Whoever said, “Sticks and stone can break my bones, but words can never hurt me,” lied. When one of our kids says something that just gets under my skin and pushes all my buttons, I’m quick to defend myself. Sometimes words hurt more than the physical aggression.
“You never do anything for me!”
My primary love language is Acts of Service. All I do is do things for you.
“You love them (siblings) more than me.”
Umm…our life basically revolves around keeping you stable. Whatevs.
“You’re never proud of me or tell me you love me.”
I call B.S.
“You just wanted slave dogs, not kids.”
Dude, a maid would’ve been so much easier on so many levels.
“We’re not really family because we don’t share blood.”
Seriously?!? You’re the second generation of adopted people in our family. No one shares blood.
The problem is that our kids are speaking in a code of sorts, so addressing the actual words that come out of their mouths is an exercise in futility. Plus, our experience shows responding with logic will probably escalate you and them.The problem is that our kids are speaking in a code of sorts, so addressing the mean words that come out of their mouths is an exercise in futility. Click To Tweet
As Bryan Post often says, “Ignore the behavior, but not the child.”
Any of the above could be responded to with, “Do you need a hug?” or “I love you.”
I won’t lie. This is way easier said than done. It means we’ll have to do a lot of our own work and reflection about why those things bother us so much.
This morning I was reading in Mark.
So Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?”
He answered him, “You say so.”
And the chief priests accused him of many things. Pilate questioned him again, “Aren’t you going to answer? Look how many things they are accusing you of!” But Jesus still did not answer, and so Pilate was amazed. (Mark 15:2-5, CSB)
We can be comforted and encouraged that we are not the first people to be falsely accused. Jesus was accused by his own people, rejected for a criminal (Mark 15:6-15), and denied by one of his best friends (Matthew 26:69-74).
Jesus knew what his job was. It wasn’t to argue with people he knew would not be convinced with words. He trusted that the truth would endure. He didn’t need to defend it.
May you be confident this Easter to know that you’re a good parent doing good work. Don’t let words from hurting kids threaten your foundation or your identity.
If you need some practical steps for building a strong foundation, make sure to grab your FREE Parent Success Plan.