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How to Parent the Troubled Kid in Your Stepfamily

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
March 24, 2022 10:00 pm

How to Parent the Troubled Kid in Your Stepfamily

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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March 24, 2022 10:00 pm

Combatting with a child in your stepfamily? Psychologist Danny Huerta offers ideas for dealing with disrespectful, distrustful, reactive, or troubled kids.

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So I give parents permission to have five timeouts for five minutes 10 minutes 32nd time. It's Teresa of your mind you're pressing the reset button because you're the adult and there there to rely on you managing those emotions. Welcome to family life today where we want to help you pursue the relationship that matter most kind and Wilson and Dave Wilson and you can find or on our family life.

This is family life today. So think about what our kids were younger and in the house and I got upset with him which happened both of us right. How do you call down would you do, I would say to them, like you need to go in the other room. I remember hearing that I have a timeout and I would have to go in the opposite room because I had come down you remember how you because I can get pretty heated. You needed to calm myself down before I would address that they wrote about every family and every family like that and blended families of that as well. But that little bit today with run dealer director book family life blended is in the studio with his walking family today.

Run thanks guys good to be here probably didn't get upset with his kids like that. Oh yes, I know you said we all do right Ron exactly right.

That is exactly right. Kids will bring out the best and the worst and you got something coming up pretty exciting for her family like Linda talk about that. Yes, on Saturday, April 2, 2022 is our next blended and blessed one day lifestream event in blended families yet so it's a lot of fun. It's a great event.

Couples can participate from anywhere in the world.

If you live near Houston. Come be a part of the live audience would love to have you there. But churches can hostess and invite couples in their church and their community to come and be a part of it. You don't have to have the expertise about stepfamily living.

That's our job. Just get people together. It's a great little partnership in ministry and so learn all about how you can register how your church can host the event, go to fame life and you'll get the information you need that we been there and it is really really practical and helpful and I think today's broadcast is going to be the same thing. Ron you set down with the dinner worked who works with Focus on the Family and had a really interesting discussion of working to get there today. Yeah this is going be part two yesterday we spent a little time talking with Danny. He is the VP by the way of parenting and use at Focus on the Family so he's responsible for all the stuff they do to help build into parents. So we spent some time talking a little bit about cities yesterday is just so people get oriented days get this great analogy to think about how when two cities come together husband-and-wife and form a new city. They have highways that they've developed between the two of them in bridges and they've got their own museum in their own city right past and sometimes you share all of it. Sometimes you don't share all of it, then they have children but we can call those little suburbs as they develop bridges of communication and you know trains of thought between fat is great little analogy. So where is he starts talking about that your pick up on it pretty fast and that's what he's referring to list talk around parents getting hooked by the negative emotions and the stuff that kids throw at us. What we do when we get triggered well so I give parents permission to have five timeouts or more in a minute or a day or week or what it is five and a day that I do this sometimes for myself. I know it's going to be a big day of me having to get things in you put up a sheet of paper. Wherever you are to be out axis that put a timeouts.

A great example for your kids and going to for five minutes, 10 minutes, 32nd timeout.

It's a reset of your mind you're pressing the reset button because you're the adult and there there can reline you managing those emotions and you capture bright yet. Just picture your brain running around the room and you're trying to chase it down and you take time out to grab put it back if you can think in and connect with your child. I remember this one phone call Ron that we got the Kelsey departments mom called. She locked herself in the bathroom and was crying. She was screaming. She said I can't do this anymore. I'm hurt my kids. I feel like beating them and those are those were penetrating works for me. I scorn all while she's in a bad spot. She said I'm alone I'm afraid it was a blended family type situation she was hating the moment and she needed to regain perspective, but she was keeping her kids safe from her and I commended her for that. You made a very good choice. She knew what was happening in your emotions and you separated yourself from your kids that you could hear banging on the door clocking out for her.

She was overwhelmed, but in calming down her emotions and gaining perspective.

The bigger picture was so important, so having that that resource of maybe a friend or another person can call going to the bathroom. If it's really getting overwhelming and get some perspective in the moment can be helpful so you regain composure and you're able to come back with your mind.

I really like that. I mean honestly that crisis moment she need to lock yourself in the bathroom but that I think the bigger take away for the rest of us is yeah I'm responsible for how I'm reacting and if I catch myself getting angry flying off the handle losing charge of myself. I need to calm down I need to figure out a way to talk myself down from this praying like crazy. God help me calm down as you and I both know the thinking part of our brain shuts off.

