Summer time has a way of testing your parenting skills. The kids are home all day and probably not nearly as structured as they are during the school year. If your kids are anything like ours, they do really well the first month of summer but something changes in July and they begin to get a little testy (ok, maybe a lot of testy). It seems like we are constantly having to correct them…even to the point of micromanaging their every move.
It’s important during these seasons to avoid exasperating our children. Paul wrote to the church in Ephesus: “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord”. This verse immediately follows his instruction for children to honor and obey their parents. By not exasperating our kids, we make it easier for them to obey us.
The Greek word “exasperate” means to provoke to anger or enrage someone. I believe that one of the ways we can exasperate our children is by micromanaging them, correcting every misstep, and pointing out all the areas where they need to improve. We end up unintentionally nagging them which can result in our kids being frustrated. When our kids are frustrated they often respond in one of two ways: they either rebel or withdraw. This often causes parents to over-correct to the point that we end up fighting about small things that aren’t important. We may win the argument, but lose the war because our kids begin to disconnect from us.
Instead of nagging our kids and trying to keep them from making any mistakes this summer, try walking beside them while they experience the consequences of their choices. Pick your battles and avoid exasperating your kids.