Being too aggressive or physical is about losing our patience or our cool and being too strong with our kids verbally or physically.
It is easy to raise our voice to get them to listen, to grab them firmly and jerk them around while trying to get them to obey. Whatever the level, harsh language and rough treatment provoke or anger any child and eventually they close off to the parent.
Breaking promises can cross the line even if we have a good excuse for not showing up or following through on what was promised.
This can be as drastic as our friend whose mother drove away at a very young age and said she would be back in two weeks. His little heart thought every blue car was her returning. Sadly, his mother never returned and he basically grew up an orphan. He said, “It would have been better to hear, ‘I am an alcoholic and won’t be coming back, but Grandma will care for you.’”
A word of warning! If we break any promises – big or little – too many times, our children will lose trust in our words. We must realize how huge it is to a child when we break our word over and over, even if we try to make it up to them. Eventually, they no longer trust us. Proverbs 25:14 says it well. “Broken promises are worse than rain clouds that don’t bring rain” (CEV).
Name calling crosses the line, even when we say we’re kidding. It’s not “just for fun.” Words do hurt.
A child recalls his dad using the term “useless” over and over, and he realizes this was one of the reasons he shut off his spirit from him. He had to protect his heart. After awhile children start believing what they hear and then replay those words over in their minds as adults.
False or hasty accusations without fully checking and listening can be particularly harmful.
We tend to give quick answers leaving our kids feeling judged or misunderstood.
Unreasonable expectations, requests or demands are over-the-line mistakes parents can easily make because they aren’t aware their children are not capable of what they ask.
Maybe it is like the dad who coaches soccer and wants his daughter, who is the best player, to perform. But it’s really for his own significance.
He says it is for her good, but she eventually refuses to play. He erupts in anger for what he sees as her disrespect. She closes off in anger and feels unloved.
There are so many ways to cross the line and exasperate your children. Maybe if we weighed our words or actions we would find that what we think is provoking us, is really us provoking our children.
Article retrieved from Dr. Emerson and Sarah Eggerichs Love & Respect Website.