This displays your teenagers well or your child of any age thinking brain shuts off when we get this regulated, we stop thinking and we just start reacting and I got calm down so I can start thinking again.

Yet a good way want one very simple tool you can use starting today's go. We all need to be hydrated.

Go get a drink of water and stare out the window and just picture the spirit, the Holy Spirit is pouring in is your drinking water and letting your mind just rest the moment you're bringing in the next row so Holy Spirit. Maybe it's a quick prayer, so don't react goat. Drink a glass water may start out the window and then come back to the conversation, especially the teenagers trying to push your buttons and try to get you gone. That's where you don't want to give up any power in that you have to let the team know it's not up for grabs. I'm in control of me and and over time asking to be respected. You have to you to show that reset the income in with you in control so that the child knows that they can't push her buttons took place, for they gain control there.

They're coming out of anger there potentially to push you until you break and they want that their anger has one and they feel better about it and they like that. Your miserable now and so take a drink of water back to mom. I want to connect some dots for a listener must disconnect the early part of her conversation with what Danny just said, remember this kids hurting something going on sometimes are blaming you for all the struggles that they've had in life.

Sometimes it just mad at the world because of the things that have happened in their life that family, etc. whatever it might be the stuff you can control still is going to come out on somebody so out of that hurt. They react and sometimes yeah they're trying to just ignite you into responding reacting in some backward way so that you move toward them so that they can be heard so that somebody will care about what they're hurting over that is so difficult to maintain yourself to put on gentleness. I'm thinking for the spirit here. Peace, patience and gentleness in that moment like to calm down enough to be there to continue to love them but yet to see past the hurt and the anger the outside stuff and see what's on the inside but I got ask you man because anybody in that situation feels disrespected by a child with that your child or stepchild.

Whatever. How do you wrestle with that. This kid is just totally disrespecting me and I'm supposed to respond with gentleness and quiet. Be calm and there's something in me. Anyway, I'm revealing something about me.

Maybe somebody else listening, that just is hard to do. I want respect first. Then I'll respond with love, but I don't think we can do it that way. That's a complicated one.

Rod human nature is is the reality that it feels helpless.

It feels powerless in the moment and so notice I said feels you have a lot of power by showing self-control and so when you show that you show a lot of power that overtimes can be respected and doesn't mean there isn't a consequence are still apparent you still bring the consequence you're not looking for happiness you looking for connection and this can be shown in that warmth and sensitivity and love was compassion. Emotions don't have to be contagious what you can do is take a deep breath, and even if you need to stare at their eyes are stare somewhere to regulate yourself and that's a good way to regulate.

By the way, your emotions just stare at one spot and take a deep breath and remind yourself of what the bigger picture is here that you are showing self-control and that's regaining the power of the moment because those moments will accumulate over time and over time the child is can respect. If you lose it, you've lost even more ground on any type of potential connection exactly.

I love the way you're saying that you're retaining your power that in that moment, and you are if you start reacting as much is there reacting. Now they've got another reason to disrespect you in their mind and in the child's life yet figure out a way to her if you can have a squeeze ball close buyer all over the house or whatever you need to regulate yourself. Some people use the things in their pocket or chew gum is little subtle things that help remind you I got to manage me, I gotta be all then make maybe it's a drink of water. You regain perspective that when the kids are the most unlovable. That's when they require the most love from you. That's truly when you're being a loving person and so every night.

Pray for that extra refill from God on how you can love deeply and in a steadfast way.

That means in movable unshakable and that will transform your home. Over time, this is a hurting child weathered city. If you can picture this is is had an earthquake and they're trying to rebuild and they are angry and so then not listening to you is generalized to all their hurts are probably being brought to you and they need somebody to blame and you're the easiest one there. Angry because of what is happened later, they can't pinpoint it in the more you can just respond with warmth and gentleness in lovely China for the spirit moments will change over time and maybe that's that support system you need to regroup, but also agreeing with your spouse, what boundaries need to be there so that you also provide consequences along the way some boundaries to what's being done what's being said so that the things that control we are listening to the family life blended podcast on family life today where Rundell said that what Danny worked in Manitoba around that last that drinking in the Holy Spirit. Visual one that really sticks to forget that I'm to try to apply that evening Mary trying what you think. Oh yeah, I love it. It physically is helping your body to calm down and which is something we have to do in her for her brain to turn back on and the imagery of you know a prayer as you dream Lord pour into me. Yeah, the fruit juice of love, joy, peace, patience, kind is it let me find self-control, Lord, right here right now so I can go back and reengage with my child, with beautiful imagery physically works spiritually.

