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Helping Children Take Correction Well

mother and daughter smiling and talking together as the mother helps her children take correction well with positive parenting

Helping children take correction well. How can we do it as moms? With a “Yes, Mom. Thank you for helping me become the best person I can be” instead of an “O, come on Mom” and rolls of the eyes, stomps of the feet, or full out temper tantrums. Why is there a different attitude when our children take correction or instruction from their coach or their teacher than from their Mom?

I share three tips for helping children take correction well in this episode of the Renewed Mama Podcast.

but i’m their mother!

Why does it seem as though our children take correction well from a dance teacher or a coach, but sometimes stomps off, shouts back, or rolls their eyes when I correct them?  And I’m their mother!”

You’re probably saying, “Kimberly, that’s exactly why!  You’re their mother.”

I had a great conversation with the owner of the dance studio my children go to.  She shared that one thing she loved the most about owning a dance studio was watching the dancers grow.  They may come in to their first class shy and timid, but little by little, they blossom and take on new dance challenges and grow to where they perform on stage and love it.

She said that again and again she is amazed at how dance is an art form that requires a lot of correction.  Point your toes.  Jump higher.  Arms, arms

But the dancers don’t get offended and stomp off or throw a temper tantrum.  They say, “Yes, Ms. Victoria” and they correct it.  They know that it’s not negative criticism, it’s constructive.  It’s refining.  It’s done to make their skill as a dancer better, stronger, and more graceful.  They take correction well.

Her observation is that with this constant correction, all of her dancers of course become better in their dance but also well-rounded, high performing individuals in every area of their lives. 

Her comments on her dancers taking correction well struck a chord with me.  Shouldn’t I, their mother and you with your children, be their number one coach and teacher?  Isn’t that our role as moms? 

To coach and teach them so that they are prepared for adulthood.  So that they can step into their purpose and make an even bigger impact in the world than I can.  So that they can become transformed into the likeness of God.  II Corinthians 3:18

I think so, and while I love being their mama, I’m 100% committed to being their coach and correcting them well now so that they are equipped and well trained and strong for adulthood.  How about you?  I’m certain that you want to do the same for your children, so let’s talk about three ways you can help your children take correction well.

mother and daughter smiling and talking together so that the mother can help her daughter take correction well

tell them “I am your mama coach” 

Say, “I love being your mama.  And I know that I changed your diapers and had to get the play dough out of your nose and fix your sister’s hair when you took the scissors to it, BUT I am also your Coach. 

Just like your basketball coach, your hockey coach, or your baseball coach helps you to get better at the game so that you win, it’s my job to help you to learn all you need to know to win at life. 

Did you know that? I get to help you to win at life!

That means that I need to correct you just like your coach corrects your positioning, your dribble, your passes, and your shots on goal or on the net. 

It’s my job to coach you in how to behave well, how to honor your brother and sister, and share, how to talk to others with respect, how to work with focus and excellence, and how to help without being asked.  That all takes coaching – Mama Coaching.

Are you open to me being your Mom and your Coach?

I know, I’m not perfect and I’m not a positive parent all the time.  I make mistakes and sometimes I’ve taken my frustration out on you.   But I promise you, I’ll do my very best to coach you well.

If I see an area in your life that needs correction, will you give me permission to call it out?  Will you take that correction well with a “Yes, Mom. Thank you for helping me become the best person I can be” and not an “O, come on Mom” and rolls of the eyes, stomps of the feet, or even a temper tantrum? 

Great!

Do you think having a conversation like that with your child would set a clear expectation that you are the mama who loves them so, so much AND their coach working to help them to grow and succeed?  Would this help them to have the perspective that mom really cares?  I can trust her even though sometimes I don’t like the correction.

I think so.

You can even say in the heated moments when your child wants to shout or slam the door at you, “This is one of those Mom Coaching moments.  I’ve got on my coach hat especially because I love you so much as your mom and I want to help you to win.”

for helping your child take correction well, give it well

What is your heart motive or the reason behind the correction?

Sometimes, it’s to keep the peace and sanity in your home.  You’ve got to stop the fighting and whining and teach them how to clean up the toys or you’ll go crazy!

Sometimes, it’s injustice because one sibling is mean or a bully to another and you, Coach Mama won’t allow that. 

Sometimes, the heart motive behind correction is because you can see that they are headed down a wrong path with really bad habits.

Sometimes, it’s because you know they are believing lies and need to see the truth.

Sometimes, the heart motive behind correction is because if you don’t teach them to obey you in the little things, to be faithful in the little things now, it’ll be a lot harder to obey God when He asks them to do something. They won’t be trusted with bigger things because they aren’t trustworthy in the little things.

There are so many reasons for giving correction to your children.  Pause and ask yourself, What is my heart motive, the reason, behind this correction that I need to bring right now?

May it be to coach them for success and not to pass on your frustration, annoyance, or own disappointment.

be a positive parent with these ways to give correction well

Choose the right time to talk to your children.  I know that sometimes, we need to deal with the situation in the moment, but other times, it’s good to wait for a more teachable moment where you can pull them aside to a quiet place, set them on your lap, and have a heart to heart talk.

Stay patient and calm as best as you can.  I remember a friend telling of how his sister didn’t like their house growing up and tried to burn it down by lighting some books and the curtains on fire.  Let’s be realistic.  It’s a little hard in that moment to not say, “What were you thinking?  Are you crazy?!  You almost burned our house down!”

I think I need a little more renewing in order to speak life in that moment.  I’m just being honest!

Meet any physical needs to help them receive your correction well.  Are they tired?  Hungry?  Thirsty?  Overstimulated?  You still need to correct, but take all of these factors into consideration so that you respond right.

Are they needing any emotional support?  Are they reaching out for attention, affection, or assurance of your love even if it’s all dressed up in a temper tantrum or tears or hanging on your legs 24/7?  Consider this, too so that you correct well.

Remember your tone of voice.   Keep soft, smiling eyes.

Pay attention to your body language.  Are your arms crossed?  Are you scowling?  Are your hands on your hips or holding tightly on to their arms?  Are you standing, towering above them?

Are your actions speaking louder than your words?  Give correction well.

teach your child to be teachable

To help your children take correction well, teach them to be teachable.  You can know it all and still be teachable.  But I have a hunch that you and I don’t know it all.  And if we don’t know it all, our children don’t know it all either. 

Say, “It looks good on you to be humble.  You look so sharp being teachable.  I admire how you are curious and eager to learn.”

Encourage them with Speak Life Badges that say: I am Teachable, I am Willing to Learn, and I am Eager to Learn from the I Am Smart sticker award book.

mother holding out an I am teachable sticker award badge to give to her child
Turn this insight into action

Now it’s your turn, Mama, to turn this insight into action and think of yourself as a Mama Coach so that you can help your children take correction well. Share in the comments how these suggestions help you and your children.

If you need help with what to say to your children, with what you are thinking, and in how you respond, reach out to me through the Let’s Chat Contact page, and we’ll hop on a coaching chat together so that we can talk through your specific frustrations, what you’ve already tried with your children that isn’t working, and what you can try instead to parent gently.  We’ll go fruit to root together and help you to think right, to speak right, and to respond right.

You don’t have to do it alone.  Asking for help doesn’t mean that you aren’t good enough as a mom. It is so much better working through it together with another mama. We’ll pick a time to chat that works best for you, and we’ll get you the answers you’ve been praying for.

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