Monday, November 26, 2012

Disrespect: A Heart Attitude Part 3

 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;  to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self,created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
Ephesians 4:22-24(emphasis mine)

When mediating through some of the challenges of Disrespect, we use these mind maps.
We have a Disrespect mind map and a Respect mind map.
The premise I use when I mediate through issues of disrespect is to follow what scripture encourages us to do in Ephesians 4:22-24.
There are certain things that we need to PUT OFF,
but it is not enough to put off disrespect. You need to PUT ON respect.
Of course, you can't do this in your own strength, that is the work of the Holy Spirit.
That is where prayer comes in.
The imagery used with PUTTING ON and PUTTING OFF is very clear to a young child.
You can even use the example of wearing really grubby clothes and taking them off and then putting on a clean shirt.

Here's a typical conversation that will take place after an episode of disrespect in our home.

"So, we're over at the chart again. Do you know why?"
"Yes." A deep sigh. "I was being disrespectful. But she started it."
"Well, I'm dealing with you right now and some of the behaviour that I saw (or heard) that is not acceptable.

Where's your heart at right now?
Are you in a place of humility--ready to receive instruction, willing to listen and ready to repent and forgive?

Or are you struggling with a proud heart that is unwilling and wants to do things your own way?

Once we decide/pray to have a heart of humility, then we look at the flower of Disrespect.

I ask: "Why don't you tell me what happened."
Listen carefully as the story is told.
How did you respond?
How did that make you feel?
How did you express your feelings?

"I yelled at them and called them a name."
"Is there anything else on the chart that you were doing?"
"Yeah. An angry face."
"Ok. Anything else?"
"Where do these actions come from?"
We then trace the flower stem down to the base of the plant.
Anger from a sinful thought life.
"What made you angry?"
"She wouldn't leave me alone. She never leaves me alone when I'm drawing. I just want her out of my space."
We discuss whether this is an issue of unforgiveness or idolatry/selfishness.
We talk a little bit about some of our thoughts and attitudes that we were holding onto.
We trace things back to the ROOT and discuss how pride played a role in the event.

Next, we look at the PUT ON or the RESPECT mind map.
What could you have done differently?
What have you done before that brought peace in this situation?
How would having patience changed things?

How would having gentleness changed things?
How do you feel when you are angry compared to when you are at peace?
Do you think you can recognize when you are starting to feel angry?
What would kindness sound like in this situation?
What would happen if you practice self-regulation in these situations?
What do we need to do next time?
How could we express our feelings in a respectful way?
What could we do if they don't listen to us after we express ourselves?

Sometimes, we spend a few minutes praying for those we've disrespected, or writing up a list of reasons we are thankful for them or read a scripture reminding ourselves why God loves them.
And sometimes we never get to that step because of the  craziness of life!

In the end, I ask the final question:
What do you need to do to make things right again?
"I need to apologize for my behaviour and ask for their forgiveness."
Sometimes, they need to do more than that--fix, replace, restore something.
Depending on what has happened, I will sometimes have the children involved sit down together and do a craft or read a book together. Something fun to build the relationship back together.

I have found that using the mind maps to follow through the various of aspects of disrespect keep us on task and cuts out any manipulation or deviating from the actual incident.
We are also able to spend time discussing where our thinking went wrong and identify a plan for the future when similar situations come up.
For us, this method is working in our home.

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