Monday, February 11, 2013

A Child's Response to Correction & MYHSM Linky Party

Making your home sing Mondays

Welcome to the Making Your Home Sing Monday linky party! Every day you are doing something to make your house into a home for yourself and your family (if you have one). 

My point with each Monday post is, what are YOU doing or going to do today to make your home sing? It can be an attitude or an action. So have fun, do some blog hopping and if you want, link up!

Topics can include marriage, parenting, encouraging women, organization, cleaning, saving money, our behavior and attitudes, homemaking, homeschooling, recipes....the opportunities are endless.

One of the natural reactions of a child to correction or constructive criticism is to defend or give an explanation. When they do this, it may sound as if they are making an excuse or as if they don't believe that they did anything wrong.

While that may be true for some, others may just want you to know that their intent was not to disobey, and they may just want to clue you in to their thought process. This can lead to a heated discussion because, to the parent, it sounds as if the child is making excuses and not accepting responsibility for his actions.

But the child is frustrated because he knows what he did was wrong, but he just wants you to understand why he did what he did.

Differing viewpoints can be a problem too.  For example:

Mom: "I told you to go to bed! What're you doing up?
Child: "I'm doing my homework!"
Mom: "You should have done it earlier. You are being totally irresponsible."
Child: "No, I'm being responsible. Being irresponsible would be going to bed without doing it. I am doing my homework so I am being responsible."
Mom: "But it's 1:00 in the morning!"

A discussion such as this can go round and round. Mom doesn't care what the child was thinking, all she cares about is the fact that the kid put off his homework and is now staying up late to finish it, instead of doing it earlier in the day when he had the opportunity.

The kid doesn't understand why mom is upset as he feels he's being totally responsible by doing his homework, even if it is 1:00 in the morning.

Mom gets mad because she thinks her child isn't accepting responsibility and the child doesn't get it because he thinks he is being responsible.

Another time.......

Sometimes your child can seem like he's lying to you in his answers or responses, when he is actually telling the truth.

It's just that it's a different truth.

His perspective is different, so he is presenting a different truth than the one you THINK you are talking about.

Which is why he may be answering the question he thinks you are asking, instead of answering the question you actually asked. 
Isn't parenting fun?????  ;)

The key is to take a deep breath, step back and prayerfully listen to what he is saying. What you say is not always what they hear.  The issue you're talking about is not necessarily the same issue they are talking about.

You are still talking about track A but he has moved on to track B.

This is why we sometimes look at our children and we wonder if we are speaking the same language or are even in the same room having the same conversation at the same time.  Maybe even wondering if you're both on the same planet.

Repeat back to him something like, "What I hear you saying is......"  or "I heard you to say that sometimes you feel......" so that you can make sure that what he is saying is what you are hearing.

Sometimes his "me" filter may be turned up too high.  That's what I call it, but it just means he is filtering everything you are saying through how it relates to him. Which means that he may infer insult where none is intended, and suddenly you are no longer talking calmly about the issue at hand, and instead are dealing with a hurt and upset child who seems to be talking about something totally different.  Again, you go back to that whole same planet thing.

Calmly ask him to repeat back to you what he heard you to say, and take the time to clarify what it was you actually said, if necessary.  This way, misunderstandings can be cleared up early before developing into bigger ones.

Remember that communication isn't just talking, it's listening too!  Also remember that listening isn't trying to figure out what you're going to say next as soon as they stop talking. That's not listening.

Listen in love, with your whole heart because you love them and want them to know that what they say is important to you.  Listen to your child and make your home sing this week!

What are you doing or going to do today to make your home sing? Please go here for instructions and/or ideas and come back here to link up to join us today! Please do not put your own "Making Your Home Sing Monday" Linky on your blog. As always, please don't forget to link to this post so that others can join the fun!

If you don't want to miss any blog posts, you can follow me or subscribe in your reader or by email.  You can also find me here on facebook as well!  I'd love to connect with you!

I am linking up to these linky parties:
The Life Of Faith
What Joy Is Mine

also  Wholehearted-Home and We Are That Family


  1. Thank you so much for hosting. Have a wonderful week :)

    1. Thank YOU for linking up! You always have such great posts! :) Your snow post looks fun today and I'll be popping over in a few minutes to read it.

  2. I wished I understood these things when I was a new parent. I am ready now to be a parent, problem is I just became a grammy...why is it that we are ready for parenting after our parenting years are over? LOL!!

    Thanks Nan for hosting the linkup.

    Have a wonderful day!!

    1. I remember being with some friends and her teenaged (16 year old) son asked if he could do something, and the mom said no.

      I remember thinking "How did she know to say no? Will I *know* when to say no when my kids get to be teenagers? What was her criteria that she used to arrive at that decision.

      Teenagers just seemed so complicated when mine were little, lol!

      But I think we just grow into it. We grow into wisdom born of years of momhood. So as a grandma, you gotta be wicked smart, right? ;)

  3. Oh I just wish I could remember or keep notes and then find them when I need them to all the wise words all of you more experienced Mothers have. =/

    Parenting terrifies me!!
    I am so thankful that I know God hears my prayers and is always with me as I journey forward as a parent.

    1. Yes, He is with us every step of the way! He is always great to give wisdom when we need it, and of course you have your hubby and your parents and your friends for wisdom too.

      I think we all sort of grow into parenting. I think that's why God has us start with little tiny babies and we work our way up into teenagers, lol!

      If you have a pinterest account, just create a "Parenting" board and start pinning some of your favorite posts. Then they will be there when you need them! :)

      If you don't, you can create one. But don't do it through pinterest, you will wait for several weeks. Just let me know what email account you want to use and I will email you invite. That way you can be on it today!

  4. Thank you, Nan, for this enlightening post. I appreciate you godly women that give wisdom to us newbie mothers :)

    Blessings to you, my friend! Thanks for the linkup and have a lovely week!


    1. That's the fun part of being an "older" mom! You get to share some of what you learned with those not as far along the parenting path as you.

      I love talking with young moms! :)

      You have a lovely week too!

  5. I know a mom's job is never over but since our kids are in their 30s and 40s I like to feel the hard part is. I still believe that listening is one of the best things you can ever do for someone, and kids and grandkids never get to old that they don't want a listening ear. Very good, Jan

    1. Oh I totally agree! My mom is 89 and she always has a listening ear and my siblings love to call and share things with her.

      I do too but I don't have to call as she lives with me, lol!

      I love it when my kids share with me as well.

  6. Communicating with my boys sometimes is like art, sometimes it is like a riddle - and sometimes a lot of discernment. Listening contextually is really important, too:)

    1. I have boys,too, so I love your comment! You are so right. And yes, that context is really important, lol!

  7. HI Nan,
    This is my first visit to your blog. I appreciate your thoughts about perspective, because I encounter that a lot with my young adults. It always helps, I found, to ask a few "diagnostic questions" to see if I can find out what they're thinking before I pronounce judgment. I'm often surprised at what I find if I take the time to investigate. Hopping over from Hungry for God today, and glad I did.

    1. Hi Lori! Happy to meet you!

      You are so right, when we take the time to ask some questions we can find out where they're coming from, and then it can help put everything into context so that their response makes sense.

  8. Hoppd from WholeHearted Home... This sounds like both of my boys... they do have an answer for everything. Love the perception thought! I have never thought of how they perceive what we have said.
    One is very literal and the other has an excuse for everything!!
    Thanks for sharing this!

    1. I love your comment that one has an excuse for everything, lol! One of mine was like that and the other one liked to argue so we said he should be a lawyer, lol!


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