“Unexpected”! That was my wife’s response when I asked her how the day had gone. She then went on to inform me of the multiple ways things did not go as she had expected at the start of the day. Her task list was left longer rather than shorter. The interruptions were more numerous than normal. The stress could be felt like a thick fog on a cool fall morning. And what was the cause of the unexpected, unaccomplished, interrupt riddled, stress-filled day? The children’s behavior.

Behavior is a funny thing. One minute all of our kids can be outside enjoying the joys of a creek exploration gang. The next minute someone is crying, another kid is saying it wasn’t their fault, and a third child is giving the “whole story”. However, the hardest thing about parenting when a child’s behavior goes awry is reacting properly. The tension is how to ensure the child learns a valuable life lesson and yet not do so in anger.

We need to be self-controlled and to teach self-control.

Self-control is a funny thing. It’s something you must not just talk about but actually exhibit. If your kids are going to understand what self-control means, they need you to show them what it looks like. I don’t know about you, but that has proven a tall task for me on more than one occasion. In seeking to be a better dad and person, I found this AllPro Dad article, “4 Ways to React When Child Behavior Goes Bad” extremely helpful and practical.

How do you typically respond to bad behavior from others? What have you found helpful in reacting in a better way? I would love to hear more than 4 ways to improve my reactions and still teach my children self-control as I exhibit it for them. As always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day.

Until Next Time…

Photo by Ryan Franco on Unsplash