Don’t Forget that Annoying, Self-reliant Child

Do you have one of those? You know, the child who drives you crazy. He’s also the one who can occupy himself. He’s a loner—he’s fine to be alone, and it’s so easy to just let him go off on his own and not bother to find out who he really is!

Here are some facts for those of you who are born-again believing parents:

  1. You have an unbelievable enemy
    • Who throws all kinds of hazards into your pathway of parenting
    • Who wants to destroy you
    • Who is willing to wait and take a lifetime to destroy your children
  2. You have an even more unbelievable comrade and commander
    • Who is stronger than your enemy
    • Who loves you and your kids so much that He died for you and them
    • Who is way smarter than you could ever be
    • Who has a plan for your life and the lives of your children

Knowing all that, it’s amazing that God entrusts us with the lives of anyone, and yet He does. So, what do you do with that special child who drives you crazy and then does his own thing?

  1. Seek him out. Spend little bits of time with him. He does like to be alone, so just use those little snippets of time when he’s plugged in and get to know him.
  2. Pay attention! I’m amazed at how often we are not plugged in to our children! Don’t just look at what she’s doing, look at whys he is doing it! Is she looking for attention? Is he unsure of himself? Does she have an older sibling that is “perfect” in her eyes and she translate that into perfection in your eyes as well while she is the “loser?”
  3. REWARD GOOD BEHAVIOR!!! “What good behavior?” you ask. It’s out there. Just walking into a room quietly can be good behavior. Not rapping a sibling on the head as he passes by is good behavior!
  4. Know your annoying, self-reliant child. You might be to a place where you wonder whose kid she really is! Remember better times. Dwell on the good memories and make some new ones.
  5. Be patient! This kind of child needs all the patience you can muster, but that doesn’t mean that you ignore sin. When there is out-and-out disobedience it must be punished but CHOOSE YOUR BATTLES! This child needs a long leash.  J
  6. Keep eternity in mind. Don’t give up! Stay the course! You may be raising a preacher or teacher or a president of the United States!  Often these children are wired to lead when they grow up. It’s as though they are adults biding time in a child’s body!
  7. Equip them to succeed by training them to
    • Submit to authority
    • Develop a Christ-loving heart
    • Have a J-O-Y mentality: Jesus-Others-You!

I’m sixty years old. Most of my life has passed. Oh, those precious, happy, golden years when my children were all still under one roof! I loved parenting! Yes, there were moments.  I often longed for peace and quiet. Now it’s here, and the greatest blessing of my life is watching my godly children raise godly grandchildren. Stay in the battle for your kids! Make the goal godly, not just good!  And remember 314… 3 John 1:4 “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. “

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