When Kids Do not Listen

Brandon is nine years old. When his mom gives him an instruction he often turns it into a discussion. He asks why he has to do it and offers ideas about why the task isn’t important anyway. Mom finds herself explaining, arguing, and nagging.

Jenny is thirteen years old and has a similar problem when her parents tell her that she can’t go to the party on Friday night, or can’t go to her friend’s house, or can’t have more computer time. Jenny has a hard time accepting no as an answer and proceeds to use dialogue to manipulate her parents or make them feel guilty.

Occasionally in these kinds of situations dialogue is helpful and an explanation may bring cooperation, but you’ll want to discern whether your children really want an explanation or whether they’re just unhappy and trying to change the situation.

It’s good to dialogue with children—most of the time. In fact, most families need to be intentional about adding healthy dialogue to their lives as they compete with busyness, technology, and a host of activities making demands on their family. But sometimes parents put dialogue in the wrong places and children develop negative relating habits as a result.

Don’t Enter the Debate

Brandon's mom implemented a new plan and refused to enter into the debate. Now when Brandon starts using dialogue to get out of a task, Mom says, "Stop. Wrong answer." Mom isn't trying to be mean to her son but she's realized that he needs to develop a different response to instructions. Instead of continuing down the wrong path, Mom stops the process and is teaching her son to go down a more constructive one. Brandon was just using the discussion to postpone cooperation.

Jenny’s badgering and nagging of her parents reduced quite quickly when Dad and Mom identified the negative interaction and refused to be a part of it. Furthermore, they told Jenny that continuing to harass them after she received a “no” answer would result in further restriction.

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In both cases parents refused to allow dialogue to sidetrack the issue at hand. Furthermore, their refusal to enter into the discussion drew attention to the bigger heart issues that needed attention. Brandon is learning the important heart quality of being responsive to authority and doing a task even though his initial reaction is displeasure. Jenny is learning to live within limits without complaining. In both cases, parents are learning to resist the temptation to dialogue at points when that interaction actually encourages a negative pattern.

We’re not saying that parents should take the “Because I’m the Dad and I said so” approach. That overly authoritarian approach to parenting often misses opportunities to help children learn and grow. Giving children reasons behind rules and telling them why you’re giving instruction is often helpful. However, when children develop some negative relating patterns, you as the parent often must make adjustments before kids will live differently. As you identify unhelpful use of dialogue and refuse to engage with your kids, they’ll be better off for it.

This parenting tip comes from the new book, Parenting is Heart Work Training Manual with 8 audio sessions. See chapter 6 on Accepting No for An Answer for more ideas about dealing with Arguing, Badgering, and Whining.


These giveaways and freebies are all part of the launch of Parent Training Centers. I hope you're getting in on the fun! We're now offering an "Early Adopter" Discount  worth $50.00 OFF the initial fee for the first 20 churches that sign up. You'll find the code right on the web page where you sign up.

Parent Training Center is a church that intentionally trains parents, providing resources and tools both for discipleship of believers and for evangelism to families in the community.

The National Center for Biblical Parenting offers resources, and practical support to help you become the Parent Training Center God designed. The Equipping Program contains a number of mobilization tools to help you advance to the next level in your parent discipleship ministry.

Heart Parenting Giveaway

We're back with another great giveaway from the folks at the National Center for Biblical Parenting. This one is for the parents and includes a great little camera, as well as a $50 Amazon gift card! Here's what else you can win: 

Parenting Is Heart Work ($15 value)

This foundational parenting book starts with a study of the 750 times the word “heart” is used in the Bible. That changes everything. God’s Word reveals new insight into strategies for change in a person’s life. Concordia University’s Family Ministry Program requires that every student read Parenting is Heart Work. Dr. Ben Freudenburg says, “This is our go-to book for parenting. It’s biblical practical approach is powerful.”

Parenting Is Heart Work Training Manual ($50 value)

The Heart Work Training Manual with Audio Sessions is designed to help you integrate key success principles into your family. Answer the questions in the lesson, look up the scriptures, reflect on the teaching, and watch yourself make significant changes in the ways you relate. When parents change, children change. You’ll love the difference.

Canon Powershot ELPH 170 IS ($150 value) 

High quality still images and video are practically effortless with the slim and stylish new PowerShot ELPH 170 IS camera. The ideal tool for capturing everything from daily fun to special occasions, it's equipped with a powerful 12x Optical Zoom for maximum versatility, plus Intelligent IS to make images clear and almost shake-free even at high zoom lengths. Sharp, high-resolution imaging is fast and easy thanks to the 20.0 Megapixel* sensor and DIGIC 4+ Image Processor. Beautiful 720p HD video is as simple as pressing a button, while Smart AUTO intelligently selects just the right camera settings based on predefined shooting situations, so all different types of shots come out perfectly. 

Amazon $50 Gift Card

A fun gift of $50 to spend at Amazon.com
To enter, please use the Rafflecopter below. a Rafflecopter giveaway Terms and Conditions: This giveaway is open to residents of the U. S. only.  Void where prohibited by law. Must be at least 18 years of age. This giveaway is in no away associated with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest.. No purchase necessary for entry. Odds are determined by the number of entries. Selected winner will have 48 hours to respond to email notification to claim their prize or another winner will be drawn.  Entrants to this giveaway will be added to the email list for the National Center of Biblical Parenting.

Milan Tomic

Hi. I’m Designer of Blog Magic. I’m CEO/Founder of ThemeXpose. I’m Creative Art Director, Web Designer, UI/UX Designer, Interaction Designer, Industrial Designer, Web Developer, Business Enthusiast, StartUp Enthusiast, Speaker, Writer and Photographer. Inspired to make things looks better.

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  1. How do you sign up for the giveaway?

    What is A Rafflecopter? Where?

    1. Sorry for the confusion. In the line that begins "To enter" You can click on the words "a Rafflecopter giveaway" and they will take you to the page.

    2. The rafflecopter was actually broken. It's now fixed and the entry graphic should now appear. Sorry about that.