A Parenting Tool to Help Deal with Badgering

Another parenting tip from the National Center for Biblical Parenting…
Carla badgers her mother. Over and over again she asks the same question. Mom says no to every request because she doesn’t want to give in to the badgering. She explains numerous times to her daughter why the answer is no. Still Carla persists. Mom is tired of it but she hangs in there with her daughter to show her that she won’t give in.

Mom believes that she’s doing the right thing. In fact, refusing to give in is great. Unfortunately, responding to her daughter’s barrage of arguments and complaints isn’t working. In fact, giving reasons and arguing about the issue with her daughter seems to validate her dialogue. Mom would do better to leave the issue and move to the process.

The issue is the subject of the dialogue. It may be the dirty shirt, the video, or the snack. The process deals with the way kids handle the situation, the arguing, badgering, or whining. The child who brings the same request over and over again doesn’t need more dialogue about the issue. The child needs to be challenged way she’s treating her mother. That’s what we call the process.

Mom might say, “Carla, I’ve already said no to you about this request. Do you see what you’re doing? You aren’t accepting no as an answer and you keep pressing. That’s the wrong thing to do. So, if you ask the question again or try to engage me about that issue I’m going to discipline you.” Mom is refusing to talk about the subject of their disagreement and instead is pointing to the dishonoring approach of her daughter.

By moving from the issue to the process we teach children that relationship is more important than any request. Too many parents focus on the tasks, getting the job done with little time spent on how we’re getting those things accomplished. Focusing on the process opens up new avenues of teaching with your child.

In Philippians 2:3-4, Paul gives advice to the church that is excellent advice for the family as well. He says, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” And then a few verses later in verse 14 Paul continues, “Do everything without complaining or arguing.” God is concerned with the process as well.

This parenting tip comes from the book The Christian Parenting Handbook: 50 Heart-Based Strategies for All the Stages of Your Child's Life by Dr Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN. 

Milan Tomic

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