This same son had a talk with his sixteen year old brother. He told him that in the next few years he was going to disagree a lot with his parents. At times he might feel like running away, but to hang on. He might not be able to see it at the time, but mom and dad are really wise.
That sixteen year old son later had a conflict with his parents and with fists clenched said, “My brother told me it was going to be like this. Boy was he right, but I trust him, so I will stick this out.”
The other day, our oldest and I had a conversation in the driveway, where I said something she didn’t want to hear. I could tell she didn’t like it, but she held her tongue. Later, back in the house, she said, “Mom, I was really frustrated with you out there, may I tell you why?”
We could not come to an understanding, so instead of pulling the Mom Card, we agreed to ask Dad.
As children mature, we can expect them to get their own ideas. This can be very good. What we do not have to allow is for those ideas to rule in a way that causes the child to be disrespectful.
Recently, we were talking about changing the rules of a game I didn’t like. I explained how I would like them to play the game differently. We all talked it through and found an option we were all good with. Afterwards, my daughter said, “I will obey you mom, because your mom, but I still don’t really agree with you.” I responded, “Thank you Honey for doing what you don’t feel like doing. You are free to have your own ideas, and it won’t be long before you are on your own and able to make those calls. Part of growing up is having your own ideas. What maturity looks like though is knowing when you can act on your ideas and when you must honor someone else.”
Another time, I was correcting a child, when a sibling popped up and said, “I don’t agree with that test, it doesn’t always fit, like when….” I shot that child a glance, trying to say, “Not now”. Then I readdressed the original situation. Later, I pulled the interrupting child aside and said, “If you have differing thoughts about correction, you may address me later privately, but not while I am dealing with someone else.”
Even “good” children will at times struggle with authority. Open communication will lessen the disrespect and longevity of those conflicts. For me it was good to hear this other mom say her family went through this too. It is also helpful to hear all five of her adult children have come back to wanting her insight and input in their lives. Four of those children are married and they know their mom will be there to share practical life skills or to encourage them to be keepers at home/heads of their homes.