Your Children’s Beliefs Are Key to Changing Undesirable Behavior!
Have you ever had the experience of seeing your child do something that stops you and causes these words to come across your mind and maybe your lips, ‘what the heck, where did that come from? Whoa, we are not going to put up with that!’ That is what my mother thought as she listened through the window of our trailer as I cussed out my friend from next door – we were both 5 – and her name was Mary. Mom had no idea the depth of my vocabulary and my ability to use compound phrases of sexual acts and body excrements.
My father had been an excellent role model for this skill but had the practice of never doing it in the presence of girls or women. I hadn’t picked up on his discrimination. I just knew from watching him at the service station that he could hold the attention of the men he would shoot the breeze with. There was something attractive, even to a five year old, about commanding a room. My mom wailed the tar out of me, right there in the presence of my little girl friend.
Mom didn’t like my behavior but she never looked deeper into me to see the belief that was fueling the behavior. Nor do most parents. We are unaware that most behavior is driven by a belief or a combination of beliefs. And since Satan is the father of lies, much of the beliefs at our core are lies or half-lies. A half-lie can be more powerful than a total lie because the truth part justifies the lie part. The most powerful lies come from life experiences that by-pass any rational examination, those lies are buried the deepest. If you feel shamed in a group of 10 yr. old peers because someone says out loud, “you’re fat” that incident may form one or more beliefs in you at 10 that affects your behavior for a long time. So as parents we need to focus more on discovering the beliefs that drive behaviors we are trying to change in our children or can I say, ‘even in ourselves.’
Proverbs 4:23, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
Next blog we will discuss some common beliefs in children and figure out what makes them so powerful.