As parents, one of the most difficult things to deal with is a situation in which others treat your child, or teen/young adult, unfairly. I don’t know about you, but it kind of brings out the mother bear in me, and I want to rush in, rage, and attack. However, that obviously isn’t the best way to handle the problem!
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In any and all situations of parenting, our goal should be to teach our kids what God says about it. So when our kids face unfair or unkind treatment, we need to help them respond right.
That means we CANNOT say what we might be feeling at the time! My immediate, fleshly response is usually one of anger towards the person who has hurt my child, and I want to say things that I shouldn’t, and respond based on fleshly reactions. That is NOT what my kids need. They are already struggling with the wrong emotions, and need me to be able to respond in a calm and Christ-like manner.
HOW DO WE RESPOND?
1. Acknowledge your child’s hurt and recognize their emotions.
2. Don’t criticize and attack the person who has wronged them.
3. Encourage your child to give the benefit of the doubt to the person who treated them wrong, rather than assuming the worst.
4. Encourage your child to forgive them, and not get bitter.
5. Remind them that life isn’t always fair, and people don’t always treat your fairly. You can’t control what others do to you, but you can control your response.
We all have unfair things happen to us. We can choose to cling to that hurt and let it poison our future, or we can release it and trust God to make it up to us. – Joel Osteen Ministies
6. If the person truly is wrong in how they are handling a situation, encourage your child to respond properly, and then let go of it. If they need to do anything to make it right, they should; then they should move on, and not worry about whether the “offendee” has apologized or tried to make it right. It’s now that person who has the problem, and not your child.
7. Pray with them for the person who offended them. It’s VERY hard to stay angry or bitter at someone that you are praying for!
8. Suggest that they give a gift in secret.
“A gift in secret pacifieth anger.” Proverbs 21:14
Our kids WILL be treated unfairly and unkindly in life at one time or another. As parents, we must prepare ourselves to handle it wisely, and then help our kids handle it in a Biblical way. If we don’t teach them how to respond properly, who will?