Navigating Rejection Part I

Navigating rejection from our children is part of the rollercoaster world of parenting, where the highs are dizzying, and the lows can knock the wind out of you. This week, I explore the untold story of parental rejection, an emotional ride that can leave you questioning everything.

Equipped To Be is a podcast where we don’t just share struggles; we navigate through them together. You can learn to navigate the sting of rejection and protect your future relationship.

Navigating Rejection Part 1

As a mom of five and mentor for other parents, I’ve experienced rejection more often than I’d like. Each time, it’s as if there’s a tiny crack in the bond I’ve built with my kids, reminding me that even the deepest love can face pushback and pain. Kids can lash out, pull back, choose others over us, or lock their deepest thoughts away.

To mend these breaks, I first tried to understand the source of their rejection. This was the beginning of a long road to bringing our hearts back together. It wasn’t easy, but it was worth every step.

Types of Rejection

Understanding these manifestations of rejection was the first step in a long journey of healing and restoration. Verbal rejections cut deep, but they often sprang from a place of frustration or a need for autonomy. Physical withdrawal and the pursuit of privacy signaled a natural progression towards independence, while criticism and embarrassment reflected their budding self-identity and social consciousness.

Navigating the choppy waters of parenthood often means facing the storm of rejection in various forms. Here are some of the most common ways kids might express rejection toward their parents:

~Verbal Rejection

~Physical Rejection

~Ignoring Rejection

~Choosing the Other Parent

~Rejecting Against Rules

~Privacy and Secrecy

~Social and Emotional Distance

~Rejection of Family Traditions

~Critcisim

~Expressing Embarrassment

Understanding these forms of rejection is crucial, as they often stem from the child’s developmental stage, emotional state, or a bid for independence rather than a true rejection of the parents themselves. It’s part of the complex, evolving parent-child relationship. While all forms of rejection are hurtful, learning to stay focused on your relationship goals will help you navigate it with love and understanding.

Rejection of Parents

I’ll be honest: being rejected by your child is painful regardless of the type of rejection you experience. The path to restoration is paved with open conversations, where listening is just as critical as talking. It involves acknowledging your child’s feelings without dismissing your own, creating a safe space where vulnerability could lead to understanding.

Time and time again, I had to remind myself that this journey wasn’t just about reclaiming the closeness we once shared; it was about forging a new relationship, one that respected the individuals my children were becoming. The most effective way to navigate rejection is through prayer.

The Pivotal Power of Prayer

It was through prayer that I found the grace to release my pain and embrace hope, trusting that the strength of our relationship could weather the storms of rejection. God uses the rejection we experience from our children to cause us to read the Word and trust the Lord to help us work through the struggles.

Today, as I look back on those moments of heartache, I see them not as scars but as landmarks of our journey toward healing. The relationship I share with my children now is richer and more profound because of the challenges we’ve overcome. It’s a testament to the resilience of the Lord, of love, and the transformative power of forgiveness. And it can be for you, too.

To any parent walking through the shadow of rejection, know that this is not the end of your story. With time, prayer, and a heart willing to heal, what was once broken can be made whole. The journey may be fraught with challenges, but it is also filled with opportunities for growth, understanding, and an even deeper connection with your child. Remember, the echoes of rejection can eventually lead to the harmonies of reconciliation and love.

References and Links

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Trouble With Teens

Are you lying awake at night wondering why trouble seems to find your teen? Do you find yourself asking why simple requests turn into heated arguments? Have you noticed changes in their behavior that don’t seem just “typical teenage stuff”? If you’re nodding along, feeling the weight of these questions, you’re not alone. Welcome to this episode of “Trouble with Teens,” a direct conversation to help parents seeking a lifeline as they navigate the rough season of adolescence. Let’s tackle these turbulent years together with strategies that will bring us closer to understanding our teens and guiding them through today’s complexities.

While trouble with teens isn’t uncommon, we can help teens on the edge from acting up or acting out. They are created on purpose and need us to guide them along a path to adulthood with confidence and joy.

Trouble With Teens

Avoid Overreacting

Modeling Calmness: Teens are highly attuned to emotional responses. Showing them how to handle emotions calmly and constructively sets a powerful example.

Creating a Trusting Environment: When teens know they won’t be met with immediate judgment or anger, they’re more likely to come forward with their problems or mistakes.

Evaluate the Circumstances

Understanding Before Reacting: Take the time to fully understand the context of your teen’s actions or feelings. This might involve discussing their actions more deeply or considering the external pressures they’re facing.