It's magnificent and every parent needs it right. If there's ever a time you need the fruit of the spirit. It's when you're being a mom or dad's. Let's go back and hear more.

This conversation is a possible to do both of those set boundaries and be gentle yeah and it does have to be in that moment of emotion can be when something is asked to say well I love to really develop trust between us and I love to develop relationship here.

Some of the things that you made a decision to go against in our home. These are the values we've got the new one against the here's what we've agreed on is the consequence that maybe it's not going out with friends and any get any counseling is probably good in this situation can also be helpful. Somebody from an objective standpoint, helping mediate that and I can tell you a lot of things have come in my office and said I don't want to be here. I don't see why need to be here.

This is my parents problem. I'm not the problem, yet they do agree that they want a life that's different, and so the sooner they fire the counselors about yet yes exactly, that's right will work ourselves out of a job. This will return and I liked what you cast that so the parent can say I do want to consider your request, but here's some things that you've done and so here are some boundaries I'm going to have to set but this is all a conversation about how you can regain my trust so work back to a place where that thing you asked for that thing you wanted to do. For example, is something we can work towards like that is drawing on the motivation of the child in a way to say let's work on this together. It's given up some hope when kids feel like me and there's no hope nobody's listening me know he cares there's no way I'm gonna your boundaries because what's the point yet and it gets messy as a parent when you can do is remember what's important to that child that you try to connect with. It's a stepchild it's bringing a lot of anger towards you and blaming a lot of things on you. Just be persistent and remember those things that they love and not to make it a kid centric home, but to show that you care deeply about what they think who they are and getting to know them and if yes can incorporate one-on-one times with something that is of interest to you and to the child and taking turns. That is good and we don't want to create a narcissistic type of yeah of of undertone the house but I child's going to need to learn how to love back as well. You just need to be persistent. I want to use that word steadfast is actually one of my favorite words we turn the corner to a little bit different scenario. What if the child's anger towards a parent or Sapir is completely justified. They are indignant about something the parent has done. Let's say your biological parent and you been MIA for a while and now you come back into a child's life or you have burdened your child as you were talking earlier, and you've made them responsible for communicating with the other household your coparent and they had to carry the burden of this conflict between the two major cities, and it's just been hard and a pain in a burden and now your wanting to make it better support or a scenario run into many times you had an affair. You ended your family because of an affair. You've now married the affair ED and that's your blended family and the child is going. I just can't accept this. It's almost like I'm giving you know mom or dad a pass on their actions and if I get happy about this new family.

What is a parent do then what realize that when a child is in that inflexible type of mindset that's what I call inflexible that it's you require justice you've done right you have wronged me, they will usually move against you. That's just a natural, inflexible tendency of the mind. So a child's thinking this is how justice happens. Or they may cling to the other parent to be safe, depending on the age and personality.

What a parent needs to do is calm with the humble heart that says I have done wrong. You are absolutely right in accepting that coming with the with an open teachable heart, repentant but not constantly.

You just you asked for forgiveness. You don't plead for it you ask for it you Sam sorry. Knowing what I know now I would do things differently or whatever that may be, but bringing honest desire and genuine desire for connection and knowing that it's can it take time to repair Yaffe patient gets a couple years, maybe even three years but that persistence of you showing that you're a different person is can I give new information to that child to interpret who you are differently right this point. There's justice that needs to be served and the sentences never long enough for that and realize that and so sometimes that the question is what you need from me to make things better in the child usually does know what the answer why wish you would've done that.

I understand that I'm asking for that forgiveness. Can you think you can do that than admit sometimes they'll say no. You said yet that let me know if you if you change your mind or when that happens, just know that I love you I would die for you still want to connect with you and hope we can continue yet and then following through with your commitments, even if it's going to hurt if you can feel the rejection.

Prepare yourself emotionally for that and the Morse persistent and steadfast. You're in in the relationship with that type of emotion you will over time begin to see a difference in how they respond you because you and your trustworthy your following through your showing that you're doing what you're saying they will see the difference over time. So be watching you but know that your role is coming with the humble and repentant heart as you try to build that bridge they may grenade it built again right to just say hey just a reminder.

