It's been a while, but I was working through the Book of Proverbs with my daughters, and this is where we left off. Thought it'd be good to pick back up on this study.
Proverbs 22:15 (NLT)
15 A youngster’s heart is filled with foolishness,
but physical discipline will drive it far away.
Kidner (51) points out that the word used for foolishness in this verse “suggests stupidity and stubbornness.” He continues by stating that “‘foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child’; it will take more than words to dislodge it.”
There’s an old saying that suggests someone is being as stubborn as a mule. What is meant, is that this person is being “Extremely reluctant or unwilling to change a particular opinion, behavior, or course of action, especially when faced with opposition.”
Undoubtedly God’s word is confrontational. When we choose to behave in such a way as to oppose God’s guiding and direction, He at times needs to implement a ‘God-spanking’ in order to get our attention. Though unpleasant at first, we know that God is doing this because He loves us (Hebrews 12:6-11). From an earthly perspective, this is exactly why we need correction from our parents and authorities in our adolescent years – so that we refrain from continuing on a course of action that will be harmful and regretful to us in the years to come. They’re correcting because they love…at least, that should be their motive for doing so.
What is God, and or your parents, attempting to do in your life in order to drive this trait of stubbornness far away from you? How are you responding to their efforts and to your foolishness / stubbornness? Let me encourage you to set pride aside, and humbly face the truth. Ask yourself, “am I acting like a stubborn mule? And for what reason? What am I trying to prove? What am I missing because I’m acting so stubborn? Will my attitude of folly and stubbornness carry over into how I act and respond towards the Lord?”
Maybe you’re in your adult years now and still acting as a stubborn mule in certain areas of your life (just ask someone close to you for their honest opinion). What do you think God would have you to do at this time? It’s not too late to ask Him for help. He can teach an old mule new tricks.
I’m in no way suggesting that you treat your children as pets/animals, but below is a helpful article. Maybe you can relate best with the pet owner that the article references. Or maybe you can even pull some practical ways in which you can best deal with your stubborn child (this article isn’t intended to be a substitute for searching God’s word for how to Parent your child…just something to come alongside it). What I find interesting is that some people even treat their pets better than their own kids…so in the suggestions below you might find more compassion and patience than you would in an article on how be a loving and compassionate parent to your stubborn child. Not all of the suggestions in this article cross over in how to deal with children, but just wanted to give you something to consider and be intentional about in the days and years ahead…
7 Strategies for Training a Stubborn Dog
BY MIKKEL BECKER | SEPTEMBER 30, 2015
Training a stubborn dog can be frustrating — I’ve worked with dozens of pet owners who feel like they’re on the losing end of a battle of wills with their canines, and I’ve had several difficult-to-train dogs of my own over the years. When bad habits refuse to budge, pet owners can wind up feeling frustrated, exhausted and defeated.
If you’re struggling to train your dog, don’t give up! There’s hope for even the most challenging dogs. The solution may be as simple as changing your approach to training.
When a dog doesn’t listen to or follow commands, it’s not typically because he is hardheaded or untrainable. The problem is often that normal dog behaviors simply don’t conform to human standards of good manners, and changing behavior that comes naturally to a dog can take time and effort.
This doesn’t necessarily mean a complete revision of your training program though. For some dogs, even the smallest shift in the training process can make a big difference in your success.
Seven Strategies for Stubborn Dogs
A few simple tweaks can make all the difference in your challenging dog’s behavior. Here are seven of my favorite strategies for stubborn dogs.
Go slowly. Start by working with your dog on favorite or familiar behaviors. Create a positive association with training by rewarding even minor successes. Once your dog understands that training is a good thing, take small steps: Change only one variable at a time. Once your dog has mastered sit, for example, add a slight distraction, like the television or another person in the room. Take your time though — if training becomes too hard, your dog is likely to give up (and so are you).
Control the environment. During training sessions, take precautions to help your dog stay focused. Choose a distraction-free area like your kitchen or living room. Put away toys or other items that he may be tempted to chew on or play with. If you are training outside, add an extra layer of safety by keeping your dog on a leash or longline or inside a fenced area. Even a well-trained dog can be tempted by a cat or squirrel or startled by a loud noise.
Be consistent. You or other members of your family may unintentionally be asking for the same behavior in different ways or rewarding different behaviors. As a result, your dog may seem stubborn when he’s really just confused. Having everyone who spends time with your dog use a consistent set of cues or commands and offer consistent rewards makes it more likely that your dog will do what he’s asked to do. So if you are trying to teach your dog to sit when greeting people, make sure your kids aren’t allowing or encouraging him to jump up on them when they come through the door.
Avoid punishment. Punishment increases anxiety and undermines your dog’s trust in you. In the long term, punishment can lead to a higher risk of aggression. Instead, opt for reward-based training tactics that focus on giving the dog things he desires, like treats, petting and play, when he responds to a command in the desired manner. And rather than punishing him for unwanted behavior, redirect him to a more acceptable behavior and offer him a reward for that.
Choose the right rewards. Ensure training is relevant by making desired behaviors highly rewarding for your dog. If rewards are infrequent or of low value to your dog, his response is likely to suffer. Increasing the value and frequency of rewards can often improve your dog’s response — and his behavior — dramatically. Different dogs value different things; figure out what your dog loves most and offer that in return for good behavior. Rewards can include special treats, petting or play time with a favorite toy.
Make training a habit. Don’t think about training as a once-a-day event — make it part of your daily routine. To reinforce wanted behavior, engage your dog in short training sessions throughout the day. This can be as simple as asking your dog for a specific desired behavior, such as a sit or down, and rewarding his success with treats, play, petting or walks.
Get help. Finally, if training just isn’t working or if your dog is showing signs of aggression or excessive fear, an expert’s opinion and guidance can be invaluable. Talk to your veterinarian for help finding a reward-based trainer or a veterinary behaviorist in your area.
http://www.vetstreet.com/our-pet-experts/7-strategies-for-training-a-stubborn-dog and http://www.vetstreet.com/our-pet-experts/7-strategies-for-training-a-stubborn-dog?page=2
Nate Smith is a college baseball and football coach, a husband, a father of 6 girls, grandpa to 3 granddaughters, a police chaplain, a pastor, and has a passion to see men grow in Christ.
#girldad including granddaughter