Proverbs 26: 24-25 “A malicious man disguises himself with his lips, but in his heart he harbors deceit. Though his speech is charming, do not believe him, for seven abominations fill his heart.”
I do not know what these seven abominations are, but a child will try to deceive a parent to get out of a task they don’t want to do. Actually, I am often surprised at how much effort children will put into avoiding work. It is up to us not to reward their efforts.
Proverbs 29: 12 “If a ruler listens to lies, all his officials become wicked.”
If one child gets away with making excuses to get out of obeying, then any other children within hearing will think that looks like a good idea too. Giving into this manipulation is the way a child becomes spoiled.
Proverbs 29:21 “If a man pampers his servant from youth, he will bring grief in the end.”
“I’m tired”, “That’s too hard”, “I’m so hungry”, “It’s too cold out”, “I need a drink” or “I need to sit I’m too hot” are all reasons children give to get out of work. How do we know if it is the truth?
Often we will not know. How we can keep from having our chain pulled, is to be the one calling the shots and not allowing the child to think they are the boss.
In a situation where a child is saying they need to quit because of any of a number of reasons, give them a solid finishing point. In other words, extend the task just a little longer than their excuse, so mom or dad are the one determining when they are finished. If helping in the kitchen and the child becomes bored with making cookies, tell the child, “No fussing, you may leave after the dough is mixed and you help me put the dishes in the dishwasher.”
That direction puts the parent back in charge and gives the child clear understanding of what is expected of them.
When little Suzie claims she cannot sweep the floor anymore because she is soo thirsty, Mom can guide Suzie. Perhaps Mom wants her to finish the task completely, or Mom wants to break the task in half, or Mom wants to just have Suzie get a little more sweeping done before getting some refreshment. It is up to the parent to decide, which is key, when Suzie should get a drink; it is not up to Suzie to demand that she get it right now.
Another way to keep a child from pulling our chain is to set very clear guidelines before starting a task. “Honey, I want you to come help me in the garden for one half an hour.” The task has been clarified. Excuses may come, but if one half an hour has not passed then the excuses are not valid. Once the time has elapsed, then the child can be allowed to do other things.
The main way to avoid having our chains pulled as parents is to remember we are the parent and to not allow our child to dictate what they can or cannot do.
Proverbs 13: 1 “A wise son heeds his father’s instruction, but a mocker dos not listen to rebuke.”
I like the way the Message interprets this verse,
“Intelligent children listen to their parents; foolish children do their own thing.”