I never thought my son would speak to me the way he did. 
Whoever wrote that sticks and stones diddy was wrong because words wound deep.

There have been times in this parenting journey that our boys exhibited the sweetest, most respectful behavior and other times when I shook my head in dismay, wondering what I was doing wrong. Especially as each of our sons entered the choppy waters of puberty and adolescence. I don’t write these thoughts as an expert mama but rather a mama who has been on her face before God, asking for help and receiving His love, grace and wisdom in the form of His peace.

Asking for suggestions was the right thing to do but that doesn’t mean that every suggestion was meant for your child.  Pray over what advice God would have you take and know that there are no cookie cutter answers to parenting.  Each child is a unique, one of a kind creation and what works for one child may not phase another.

Teaching boys to be respectful. A new post from the #mobsociety

So, mama whose little ones are having trouble with respect, here are the things I have learned in my 17 years of parenting boys.

  • Lead by example.  “Do as I say, not as I do” is not realistic in parenting.  Kids can sniff out fake quicker than they can recognize the aroma of fresh baked cookies in the oven.  If we want our children to be respectful we, as parents, need to be mindful of the way we treat them and other people.  Have they seen us be disrespectful to our spouse? Rude to the cashier at the grocery store? Gossiping about the mom in our playgroup? Ask your husband to complete the same type of self inventory to determine if your boys have seen him model disrespectful behavior when he interacts with others.
  • Determine their currency.  Each child is motivated by something.  The key in changing behavior is to identify what that something is.  It has been different in all three of our boys and the currency has also changed as they age.  Our middle son is a people pleaser.  It has always been important to him that we approved of him. Our oldest son, ha! We could have beaten that child within an inch of his life {which we didn’t, I might add} and he would have still gone right back to the behavior we were trying to discourage.  Our middle son responded to a token system.  Our oldest son responded to privileges, things important to him, being removed.  Our youngest son has never had a respect issue.  Each kid is different and so is their currency.
  • Be consistent in addressing negative behavior. Consistency is probably one of the hardest parts of parenting, yet one of the most necessary.  Every single time your son treats you with disrespect, the issue at hand needs to be the disrespect first and then addressing whatever else was going on when that occurred.  Try to handle disrespect with the same consequence each time {unless you discover it’s not effective and then figure out what is}.
  • Catch your son doing the right thing.  Sometimes, particularly when we are focusing on changing a certain behavior, we can become so focused on correcting the negative behavior that we neglect to notice when our son is doing the right thing.  When he opens the door for you, offers to carry groceries for the elderly woman at the grocery store, sticks up for his younger brother, etc. take notice.  Praise him so that he internalizes good feelings associated with the actions you want him to display.
  • Remember, it’s not always personal.  I have allowed my feelings to be hurt numerous times when my kids have been disrespectful to me.  My husband reminds me that most children have had moments when they have said the exact same thing to their parents in moments of frustration.  That doesn’t make it okay, but it does lessen the sting.  Often disrespectful interactions occur when our boys are frustrated, are trying to exert their ever growing desire for independence or feel torn between the right thing and the popular thing.  I can assure you, as the mama of two adult children, that despite a few disrespectful exchanges over the years that they have more respect for me than I probably deserve. One interaction doesn’t define your relationship.

Our family rules center on the theme of respect: Respect God, respect your parents, respect others, respect yourself and respect belongings. 

Any way that you can instill a culture of respect in your son’s daily life will help him grow into the respectful man God has designed him to be.

Mom's Mission Minute at the MOB Society





I want to introduce you to a ministry very dear to my heart.  YoungLives of the Eastern Panhandle is a ministry that serves teen moms and their babies with the unconditional love of Jesus while teaching them life skills and helping them see their potential.  Before we moved to Florida this year, my family and I spent a lot of time serving these girls and our lives were so blessed by that involvement.  I was a teen mom, becoming pregnant at just 16.  God found me in that mess and lavished His grace and redemption on me. I encourage you to find a young mom to bless with your time and your love.  YoungLives has chapters across the country, maybe there’s one near you?


Don’t forget! The How to Control Your Emotions, So They Don’t Control You book study starts today and there’s still time to join!