How to I get others to support my parenting choices?
We have been working with my 8-year-old son on appropriate behavior and when and where it is okay to do things. We have talked with him about not dancing in the aisles at church, but the older women in the congregation egg him on. How can I politely ask them to back me up in front of my son instead of undermining me? I am hoping to raise a respectful man here, not a boy child.
I understand your feelings of being undermined by the older women in the congregation but, in fact, you may be giving them too much power. You are the parent and must position yourself as a higher authority than the women at church. It's a good idea to consider why your son feels the impulse to dance in the aisles at church. Is he seeking attention? Could it hard for him to sit still? Is he bored by the sermon? Might he be defying your rules? Try to explore the root cause of his disinhibition. Then, set up a positive incentive program with your 8 year-old. Tell him if he can demonstrate good sitting from beginning to end in church you will treat him to lunch after the service and "he" will get to choose the restaurant. Give him permission to tap his foot in rhythm to the choir singing music when he feels like moving. If he cannot control himself and he gets up to dance in the aisles take him out of church until the music stops. Be sure that your attitude is calm and non-judgmental. A + B = C. If you disrupt in church, you must leave. When the singing stops, go back in and try again. If you have to take him out he loses lunch in the restaurant but gets another chance to earn it next Sunday. Keep it positive and praise every increment toward expected appropriate behavior!!
I did not intend to offend - He sounds like a delightful child and I believe expecting a child to act like an adult is fraught with disappointment as they are not adults they are children. A friend lost her 5 year old son to cancer and everyday my children are happy that is a gift. I'm just saying what's the harm in him enjoying some attention and being happy - you clearly are a fantastic parent if that is currently the worst behaviour he exhibits so cut yourself some slack Sorry if I offended
Disco moves and Elvis impersonations are NOT appropriate for church services. If he were simply doing the motions that accompany some of the songs, this would not be an issue. This was a question about parents supporting each other in establishing behavior expectations. Not a discussion about his attempts at seeking attention. No one has "no issues whatsoever."
He is 8 and enjoying church why would you want to change that - clearly the congregation enjoys his enthusiasm. I actually find it disturbing you say you donít want a boy child what does this mean?? - He is a child - he is 8 years old he is not a man. I have raised three wonderful children who are now young adults Ė no issues whatsoever and my advice is donít sweat the small stuff save the discipline for important issues. If you discipline him so intensely at such a young age you risk him rebelling at an older age. I get the feeling you donít want him dancing as it cause you embarrassment which means you have an issue not your son. In my opinion if God is up there watching down on us I believe nothing would bring him more joy that seeing 8 year old boy dancing in his church being egged on by the older ladies.