When we see our children’s behaviour there are two things that we need to take notice of: their heart and their actions.  We need to address both, though if we address the heart (the attitude, the thinking) then often the actions quickly realign themselves because the heart drives the actions.

There can be a situation though when the heart and the actions are not the same.  A situation where you can tell the child’s heart (their deepest desire) is not being reflected in their actions.  Their heart says one thing – their actions say another.  Now this isn’t the norm, but I believe it happens and I think we need to be on the look out for it.

Parents need to discern between a heart attitude and a bad habit that need to be overcome. Download cheat sheet with 5 questions to help you discern.

Attitude and Action Mis-match

This is the type of situation where the kids are saying, “I don’t want to act like this” or “I don’t know why this is happening” and they are sincere; they are not just coping out, or putting on a front.  What is happening is that somewhere along the way they have had a heart change and yet their actions are habitual and they are taking time to catch up.

Think about yourself.  You have a change of thinking, you decide that God would have you respond differently and yet you find yourself in a spiral of repeating your old way of doing things.  Frustrating!  It doesn’t mean that your heart was not hearing God, or that you made a ½ hearted commitment, no, it means that you have some habitual ways of responding in a given situation and you have to work on aligning your heart with your responses or actions.

This is what is happening with our children.  As they grow and mature, they have a heart change, they start to understand God’s Word and respond to it, they begin to believe and think differently.  But they still have some wrong actions happening.

Download this Parenting Cheat Sheet to help you discern the difference between a heart attitude and a bad habit that needs to change.
The reason this is important not to miss is that for so long our parenting focus is to teach, train and direct their heart (and in doing so we will teach, train and direct their actions).  So when we have this situation we immediately presume it is a heart issue.  It may not be. Our child’s heart may be in the right place, they just need help in changing their habitual actions.

In our family this conflict (between heart and actions) has happened mostly after 10 years old.  It is by this stage that they understand moral thinking, they are understanding how God’s Word applies to their life, and they are able to make these decisions for themselves.  (I must say though, that situations that arise with our children, even at this age, don’t always fall into this category – we are still working on their hearts in many situations.)

One of the things that strikes me in this particular type of situation is the relief when you tell the child, I can see your heart is in the right place, you’ve just made an unwise choice or I can see your heart is in the right place, you just have to realign your actions to match.

So the caution is to us parents, yes, teach, train and direct the heart but remember sometimes actions are driven by habit more than bad attitudes in the heart.  We need to discern and make sure our parenting addresses the right aspect of our children’s lives.   Is it a heart attitude?  Or is it a matter of aligning heart and actions together?

Parents need to discern between a heart attitude and a bad habit that need to be overcome. Download cheat sheet with 5 questions to help you discern.

Download Parenting Cheat Sheet

Discern between a Heart attitude and a bad habit with these 5 questions

Do you need help in your Family?

Hi! I’m Belinda

About Me

Belinda and her husband, Peter, live in the far north-west of Australia on a small farm. They have four adult children whom they homeschooled from prep-year 12. Over this time Belinda has taught and supported women both face to face and online. Her heart is to encourage families to be intentional, relational and heart focused in all areas of family living. She continues to do this in her new season of life – as her kids leave home one by one leaving her with more time.

Certified Life Coach

5 Comments

  1. Kim

    Excellent. Thanks for sharing!
    Praising Him,
    Kim

    Reply
  2. Jo

    Thank you so much for being a vessel of His wisdom, I’m grateful for your willingness to share. Godbless

    Reply
    • Belinda

      Thanks Jo for taking the time to encourage me today.

      Reply
  3. Meg Gemelli

    At 6 and 8, my boys’ most bizarre behavior comes when they’re simply worn out. They can’t tell you why they’re behaving a certain way, either. My husband and I shake our heads and chalk it up to a complete loss of control after a long day at school. Sometimes a little grace goes a long way and a hug makes everything better 🙂

    Reply
    • Belinda

      So true. Sometimes we forget that we too do crazy things when we are tired!!

      Reply

Let me know your thoughts...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Over to you:

Do you see this in your kids – they have a good heart but are still doing the wrong things?  Any tips or thoughts to share?  

Further Reading:

Heart Focus Parenting teaches our children to be personally responsible for their beliefs, character, choices, emotions and passions.

Saying “I’ve already told you Once!” is not helpful in training our kids: I’ve already told you once! is a parenting phrase that doesn’t help in the training of our children. Training is a long term project – it will not be over and done with just because we told them something once, or even twice.

4 Excuses you Don’t Want to Make as a Parent:  When we hear ourselves giving excuses about our kids behaviour it is a signal we are missing some of our responsibilities.

Capturing the Heart of the Strong Willed Child:  Parenting the strong willed child is about capturing their heart – just like any other child.

Parents need to discern between a heart attitude and a bad habit that need to be overcome. Download cheat sheet with 5 questions to help you discern.

