Dear Mr. Man…

February 22, 2009

Train Up A Child…

Filed under: Parenting — P. J. Easter @ 8:28 pm
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Q: Dear Mr. Man,

Why have my children become increasingly disrespectful lately?

A: I decided to check out a new Sunday School class today. I am usually serving in another capacity at my church, but now have some free time during the last service. The class is in the middle of a session on parenting. We were watching a video that showed an eleven-year old boy being extremely disrespectful to his mother. Here is an example of the dialogue:

“Mom, I’m gonna go to Aaron’s house to play Xbox.”

“Sorry Jason. We agreed that you would finish your project before dinner today”

“I can finish it after dinner, Mom. I’m gonna go.”

“No, Jason. A deal is a deal. I’m sorry, but you can’t go.”

“Man, you’re stupid, Mom. I hate these stupid rules!”

It gets worse. Check out Mom’s response:

“Jason, I will not allow you to talk to me that way. What you said was very mean and it hurt my feelings. Why don’t you go to your room and think of a better way to respond to me?”

Do you think Jason went to his room? Probably not.

This video segment illicited a variety of responses from the parents in the class. Some parents agreed with the way the video mom handled the situations while other parents were thinking, “Oh hell to the NO!” (I admit, I was in the latter group).

What struck me more was this. Although the video was an exaggerated example to emphasize a point, there are parents who deal with this type of behavior every single day and do not know how to cope. Behavior such as this does not develop overnight. Children who are typically respectful do not become insolent little terrors overnight. This is behavior that has been learned and accepted. By the parent.

Think about it. We accept the “Terrible Twos” as simply a part of a child’s development. We think its cute when junior spits on his auntie or repeats a bad word that he picked up from television (or from you). As parents, training our children begins the moment they begin to comprehend. Proverbs 22:6 goes like this:

“Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he grows old, he shall not depart from it (KJV).”

If we fail to train our children to honor, respect, and obey us as their parents; then we shall reap the fruits of our failure as well.

We all should ask ourselves to check the quality of the training we have given. If you have any doubt, then you’d better..

Man Up!

Mr. Man



  1. Amen brother.

    Comment by Craig — February 22, 2009 @ 10:40 pm | Reply

  2. Amen again! I tell everyone the same thing when they ask me how I “got” two such respectful boys (now 14 and 16). I say, “I started early!” From the time that kids understand you, you have to start with consistent behavioral expectations, and make sure that consequences are carried out when misbehaving occurs.

    I would have been screaming inside while watching that video. 🙂

    Comment by Melisa — February 23, 2009 @ 4:39 pm | Reply

    • @Melisa. It’s amazing that some parents think that you were lucky to “get” two boys who know how to respect their mother. Raising little humans who grow up to be participating, contributing members of the human race is not an easy task. Thanks for “wo-manning up” and being such an awesome mom. 🙂

      Comment by Mr. Man — February 23, 2009 @ 6:56 pm | Reply

  3. I had the same experience as Melisa. When my boys (now 18 and 20) were little, people would comment on how well mannered they were, then practically in the next breath accuse me of being too tough on them.

    The answer that always came to me was, “Well how do you think they got that way?”

    It gets harder everyday to combat the influences but we’ve got to try; otherwise our kids will be lost forever.

    Comment by Vanessa — February 25, 2009 @ 9:30 pm | Reply

    • @Vanessa. Discipline in the name of love is better than no discipline at all. It is hard work to raise children who will represent themselves well. Parents who choose to take the easy path in rearing children will pay the consequences later. Thank you for honoring the God-given responsibility of raising two young men.

      Comment by Mr. Man — February 26, 2009 @ 7:50 am | Reply

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