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August 29, 2013
The word “instruction” comes from the words “in” and “structure” and basically means “to put structure into.” When someone comes on the scene and gives instructions, that person brings structure to the situation and helps people know what to do. Dad or Mom sees the need to clean up around the house or get ready to go out and begins giving instructions to move the family in a positive direction.
The parent adds the structure needed at the moment to make family life work. Unfortunately, because of the well-worn relationship between parent and child, kids may react with resistance. At that point parents often become more intense in their instruction or just give up. What was meant to be a move toward order and structure has turned relationships into chaos.
Remember that you’re not giving instructions just to make your life easier. You’re bringing the much-needed structure into the situation. If you don’t provide the structure, who will? Of course, the way you give instructions affects the strength of your relationships with others, but don’t let resistance keep you from your job. Without instruction, family life falls apart.
“But they don’t appreciate me,” is an excuse parents sometimes tell themselves that motivates them to want to give up. The fact is, that whether your kids appreciate you or not, they need you! So, continue to work on your own attitude and frustration level, but hang in there and keep giving the much-needed structure to your family.
Proverbs 19:16 says, “He who obeys instructions guards his life.”
This parenting tip comes from the book, Good and Angry, Exchanging Frustration for Character In You and Your Kids by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN.