Tackling tough subjects really starts at age two. Let me explain, because I see this all the time. It’s cold and a two-year-old doesn’t want to wear a sweater. She pitches a fit and her mom gives in. Ten years later, the two-year-old is now twelve and doesn’t want to wear more than six inches of clothes. Mom wants her to wear more but the daughter pitches a fit. Chances are the daughter will win.
“It’s just clothes,” you might say about the above. “How is that a tough subject?” Well, follow this progression: what she wears will determine the kind of dates she attracts. I consider dating a tough subject because who she dates will impact whether or not she has sex. And, well, I can go on and on about the consequences of that path.
What to do? Three things…
1. Parent with the future in mind. Befriend women with older children or volunteer to teach Sunday school for teenagers. Be aware of what’s ahead.
2. Don’t give in when you know you are right. If you do, the child will think you really weren’t right in the first place, or else you wouldn’t have given in. Then they will start thinking they are always right.
3. Talk to them about tough things even when you think they are not listening. Get creative with your timing. Look for opportunities in positive moments. Be clear about expectations and consequences. Don’t be intimidated when they are angry with you. They will mature and one day appreciate the boundaries you set for them.