I really love you want to connect with you but you don't have to keep admitting to the fault over and over and over and over again to regain love that that's never really do any good and is can make you feel worse, worse, and they'll punish you more more. It's having a moment of special connection where you repent to that and you talk to them and you asked for forgiveness and beyond that you love consistently and you're able to reference back to remember what we talked about this one that that that that I asked for forgiveness.

Well, that's our starting point of something new between us and I'm hoping you're willing to open open up as a new chapter between us and can we close the previous chapter, just have a conclusion to that open a new one. Maybe we can title it new chapter and with kids that are creative, you can do that, you can say what what could we title this new chapter that we can start to write together because of previous chapter was super messy, but there's a new chapter that we can write Millicent's family life blended podcast during family life today and boy I tell you you not conversation Ron had with Danny Ron. I tell you what he just said there at the end, however, parents were thinking Kenny live in my house please. We all want to start a new chapter because we've messed up we done things like Danny said that her messy to how we talked about gentleness and respect how they can work together. He was even gentle as he said it can produce strength and self-control. Parents control themselves so that I mean this is important, we control ourselves so that we can connect with our children. Yes, and it's also part of the repair process. When we mess up and I been there, done that. The finding gentleness is a way to begin repair. I mean essentially you do something your child feels hurt.

You want to show them your changing.

You go to demonstrate that land.

We expect change out of our kids around their behavior. We've got to demonstrate that first and you know that starts with us even knowing what our triggers are so we can manage those things a little better. I love his phrase, he had a let your mind control your brain right and that's having the mind of Christ.

Philippians 4 comes to mind whatever's true, honorable, praiseworthy, just, pure, lovely, what is he safe. Think about these things. Let your mind control your brain and then verse nine.

Put them into practice. That's pulse prescription here. Think about it, put it in the practice and what comes next piece, the God of peace will be with you. So yeah we discipline our minds, our thoughts begin to change. That's going to help lead to repair in the relationship and bring peace that what a helpful conversation and that was just a really a part of the conversation. If you want to listen to more of it.

Go to our family life blended podcast as part of our family life networker podcasts and you can listen to the rest of the conversation Ron had with the anywhere just helped us to see that as were persistent and steadfast over time will see a difference in how our kids respond to us. We can take proactive steps to walk with Jesus ourselves and model that well to our kids, blended families face unique challenges and we recognize that here at family life to a which is why were excited to talk about the upcoming blended and blessed one day live event and lifestream event happening on April 2.

We have family life's president David Robbins with us today. David tells about the unique event that addresses this specific topic or family life blended team is one week away from their premier event that happens once a year called blended and blessed. If you haven't been before. I urge you to go check out this event and what makes this event so special is that there are very few context out there that speaks uniquely to the challenges and the opportunities in stepfamilies and Ron Delo and his team in the guess that he has does a phenomenal job pointing you to Jesus pointing you to the restore of all things and the ones that I've been able to go to in person.

The feedback that I get the most is that people listen on the lifestream or go in person and they've never felt more known in their family and people knowing their situations than any other thing they've experienced it truly is a blessing for blended families to experience this day. That's great. You can head over to our website.

Family life to look for the blended and blessed conference. You could sign up there to attend live on April 2.

Or you can lifestream the event again. Head over to family life to to find out more information and sign up or you can give us a call at 1-800-358-6329 that's one 800 F as in family L as in life, and then the word today. If this content today or any of the family life programs have been helpful for you and I know they have been for me would love you to share today's podcast with a friend or family member where you get your podcasting can really advance what were doing at the ministry of family life.

If you scroll down and rate and review us this week and a lot of weekend to remember events are happening all over the country.

There's we can to remember is happening in the Poconos in Pennsylvania Des Moines Iowa Nashville Tennessee Newport Rhode Island Redondo Beach California if you take a moment to pray for those couples is the gathering this weekend to attend our weekend to remember events and coming up on Monday.

David and Wilson are to be talking with author Joe Rigney about how we can sometimes miss the beauty and blessings in everyday common things and events that our heavenly father longs for us to delight in as his children. That's next week. We hope you can join us on behalf of David and Wilson. I'm shall be at sea back next time for another edition of family life to family life today is a production of family accrual ministry helping you pursue the relationships that matter most

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