Q. I’m a single Mom and my strong-willed 12-year-old boy reacts violently when I correct him. How can I correct what I’m doing wrong?
A. As a parent you are called to exercise parental authority. Without a husband, however, you are deprived of the father-figure and authority to augment yours, and implement the correction Johnny needs. It is thus very important that you engage the Elders of your Fellowship in your dilemma, and embrace and apply the godly counsel and oversight they will give you.
It’s not acceptable that Johnny should fly out at you. However, reacting with anger and aggression, you may wellhave responded to his violence with your own kind of violence. Anger demands revenge; bad news!
Ask God’s help to control your anger and frustration. Don’t show any of that to your boy. Rather, with a cool head and purposeful heart, wait until it’s time for Johnny to see the regatta from the beach, for example. Your interaction could go something like this:
Johnny: ‘Hey Mom, it’s time for you to drive me to the regatta by the beach.’
You: ‘Sorry, Johnny; I’m not driving you anywhere!’
Johnny: ‘Hey, what’s wrong?’
You: ‘My boy, I think you know what’s wrong.’
Johnny gets the point: ‘Oh, you’re mad at me for what I said this morning?’
You: ‘Yes, that’s true, I am angry.’
Johnny: ‘Oh Mommy, I’m sorry.’
You: ‘Thanks so much for your apology, my boy.’
Now you have to stick to your guns.
Johnny will probably say, “OK, please drive me now.”
And that’s when you say, “No,” … and stick to it!
Responsible authority and discipline produces consequences!
That is being authoritative and using real and godly Discipline.
Eph 6:4 says not to nag Johnny but rather to raise him in God’s ways. Stay in healthy authority and take action. He must learn that his bad action produces consequences – and that your word should be taken seriously.
Last word: pray for Johnny and with Johnny. Give God the problem, and keep your Elders in the loop.