How do we go after character without introducing legalism? How can we empower them through connection? How can we expect more out of our children?

I invite you to check out our CHARACTER COUNTS Magazine – Character Training SOAR Magazine – Let the Children Fly

TELL THEM!

Your child is hungry to learn and hear your personal stories. Your journey will shape them significantly, and your story’s chapters will be valuable to them. Share with them your experiences as it relates to their world. Tell them about a time you dealt with or struggled with the same thing they are walking through. Share with them what you have learned through your own mistakes. Tell them about your God encounters and what Jesus has said to you. You are not their royal emperor dictating from a throne. You are their parent – empowering, equipping, and leading them face-to-face.

C-19

Take authority over your home and USE THIS to empower your children of all ages. Let me walk you through HOW. The truth is there is sickness going around – always has been – always will be – as we live in a fallen world. Only heaven is sickness free. How you respond to this issue will shape your children when facing future crises. Are you modeling fear and worry or teaching them how to walk in authority full of faith? Either you are partnering with life or death.

Gather the children and talk about C-19. Trust me, if they go to school or own a computer, they have heard about it. We want to explain to them that what makes this virus (use the word ‘cold’ as they understand that better than ‘virus’) different is that it is new to doctors and scientists. Give them an explanation for the fear that is attached to the virus. Cancer, tooth pain, backaches, and tuberculosis all caused the same worry years ago because people were battling things in their bodies, and the doctors did not know how to help them. But over time, God gave the doctors and scientists wisdom in how to help the body through medicine.

Spend time praying as a family for God to give doctors and scientists strategies and solutions to help people! Make a list of how medicine, doctors, dentists, chiropractors, and vitamins have already helped your family. Spend time thanking God for each one of them. Flip your worry to praise.

Declare over your home that the virus is not allowed! Declare that the virus is not welcome in your city! Declare that the virus is not welcome in your country! Pray for a wall of protection against you and any person who is sick! Declare, “Fear, you are a liar, and do not lead me. God does!”

Be wise in taking care of the body given to you by drinking an increased amount of water, consuming less sugar, and getting more rest. This helps your body to become stronger and fight off viruses. Take a family field trip down to the bathroom and practice what it means to wash your hands well (I am being serious). Talk about why it is important to keep hands away from their nose and mouth (and wash often). Talk about facts vs. truth.

FACTS: a virus is unknown to doctors, and they aren’t sure what to do, the virus is making people sick, and the virus feels scary.

TRUTH: God is not surprised by the virus, God is still in control, God can keep me safe, God has a plan, and God comforts me in my unrest.

We want to acknowledge facts but camp out in the TRUTH. Be sensitive to when fear is knocking – both for you and your child. When it comes, do not be chased by fear, but STOP, TURN and FACE the fear. First, identify what the fear is about. Afraid God isn’t in control? Can’t God keep your family safe? Something terrible is going to happen? You will suffer? You won’t be able to protect your children? Identify it and then ASK JESUS for His truth. Release what He told you like a bold statement of truth and hope to those around you. This is how we rise up and become the light in the midst of darkness. Open your mouth in the declaration and speak HIS TRUTH over the situation.

FAMLY DETOX

Our bodies profit from an occasional detox from the build-up of toxins. It just helps make the rest of the body parts function better. Our family is a body, and it, too, could benefit from a spiritual detox from the hurts, lies, and offenses that have been built up among family members. It never ceases to amaze me when we do this as a family. Everyone is more helpful, joyful, and drawn to connection. Send them to school this year with the slate clean between family members. Have a listen!

Video – Family Detox – YouTube

Podcast – Family Detox by Lisa Max – Let the Children Fly! (anchor.fm) 

CHARACTER MATTERS

Character matters because it matters to God. Children without character can’t sustain the gifts and assignments God wants to give them. It is much easier, by God’s design, to learn character IN childhood from parents who love and care for them. In this eBooklet, I will walk you through defining godly character (not legalism) and how to cultivate a lifestyle of character. Additionally, I will provide you with fun, creative activities to teach your children.

Character Training SOAR Magazine – Let the Children Fly

OVERFLOWING

Ever had a hard day as an adult? Children have hard days at school, too. Sometimes they get tired of managing being told what to do, constantly learning new things, the pressure of tests, managing peers, the constant bombardment of atmospheres, and missing you! Children need to be filled with love and connection when they come home from school. This is why knowing their love language is so important. Be intentional and fill their tank. It doesn’t take long. Remember, children’s hearts leak quickly but fill fast. Simply showing interest in their day, offering an intentional hug, or spending time with them can align their hearts. I once met with a couple who talked about peers on the playground not being kind to them when they were younger. The wife said mean comments just rolled off her back while her husband became quite wounded from them. What was the difference between the two? Her love tank was filled often, and she was told who she was, while her husband felt isolated and empty most of the time growing up – filling the tanks DAILY matters!

HELLO, MY NAME IS

Go to the store, get a label/sticker, and write things like ‘loving,’ ‘kind,’ ‘helpful,’ ‘worthy,’ etc. Then, throughout the day, call out your child’s identity and remind them who they are. Ask Holy Spirit to make your ears sensitive to hear when your children call out a lie about themselves. Things like, “I am not good at this,” “I can’t,” “I am not smart,” “I am stupid,” “No one cares,” and show them their name tag and ask, “Is that who you are?” Show them it is a LIE from the enemy, and they can easily toss that lie out. It is important that children get practice hearing GOD’S words about them and learn how to toss out the lies. They will use this tool for the rest of their lives!

‘Identity’ is a very big word with a loaded meaning. This is just a tiny sampling of what we can teach our children about identity, but the most important thing is that they realize that there are two opposing views – what God says about us and the lies the enemy says. We need to choose which one we will believe and which one we will kick out the door – about ourselves and others.

LOOK AT THE HEART

Oh, that we would grasp this revelation and run our homes and churches to reflect the Father’s heart.

Hudson has been a bear – like the mean grizzly kind. He would not heed the multiple warnings and continued to operate out of disrespect for all of those around him. Finally, in frustration, someone walked away and said they could no longer be around him. He found himself disconnected from the group. The next morning as he was cleaning up his mess, he created another one, but this one had serious consequences. I was so frustrated as I felt like we kept putting out fires but never getting to the source. I  knew I had to go deeper into getting the Lord’s heart and strategy for him, as he was clearly stuck in a cycle. As we asked Jesus, he said he wanted revenge (which is exactly how he was acting). We asked Jesus to show us what he wanted revenge for, and he started crying. He said the girls kept ignoring him. I called a family meeting, and we began to realize that we thought the girls were responding because Hudson was being unkind, but in reality, the girls were the ones not being loving, and it was causing him to feel rejected and like he didn’t belong in his own family (which was the root of his behavior).

All the discipline in the world would not have addressed the real issue – the girl’s hearts. He was not the ISSUE. His behavior was simply waving a FLAG that there was an issue. I went from being so frustrated with him to being so thankful for his reaction because it alerted me to something greater for the girls.