A while back Peanut was disciplined for something he did although he knew not to. He was very upset with himself for again making the same mistake and yelled out, “I’m so stupid.” He then sulked away waiting for someone to take the bait.
Someone to say, “No, you’re not! You are a great kid. You…. You…” in a way that begs the child to think differently.
Instead, I calmly told him, “Son, this is drama, and I will not enter into this with you.” Then I walked away.
Validating Your Child
Society has told us that it is very important to keep our children’s self-esteems strong. To always validate what our children say letting them know they are heard and that their words are important.
And while we want our children to see themselves as God sees them – important, with purpose, created in an amazing, beautiful way – over inflating our children creates a sense of entitlement and arrogancy. Completely the opposite of the servant attitude we desire to build.
Beyond that, sometimes in validating we are actually giving validity to their negative talk and untrue statements.
First, when we coddle them, it makes our children think “She must think I am stupid too!” It is in essence that the parent is trying to convince the child of what they should believe instead of what is truth.
Second, validating false statements made by rash emotions shows the child the power of drama. The child discovers, “When I make a dramatic comment, the adults in my life jump into action and I get attention.”
Instead of responding with panic or desperation, use a one-liner.
One-liners are pre-scripted short phrases that remove emotions, provide a consistent answer, and eliminate fuel from potentially heated situation.
Here are a few options.
- Aren’t you glad that I don’t believe that.
- Nope. God made you in an amazing way.
- Thank you for sharing.
Use these quick, non-emotion statements in a plethora of situations.
Responding with Hope
That next morning Peanut and I talked about the “drama” from the night before and why I didn’t respond the way he appeared to want.
He said, “You’re right mom. I’m not stupid and I was using drama to get your attention.”
Then he gave me a hug and a kiss, and walked away with a smile. I had responded how his heart hoped I would.
Now is the time to order your Be Intentional Planner! Available in the large size, use this spiral-bound book to intentionally guide you from July 2022 – June 2023. Only $15 to help you “look to the Lord and His strength,” as you “seek His face” these next few months (I Chronicles 16:11). Order now!