Question:

I have a five year old, soon to be six. Her whole life I have pretty much gave into her, and I see that this has only hurt our relationship. She is a very good kid but all too often throws a fit to get her way. My biggest problem is I show my anger. I cannot control myself when I say "no " and she doesn't listen. I get angry, start yelling, and then give into her because I feel guilty for yelling at her. We are in a church and have been consistantly going for almost four years. I have just recently remarried and her real father is out of the picture. She doesn't even know his name. She calls my new husband "daddy," and he is really good with her. He was raised in a more obedient home than I was raised. It is hard for me to make her listen because I always give her whatever she wants. I know it is a problem, and I want to make sure it isn't too late for me to regain control over her before she gets any older without causing her to have anger issues. What scriptues, other than the ones you have posted, should I study? How do I become a more efficient parent before we have any more children? She has jealiousy issues around other children, so it throws up a red flag. When we do have another child, how do I still make her feel special while tending to another child? If you could please contact me back with some advice and please pray for us we would appreciate it. 


Answer:

Could you tell me how you came to the conclusion that it is best for a five year old child to run a family?

It appears to me that you are afraid of letting your child get angry. I suspect that a part of this comes from you trying to make up to your daughter that her biological father abandoned her. But you've lost sight of your role. You are the parent. "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. "Honor your father and mother," which is the first commandment with promise: that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth." And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:1-4). You don't set out to make your child angry, but you have a job to raise this child in the training and admonition of the Lord. "Training" means to teach her what are the right things to do and the right way to behave. "Admonition" is scolding when she does the wrong thing. It is your job to point her in the right direction and keep her from going in the wrong direction.

You are absolutely wrong when you say you can't control yourself. You can, you just don't want to. The reason is that you are expecting her to obey and not give you any grief over what you tell her. Your expectations are wrong, so when she protests you get mad because you can't control her. You aren't there to control your child, you are there to teach your child. Of course she isn't going to like some things. So? You are the parent. You know what is best. You should make decisions because they are best for everyone involved. You don't change those decisions unless you discover you were wrong.

What I want you to do this week is practice thinking about your rules. Be convinced that you are making decisions that are best for your child. If the rule is that she has to try a bit of everything on her plate before she gets down from the table, then that is what is enforced. If she ignores you, she gets a swat and put back in her seat. If she throws a fit, you say, "someone is clearly too tired, so off to bed." She is put to bed and not allowed to play. If she gets up, she gets a swat and put back to bed. If you have to do it twenty times in one night, then it takes twenty times. All the way through you are calm, reasonable, and firm. You have a rule, you have a reasonable consequence and a reasonable back up for breaking the consequence.

At first you are going to have a small war on your hand. She will want things to go back to the way they used to be. But she isn't the parent and the old way wasn't good for her. But kids are smart, she'll quickly figure out the new way of how things are. As a result, because her mom is calmer and the rules are clearer, she'll calm down.

Don't worry about the future. Fix this problem and your future potential problems will disappear.