Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Severed Heart Strings

A perplexed mother wonders:

"My normally obedient, cooperative son has suddenly become disobedient, uncooperative, angry, sullen and belligerent.  He refuses to snuggle and resists reading together in our special chair.  He is mean to his sister.  He won't do his chores.  What has happened to my sweet little boy??  Help!!"

My first thought is that this little boy has been inadvertently hurt, his spirit wounded, or his heart embittered and provoked to wrath in some way by his parents.  I'm sure it was totally unintentional on their part, and they are unaware of doing anything to hurt or provoke him, but heart strings have been severed, as evidenced by his sudden change in behavior.

Lou Priolo in his outstanding book, The Heart of Anger, has a powerful list entitled, "25 Ways Parents Provoke their Children to Anger."  Every time I have tried to read that book, I have gotten stalled out in that section for days and weeks!!  It is so powerful and convicting!!

I am going to share that list with you here.  To get the explanation and illumination that goes with each point, you will need to purchase the book.  I see that it is availble for $5 through Amazon -- and it would be the best $5 you ever spent!  In fact, I've once again been arrested by this list, and decided to add this book to my "reading pile!"  :)  This book also teaches proper biblical communication skills and how to use a "heart journal" to reach the heart of your children.  It is a real gem!!!

25 Ways Parents Provoke Their Children to Wrath:

1.  Lack of Marital Harmony
2.  A Child-Centered Home
3.  Modeling Sinful Anger
4.  Disciplining in Anger
5.  Scolding
6.  Inconsistent Discipline
7.  Double Standards
8.  Being Legalistic
9.  Not Admitting Wrong/Not Asking for Forgiveness
10. Consistent Fault-Finding
11. Parents Reversing God-Given Roles
12. Not Listening to Your Child/Not Taking His Side of the Story Seriously
13. Comparing Your Child to Others
14. Not Making Time to Talk
15. Not Praising or Encouraging Your Child
16. Failing to Keep Your Promises
17. Chastening in Front of Others
18. Not Allowing Enough Freedom
19. Allowing Too Much Freedom
20. Mocking Your Children
21. Abusing Them Physically
22. Ridiculing or Name Calling
23. Unrealistic Expectations
24. Practicing Favoritism
25. Child Training with Worldly Methodologies Inconsistent with God's Word

WOW!   That is quite a list, isn't it??  
If your toes are the least bit sore, you will really be blown away by the additional information that accompanies each point in the book.  You might also benefit from the list that includes helpful steps for repenting from provoking your children to anger.  Yes, get the book!!!  (I'm moving it to the TOP of my reading pile!!)  :)


Natalie said...

Thanks for the great encouragement. For myself, I have recently found tying heartstrings to be expensive. My daughter and I seem to butt heads more than we ought over algebra. No matter how much we have prayed, talked, started fresh, it has been a stressful time in our day. My husband and I finally came to the decision that spending time daily in what seemed to be "cutting heartstrings" had to go. Despite it being a financial sacrifice, we've hired a math tutor and now neither of us dread the arrival of mid morning and math. So, I've found evaluating ways in which I cut heartstrings (and eliminating them) to be as important as finding ways to tie heartstrings.

Pam said...

Thanks for the posts, I just ordered my copy of the book, and I'm looking forward to learning some tools to help me to become a better mom.

Finding Balance mommy said...

Thank you for that book tip. Our local library had it. I'm excited to pick it up. :-)

Kristi Lea said...

Okay, my toes hurt, and I'm getting the book! ;) I've been convicted of my part in the relationship for years, and have been looking for a good book on the subject. Thanks so much for sharing, Elizabeth!

Julie said...

I have a child(child #3 of 4) that has been "angry" since she was 4 yrs old. By the time she was 6 1/2 I had her in therapy. I bought this book, took a firm hold on her and BIG changes happened. Therapy did nothing for her and we quit that whole mess, but what I learned in this book did help. I let a friend borrow mine and I'm really wanting to read it again (her issues are ongoing but improving). I may just have to order another copy. I HIGHLY recommend it!

Martha said...

I can agree with Natalie.. so much discord occured in our house over math...my lack of knowledge even though my mentors said "you are the one with the solutions guide".
Something was going on that I did not understand but as my older 2 are in their 20's I am sooo glad I got them math tutors. As they got
older they began to see that I did not have all the answers but it was difficult and frustrating as we worked problems out in math.

~ McKenzie Elizabeth~ said...

Sounds like a helpful book! I am going to order it.
Thanks for sharing.

Baby Blessings said...

That last comment was actually mine. My daughter's blog was signed in on our computer! :>)
Marcy www.sixoliveplants.blogspot.com

Heather said...

Thank you so much for this post, Mrs. ours! I'm getting ready to buy the book right now! :-)

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