Guidance, Not Judgment: Use these discussions as opportunities to guide and teach, rather than to criticize. It’s about helping them learn from their experiences.

Identify Their Surroundings

Acknowledge Peer Influence: Recognize the significant impact of peer groups and social environments. Discussing these influences can help teens become more aware of their own decision-making processes.

Environmental Awareness: Help them understand how different environments can lead to different types of behavior, and strategize ways to maintain integrity in challenging situations.

Be Proactive

Scenario Planning: Discuss “what-if” scenarios not as a way to induce fear, but to empower your teen with strategies and solutions for potential challenges.

Preparation Builds Confidence: Knowing they have a plan can help teens feel more confident in their ability to handle difficult situations.

Listen Actively

Full Engagement: Show your teen that you’re fully present in the conversation by putting away distractions and making eye contact.

Reflect and Clarify: Reflect back what you’ve heard and ask clarifying questions. This not only ensures you’ve understood their perspective but also shows that you’re genuinely interested in their thoughts and feelings.

Additional Considerations

Consistency is Key: Regular, casual conversations can foster a sense of normalcy around discussing complex issues. Making time for these talks can help keep communication lines open.

Encourage Self-Reflection: Encourage your teen to reflect on their feelings and actions independently. This self-reflection is a critical skill for emotional and psychological development.

Teenagers need clear expectations and routines, such as curfews, bedtime rituals, or homework schedules. These help them build healthy habits and learn responsibility. We start by being consistent in enforcing our family rules and explaining the consequences.

Seek Professional Help

Sometimes, despite our best efforts, the challenges our teens face may require professional intervention. Recognizing when it’s time to seek outside help is a sign of strength and proactive care, not a failure. Whether it’s counseling, therapy, or support groups, external resources can offer specialized guidance and support for navigating more complex issues. These professionals can provide a safe space for teens to explore their feelings and experiences and offer strategies and tools that parents might not have at their disposal. Engaging with these resources can be a valuable step in supporting your teen’s mental health and overall well-being, ensuring they have the comprehensive support they need to thrive. But do your research before sending your child to a counselor. Find someone or a group that aligns with your family’s faith and beliefs.

By employing these strategies, parents can help guide their teens through the challenges of adolescence with understanding, empathy, and effective communication. This approach not only addresses the immediate issues but also strengthens the parent-teen relationship, laying a foundation for trust and openness that can stand the test of time and troubles.

Remember, God tells us not to grow weary in well-doing. God is at work. Don’t give up!

Thank you for tuning in to Equipped To Be. Until next time, keep parenting with love and intention.

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Community of Friends

In the whirlwind journey of parenthood, amidst the sleepless nights and countless diaper changes, there exists an invaluable gift that can make all the difference: community. This is why the concept of building a community of like-minded friends holds such significance in the modern parenting landscape.

We are created for relationships, yet many of us feel isolated and alone. That’s why having a community of friends can have a positive impact on every family member.

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Building a community of families who share a similar vision and values provides a nurturing environment where parents and children can flourish. But it takes some effort to create the support you need to navigate the journey.

Importance of a Supportive Community for Both Parents and Children

For parents, a supportive community offers a safe space to share their joys, fears, and frustrations without fear of judgment. It’s a place where they can find empathy, advice, and practical assistance from those who understand firsthand the highs and lows of raising children.

The benefits of community extend far beyond the parents themselves. Research has consistently shown that children thrive in environments where they feel connected and supported. And a community of like-minded friends helps kids grow and mature. A strong community provides children with opportunities for social interaction, emotional development, and the cultivation of important life skills.

The Purpose of Building a Community of Friends

By bringing together families who share similar values, beliefs, and parenting philosophies, we create an environment for meaningful connections to encourage us. Whether bonding over shared hobbies, holiday traditions, or common goals for our children’s futures, like-minded parents can provide a sense of belonging and solidarity that is both comforting and empowering.

The Purpose of Building a Community of Friends

The purpose of building a community of like-minded parents is to create a supportive community where parents and children alike can thrive. It’s about forging connections, fostering empathy, and building a friend group that nurtures and supports each member as they navigate the beautiful, messy, and endlessly rewarding adventure of parenthood.

Friends are like seasons; they change over time. Some are part of our lives for a season, others a lifetime.

The Seasons of Friendships

As I reflect on something my mother-in-law wrote when she was in her twenties, I realize that friends have different roles in our lives. I was also reminded of the friends who have been part of my life. I am awed by their differences, but each friend has left a mark on my heart.

