Ever wonder what your 16 year old is thinking when you lecture them in a public restaurant?
If you do that, you'll keep wondering.
Seriously. Don't take your child to a very public restaurant and lecture them on something that needs your attention and correction.
Do this and you will be enacting one simple way your child will listen to you and you will also be one step closer to capturing your child's heart.
I don't want to make this blog post complicated. In fact, what I'm writing about can be be fixed with a straightforward solution.
If you need to constantly ask your child if they are "hearing you" or "getting what your saying" then you probably should do it in the privacy of your own home.
When your kid says they hear you; how about you take them at their word and move on.
When you lecture your kid in public you don't bring your child closer to you, you push them away. The farther you push them away, the harder it is to have relational credibility with your kid, and the least likely they will listen to you and little chance you will win their heart.
What Parenting Is...
Parenting isn't about being right or wrong, getting your kids to obey rules or even getting them to be a good kid.
Don't get me wrong; we all want our kids to represent our family well, i.e. have good manners when they eat over at a friend's house, we don't want them to hit their siblings, do drugs, or rob a bank... And I do believe in discipline and correction in parenting.
Parenting is about capturing the hearts of our kids and relationally shaping them to become better people who love their neighbors fully and freely. To be precise, parenting is about capturing our kids hearts so that they will be willing to surrender their hearts to God. Parenting is about showing our kids the heart of God, so they will want to have a relationship with Him.
If you push them away by publicly ridiculing them, then there is no chance you will be expressing the image of their Father in heaven to them.
If you want kids who will listen to you then don't lecture them at a public restaurant.
*Yep. I witnessed this today.