Oftentimes, we have no idea what causes a child to rebel against their parents. But sometimes, as seasoned parents get through these difficult phases of parenting, we come out with knowledge and understanding of mistakes we might have made. These valuable life lessons are so important to pass on, so today I’d like to share a few things God has taught me as a parent about rebellion.
There are many factors that can cause a child to rebel against their parents. Some of these factors include what the parents teach them, how they discipline them, and even how they react when the child does something wrong. If you teach your children God’s way, it will reduce the likelihood of them rebelling against you as they grow up because they will have a better understanding of what is right and what is wrong.
In my other post, Things That lead to Rebellion, I gave the first two things that can lead kids to rebellion: our own resistance to authority, and allowing passive rebellion. Today we will look at the next factor that can lead kids to rebel.
What Causes A Child To Rebel Against Their Parents?
Lack of training can put a spirit of rebellion in a child
As parents, it is our job to bring our kids up “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord”. We can’t expect kids to be obedient and respectful to us if we haven’t trained them from God’s Word.
The first thing we need to do is teach them to love God. What does God say about a disrespectful child?
In Mark 12:30, the Bible says this is the most important command. When our kids love Jesus, they will have an internal desire to obey. Of course, we can’t FORCE them to love God, but we can help develop a thirst for Him and His Word by our example. If we are excited about His Word, and we daily show our desire to please Him, this will help give them that thirst.
You’ve probably heard the saying “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink – BUT you can salt his oats!” As parents, we need to “salt the oats” by:
1. Teaching our kids about God.
Talk about how great He is, His awesome creation, His love, etc.
2. Apply His Word throughout the day.
One way to do this is by going to God’s Word when they show wrong behavior. Show them what God says about that behavior, and give them help from His Word. When someone is rude to you at the store, talk to the kids about how God wants us to love others, and be kind.
When one of the kids is complaining, remind them that the Bible tells us to do everything without complaining and that God wants us to be thankful. Many opportunities come up each day to apply His Word to daily life. Take advantage of those times. Be sure to also apply His Word in positive ways. For example, I’m so glad that God tells us we can come to Him in prayer. Take a moment to pray about what you’re struggling with right now.
3. Get them reading His Word.
“The surest way to guarantee that your children turn out right is to see that they are in God’s Word every single day, 365 days a year, throughout their formative years.” – David Sorenson, Training Your Children to Turn Out Right
How do you discipline a child that won’t listen?
Now here is the next part of the training that our kids need: kids need to know what the rules are, and what the consequences are for breaking the rules.
1. Pray and ask God what the rules and standards should be for your family. Then decide on appropriate consequences for infractions of the rules.
2. Teach the standards and the consequences for not obeying them.
3. Reprove. Reproof isn’t nagging or yelling; it is patiently helping them to do what’s right, and firmly warning of the results for doing what’s wrong. Often wrong behavior is a result of bad habits, so it will take time and work to help kids change those habits.
4. Correct. Once it is obvious that your kids know the standards, and you have reminded them (reproved them) a few times, then it is time for consequences. Sometimes there will be natural consequences, such as when they touch a hot stove after being told not to. Often though, you will need to have consequences. I suggest having a list, so your kids know what happens when they break the rule(s). This keeps you calm, and consistent.
The pattern in instilling discipline in your children should be: teach, reprove several times, then correct. Correction should be immediate and consistent. This requires work and time on your part, but the more you spend time teaching and training your kids when they are young, the less work you will have to do when they are older. This is NOT something that interrupts your “work”; this IS your work!
As you grow as a parent and learn to discern what causes a child to rebel against their parents, I encourage you to share your life lessons in the comments below, so our little community can learn from one another ♥️
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