Previously I wrote about how parents (me mostly haha) often react rather than respond towards their kids’ negative behaviour. The clear indication? Uncontolled, sudden negative emotion coming out from us without us ‘realizing’ it. Here I’m writing several simple steps of how to switch from React-Mode to Respond-Mode based on what Judy Rossi wrote in her bible study parenting book:
1. Stay Calm
A fool is quick-tempered, but a wise person stays calm – Proverbs 12:16
Staying calm is a CHOICE of our will or our ‘won’t’. When we give in to impatience, we become so distracted by our frustration and anger that we can’t hear from God. We won’t see the circumstance from God’s perspective and respond appropriately. Instead, our emotional reaction will cause us to lose valuable training ground that God intended to use for His purpose – an exercise in maturity for our kids and a rest of maturity for us.
2. Don’t talk. Think.
During a testy circumstance, cue in to your self-talk. What are you thinking? How will reacting achieve God’s desired outcome? Is what you thinking is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy? (Philippians 4:8)? Changing your thinking CAN change your reaction to response. Your emotions will follow. Remember: before a word is in your tongue the Lord knows it completely (Psalm 139:4), so He can help you regulate it before it comes out of your mouth.
3. Listen to your children’s side
If you’re steeped in anger or frustration and answer before listening that will be your folly and your shame (“He who answers before listening – that is his folly and his shame” – Proverbs 18:13). There will be no kindness and no justice in your interaction with your children. Listening to their side actually give you time to cool down and slide from react to respond-mode and do the right thing.
4. Measure your response
Is what you gonna say wholesome and build up others up according to their needs and beneficial to those who listen even if it hurts (Ephesians 4:29)?
Does a child need to hear a hard message from you? The harder the message, the gentler the delivery.
Well, so there are the four steps that I think is very practical and reasonable to be put into practice. Other than prayer, we can start to implement these steps to be the kind of ‘responder’ parent. And the better part, these steps are not only for those who have kids, they apply to everyone regardless of their life phase and stage (every relationship needs the right respond, right).
God bless you and til my next post 😉