You’ll have friends who pray with you, laugh with you, cry with you, and grow with you over the years, forging bonds that transcend the passage of time.

As I watch my own children navigate the landscape of friendship, I am reminded of the profound impact that these connections have on their young lives. From the giggles shared with their playground pals to the heartfelt conversations exchanged with their closest confidants, each friendship plays a vital role in shaping their identities and enriching their experiences.

Whether a friend is here for a season or a lifetime, each friend adds meaning and value to our lives. They leave behind a legacy of love and laughter that will endure for generations to come. So, let us cherish those like-minded friends who bring joy, comfort, and companionship into our lives.

We need to teach our children that friends bind us all together.

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Stop Mom Shaming

I’m so tired of other moms putting down, marginalizing, and mocking moms. Moms deserve better. Raising children is hard work. We should be uplifting moms at every turn. It’s time to stop mom-shaming! Mom-shaming perpetuates feelings of guilt, inadequacy, and isolation among mothers, creating unnecessary pressure to conform to societal expectations and ideals.

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When I was a younger mom, I constantly felt scrutinized by other moms. Even though I tried my best, I still felt like it wasn’t enough. It was like being in a never-ending game of “Parenting Olympics,” where every decision, from breastfeeding to screen time limits, was up for judgment. Let’s face it: we’ve all felt that pang of insecurity when another mom’s Pinterest-perfect life seems light-years away from our own chaos.

But here’s the thing: motherhood isn’t about perfection; it’s about love, resilience, and the messy beauty of raising tiny humans. So what if dinner is occasionally takeout instead of a gourmet masterpiece? Or if your laundry pile could rival Mount Everest? We’re doing the best we can, and that’s more than enough.

What is Mom-Shaming?

Mom-shaming refers to the act of criticizing or judging mothers for their parenting choices, behaviors, or decisions. It often involves unsolicited commentary or scrutiny from others, including family members, friends, strangers, or even media outlets, regarding a mother’s approach to child-rearing. Mom-shaming can take various forms, ranging from subtle remarks to outright condemnation, and it can have detrimental effects on a mother’s self-esteem, confidence, and mental well-being.

So, the next time you feel tempted to judge another mom for her parenting choices, take a moment to pause and reflect. Remember that behind every tired smile is a warrior fighting battles you may know nothing about. Let’s lift each other up, cheer each other on, and create a community where mom-shaming has no place.

The list of reasons moms are shamed by others is numerous.

Why are Moms Shamed by Others?

Examples of mom-shaming include:

Breastfeeding vs. Formula Feeding: Moms may face criticism for their choice to breastfeed or formula-feed their babies. Those who breastfeed might encounter judgment for nursing in public, while mothers who opt for formula may be accused of prioritizing convenience over their child’s health.

Stay-at-Home Moms vs. Working Moms: Mothers who choose to stay at home to care for their children may face criticism for not contributing to the workforce, while working moms may be judged for not spending enough time with their children or for prioritizing their careers over family.

Parenting Styles: Differences in parenting styles can also lead to mom-shaming. For example, mothers who practice attachment parenting might be criticized for being too permissive, while those who adopt more disciplinary approaches might be labeled as overly strict or authoritarian.

Screen Time and Technology Use: Some moms may face scrutiny for allowing their children to spend too much time on electronic devices or for not closely monitoring their screen time. Others may be judged for being too restrictive or for not embracing technology as a learning tool.

Appearance and Self-Care: Mothers may be criticized for their appearance, weight, or fashion choices, with society often imposing unrealistic beauty standards on moms. They may also face judgment for prioritizing self-care activities, such as going to the gym or taking time for hobbies, instead of solely focusing on their children.

While these comparisons are common, that doesn’t make them right. If we stopped and thought before we spoke, we could save other moms a heap of hurt and frustration. The Lord wants us to build each other up with our words and actions.

Embrace Imperfection and Celebrate Differences

You are unique, one-of-a-kind, original. God made you the mom you are and gave you the children you have. So, instead of comparing ourselves to some unattainable standard of motherhood, let’s celebrate our differences and embrace the glorious messiness of it all. Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom, a working mom, or a mix of both, your journey is uniquely yours, and it deserves to be honored.

