Trust The Children

Monday, November 05, 2007

Examples of Meeting Legitimate Needs

Children are arguing. They have a legitimate need to understand how arguing impacts the home. They want to argue. That is their want, But they need to understand the impact of arguing in the home. They also need to understand that arguing is not acceptable in the home. Conflicts happen, but in our home the expectation is that we work things out in a certain way and that way precludes contentious arguing.

So the next step is to ask, what can be done as parents to stive to meet their needs? They NEED to understand that this behavior is unacceptable. They also have a legitimate need to understand the better way to solve conflicts. So you as a parent come up with a strategy that helps meet their legitimate need.,They need to understand that this behavior isn't acceptable and that there are alternative ways of dealing with 1) the conflict itself and 2) the emotions associated with the conflict. (John Gottman, Emotion Coaching)

As I read the scriptures, I see that God loves his children. At the same time, the children of Israel, whom he loved, got the the point where they had legitimate need to learn some important lessons. So as the parent, God came up with a strategy. It was... send them on a camp-out for 40 years. For Moses it was the summer camp from hell. (The Book of Numbers in the Bible.) He taught the older ones what he could before they died, and in the process educated the young as they grew up. As a people, (family) they were finally ready to receive the blessing of entering into the "promised" land. I suppose if they hadn't "gotten it" after 40 years, Heavenly Father would have sent them out for another dose of the medicine.

There are so many examples in the scriptures where we can see God doing so much more than gently persevering mis-behavior and passively waiting. He does a bunch of that to be sure. However, after a series of warnings, He takes steps to meet the "legitimate" need his child/children have at that time. His, is leadership that eventually builds influence. The kids say, after enduring the "lesson", "You know what? God was right. We had it wrong. We are happier this way. We need to trust His advice more in other things." So Service, Sacrifice and Meeting Legitimate Needs works together to build influence.

Another interesting side note is this. People under stress very often, respond to the stress by isolating themselves from others. In the process, they cease serving, sacrificing and meeting legitimate needs. The result? Dwindling influence with others. Example. Parents divorcing creates stress. The parent who ends up with the kids, often has a much harder time meeting the legitimate needs of the kids because stress encourages the parent to isolate themselves from others. The parent resorts to other less effective tactics. As if the kids aren't already experiencing stress themselves, the one parent, who they must entirely depend on, doesn't deliver the fences, boundaries, and methods that meet legitimate needs. You have a spiral downward that is very serious.

Parents who home school, have such a huge opportunity to meet legitimate needs in powerful ways. Ways in which the public system could never practically consider, except in the most extreme cases of impudence. The custom tailored instructions in meeting the legitimate needs of your children are within your grasp so much more than others so buried by the demands of a roomful of kids. Because of this, your children can be much more capable socially and confident as well.

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