How to Identify Willfulness and Rebellion in your Children~


How to Identify Willfulness and Rebellion in your Children

composed by Teresa A. Haley 2013

First let’s decide what Willfulness is.

God gives everyone a will when they are born.  That freewill is what we exercise when “we” decide to give our hearts to the Lord.  Our children have that same freewill in them when they are born J Just as the Lord desires for us to pray “thy will, not mine” be done, we as parents desire the same thing from our children.

Our children will begin to display their will or willfulness almost as soon as they are born. They can let you know their will without even saying a word. A cry for more milk or when they refuse to drink  milk, or the turning of their heads when they’ve nursed enough.  Then as they get older and they do not want to sit or stand or lay, etc…  they will bend, bow, and buck, even before they can communicate a word.

As children begin to age it is God will for us as parents to train the will of the child to learn to submit to the will of the parent. This is the same skill they will need in all their adult life and even in the Christian life as they submit to the Lord’s will and authority over them.

The worse thing we as parents can do is raise a child that is self-willed to the point of rebellion.  Not only will we dislike their company, neither will anyone else be able to bare them.

Training the will of a child is full time.  When you relax for even one day it will take two days to regain what you’ve lost. Consistency is vital to success.

Willfulness can be displayed in many areas, here are just a few:  temper tantrums when confronted with another way other than their own, out of control crying, excessive whining, demanding attention, half doing an expected job, not eating all or part of what has been after being told they must eat it, refusing to be bathed or diapered, refusing to wear the clothing desired by the parent with a display of rage, irritability and moodiness when their will has been defeated or challenged,  doing a sloppy halfhearted job just to prove “their point”, conveniently forgetting,  stalling and dragging around until the parent is furious, pushing the limits on everything,  refusing to take proper care of their possessions because of lack of responsibility.

These are just a few trouble areas that really need special attention.  Conquering the will of the child takes diligence and tenacity. It is not jobs for wimpy parents with no back bone.  The child is much craftier in their pursuit than you could ever be in your plan.  So we must be alert and be wise in our strategy.

The best policy is zero tolerance for offenses.  If it is questionable the first time or so then take the time to sit down and talk it through until the child is clear that it will not be tolerated.  Then have a clear plan for the offences. Usually a spanking is the right choice for little children. For children 8 and above adding extra workload is very effective.  I have even used writing essays and papers as a punishment for certain misbehaviors.  But, there should ALWAYS be a righteous judgment for outright negative willfulness, in order to have a well-trained child.

In the “real” world there are “real” consequences to willfulness.  It is our God given duty and assignment from God to train our children to surrender their will to proper headship and author without bucking and being stiff necked, which will cost them dearly, maybe even their own souls.

Now let’s talk about Rebellion and how it is different from Willfulness.

Rebellion is : the open and determined defiance of or resistance to any authority or controlling power.

1 Samuel 15:23

 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.

Parents must learn to recognize the ways children express their rebellion and how to handle rebellion when it occurs.  One sure sign of rebellion is when the child just walks away when you are directly speaking to them.  This should never be tolerated. Your child should be required to listen “quietly” to your instructions without back talk or justifications.

Your child should look into your eyes and verbally acknowledge his acceptance of your instructions with an attitude of respect.

Another sign of Rebellion is when you child will not accept your correction.  Either by blaming, justifying, arguing, or claming up and unwilling to admit their wrong doing, which is a silent act of rebellion.

Some children would not dare to openly disobey or talk back but they have another type of internal rebellion. They will withdraw, sulk, pout, and make everyone around them miserable, for not being given “their own way”.  This type of Rebellion must be drawn out into the open so that it can be overcome.

Bribery will never solve or correct a Rebel.  Only exercise in controlling his will develops self-discipline which is the goal.  God does not bride us, neither should we ever bribe our children, NEVER.  When a parent bribes or threatens the child to “do it” or else, and the “or else” seldom follows, the child is being trained to consider that the parent’s word has no value. I always said, “mean what you say and say what you mean”. Be a parent of your word, follow through, even if it’s unpleasant.

Children are commanded by God to obey their parents in all things.

Parents have the authority by God to rule over their children. This means they have the right to make the rules and to command their children to follow them.

Conquering rebellion means to re-establish parental authority. Parents must be willing to apply force to cause the rebellious child to do the parents will instead of continuing to choose to rebel.

Rebellion must be conquered not tolerated.  If you fail to get the root of rebellion out of children God will be forced by His righteousness to do it, which is so unfortunate for you and your precious children. Do your job as a responsible parent and reap the benefits of godly well behaved, obedient, happy children.

Here are a few external signs of inward Rebellion in a child:

Sulking, grumbling, whining, pouting, anger, slamming doors, fuming, rolling eyes, glaring, slapping, biting, kicking, venting anger,  silence refusing to answer, rough treatment of others, throwing toys, walking away while being spoken to, interrupting while being corrected,  lying and saying they obeyed when they know they did not, wallowing in self-pity, not willing to admit fault or take the blame or making vehement promises of repentance, accusing parent of improper discipline.

These are just a few of the signs that repentance needs to take place.

Note: The child who has been in charge all day, don’t be surprised if he fights his parents’ authority every night at bedtime.

Let’s look at a few scriptures and meditate on how to apply them to our childrearing.

  • Prov. 22:15 Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him
  • Prov 29:15 The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.
  • Prov 19:18  Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.
  • Heb 12:11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised there
  • Eph 6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right
  • Col 3:20 Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord


Child Training Tips – Reb Bradley

What the Bible says about Child Training – Richard Fugate

The KJV Bible

Published in: on February 3, 2013 at 2:03 am  Leave a Comment  

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