Let’s remember: As moms, we often carry the weight of the world on our shoulders, juggling countless responsibilities while trying to keep it all together. Yet, despite our best efforts, we find ourselves facing criticism and judgment from all directions. It’s time to reject the notion that we have to fit into some mold of “perfect” motherhood. We are imperfectly perfect just as we are, and our differences make us strong. Let’s lift each other up; knowing that the Lord wants us to teach and train our children in the way they should go is what truly matters. Together, we can create a community where mom-shaming has no place and where empathy and understanding are the motivating factors. So, to all the moms out there, be confident, embrace your unique journey, and know that you are enough, just as you are.

References and Links

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  • Proverbs 31:26-28 (NIV): “She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.”

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If you find this podcast helpful, please subscribe and leave a review. It’s a great way to support the show and only takes a few seconds. Thank you ~Connie

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If you have a question about how to handle your thoughts and emotions, email me here. We are happy to help.

5 Skills Parents Must Teach Children

Welcome to our cozy corner of the podcast world, where I discuss the heart of strengthening families with honesty and wisdom. I’ve received several requests from listeners asking me about teaching life skills to children. I put together a topic close to every parent’s heart: teaching children life skills. This week, I share 5 skills parents must teach children. While there are more than five, the five I list are non-negotiable in nurturing well-rounded, happy children.

In an ever-changing and challenging world, teaching your kids about self-control, compassion, consistency, collaboration, and celebration isn’t just beneficial—it’s essential. Join me as I share the 5 Cs parents must teach children. Whether you’re a new parent or trying to navigate the teen years, these truths will help you lay a foundation for a future where your children not only make wise choices but also contribute to it with their unique personalities.

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Teaching Self-Control

Think of self-control as a muscle that gets stronger with every use. To build this muscle in your children, begin by guiding them to recognize and name their emotions, reinforcing that it’s perfectly normal to feel everything from anger to excitement.

Introduce them to easy, calming techniques—like taking deep breaths or counting to ten—when they’re swamped by big feelings. Teach them the power of pausing to consider their actions before jumping in. Lead by example, showing self-control in your own actions, and don’t forget to celebrate their successes in managing their impulses. It’s all about taking small steps forward, celebrating progress over perfection.

Teaching Compassion

Compassion is about stepping into someone else’s shoes and feeling with them. Guide your child to sprinkle acts of kindness wherever they go, from lending a hand to a friend to showing love to their pets. Teach your child to actively listen and validate other’s emotions without judgment. Remind them that showing compassion not only benefits others but also brings joy and fulfillment to their own lives.

Teaching Consistency

Consistency is key to building habits and achieving goals. Parents must establish clear expectations and routines for their children, such as bedtime rituals or homework schedules. Be consistent in enforcing rules and consequences, but also provide flexibility for adaptation and growth. Help your child set realistic goals and break them down into manageable steps. Celebrate their progress along the way and encourage perseverance in the face of challenges.

Teaching Collaboration

While learning self-control, compassion, and consistency are important life skills, teaching children to collaborate can impact every aspect of their lives, from school projects to lifelong relationships. Steering children towards team-based activities, where they’ll learn to share their toys and not insist on getting their way, highlights the value of considering other perspectives and chasing shared ambitions. Don’t forget to show them how to celebrate their team spirit and jointly celebrate victories, big and small.

Learning to Celebrate

Imagine your child has poured their heart into piano practice for months and finally takes the stage for their first recital. Instead of solely focusing on their own performance or comparing themselves to others, encourage them to cheer for their fellow musicians. Celebrate not only your child’s hard work and dedication but also the achievements of their peers. Host a small gathering where everyone can share in the joy of each other’s performances, fostering a supportive and uplifting atmosphere. By teaching your child to cheer for others, you instill empathy, kindness, and a sense of community, nurturing their social skills and enriching their overall development.

Teaching kids these 5 Skills: Self-Control, Compassion, Collaboration, Consistency, and Celebration—is an investment in their future happiness and success. By nurturing these essential life skills, we equip our children to navigate challenges, build meaningful relationships, and thrive in a rapidly changing world. So, let’s lead by example, cultivate a nurturing environment, and cheer our children on every step of the way.

It might not seem like your efforts are working, but they are. Remember, God tells us not to grow weary in well-doing. You have years to teach these skills to your children.

Thank you for tuning in to Equipped To Be. Until next time, keep parenting with love and intention.

References and Links

The following may contain affiliate links.

Subscribe to Equipped To Be

If you find this podcast helpful, please subscribe and leave a review. It’s a great way to support the show and only takes a few seconds.

Have a Question or Want to Book Connie to Speak?

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