It is Easy to Think it is a Heart Attitude - but is it?

Individual Education Planning Worksheets - brainstorming every area of your child's life.

Get your Planning Worksheets

I will email you the download link so you can start looking at all the different spheres of your child's life before you make any curriculum choices. 

The download link is on it's way.

An Alternative to Chocolate

An Alternative to Chocolate

Not that I have anything against chocolate - but these jelly beans can help your kids share the message of Jesus, his love, death and resurrection at Easter time.  

The download link is on it's way.

Parent Guide: How to make your Family Bible Study Really Work

Family Bible Study is Tricky with all the Different Ages

 

But there is a way to make this a rich learning and bonding family time.  This Guide includes tips, planning worksheet, and discussion prompts.  

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

Download yourCharacter Certificates

Though true character is driven by internal motivation, our children will appreciate when we see that they are growing in character.

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

Download your Character Certificates

Though true character is driven by internal motivation, our children will appreciate when we see that they are growing in character.

The download link is on it's way.

Download your Cheat Sheet

 

A quick reference to help you discern between a heart attitude and a lack of skill for when your child loses it!

Thanks for being here! Your download link is on its way.

Three things for parents to pray for in the Moment.

Make God your First Response

Print out this parenting reminder to call out to God in the middle of the moment.

I'm excited to share this download with you. Watch your inbox.

Parents need to discern between a heart attitude and a bad habit that need to be overcome. Download cheat sheet with 5 questions to help you discern.

Get your Cheat Sheet now

You will receive an email shortly with the details. Watch your inbox.

Thank you for being here - your download link will arrive shortly.

Download Grow in Character Worksheets

Download Grow in Character Worksheets

I will email you the download link.

The download link is on it's way.

Download Grow in Character Worksheets

You will receive an email shortly with the details. Watch your inbox.

Thank you for being here - your download link will arrive shortly.

Download Parenting Poster

Download Parenting Poster

Learn to respond to your child in a way that changes their heart.

 

I will email you the download link.

The download link is on it's way.

Download Parenting Poster

Download Parenting Poster

 

Learn to respond to your child in a way that changes their heart.

 

I will email you the download link.

Thank you for being here - your download link will arrive shortly.

Our children hear different words when we react to when we respond. Do your children hear blah blah blah when you correct them? Includes a parenting poster.

Download Parenting Poster

 

When we Respond instead of React we find a way to deal with the heart not just behaviour.

 

I will email you the download link.

Thank you for being here - your download link will arrive shortly.

Download Character Lesson Guide

You will receive an email shortly with the details. Watch your inbox.

Thank you for being here - your download link will arrive shortly.

When family relationships get tense - look for the niggles.

Heart Focused Parenting Resource for the Intentional Parent

 

Your download will arrive in your inbox shortly. 

Print it out and use to teach the hearts of your kids.

Thank you for being here - your download link will arrive shortly.

Hearts: Heart focus homeschool

Email Course

Daily emails  (6 days) to help you walk towards being a heart focused homeschool family!

You have joined the email course. Watch your email inbox!

Find ways to Re-engage your Student

Download this checklist and stir your child's curiosity

Watch your Inbox - the Checklist is on it's way!

FREE Parenting Worksheet

This worksheet will help you move from addressing behaviour to really parenting the heart, one issue at a time.

 

 

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Parenting Support Library

Join now for extra and regular heart focus family living support.
Weekly emails and bonus content straight to your email inbox.

 

 

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Become a Better Parent

Personal growth starts with an honest assessment

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

Give Effective Consequences

Think before you React

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

 

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

One Another Verses

Be Intentional in the Teen Years

Use this Cheat Sheet to remind you of how you can love your teen.

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

Devotion Response Kit cover

Download your Devotion Response Kit

5 prompts to encourage the heart of your child as they learn to respond to God's Word

Thanks for being here! Your download link is on it's way.

Prepare a Heart focused Christmas

 

Free email course

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

Download your copy

Download your copy

Blending Life and Lessons - and start your journey of changing your thinking about education.

Thanks for being here! Your download link is on it's way.

Download: One Another Verses pdf

Download: One Another Verses pdf

Download this list of One Another verses and teach your children how to love others.

Thanks for being here! Your download link is on it's way.

Raising Kids with Character

ATTEND LIVE : FREE PARENTING WORKSHOP

A bonus for Heart Booster readers:  Learn how to teach character to your kids so that they can live their lives making values-based choices.

 

Live Session:  5th May 2021, 6.30pm AWST

Replay available until 16th May 2021

 

I'm so excited about this workshop - thanks for joining me!

Raising Kids with Character

REPLAY OPTION : FREE PARENTING WORKSHOP

A bonus for Heart Booster readers:  Learn how to teach character to your kids so that they can live their lives making values-based choices.

 

Replay available from 6th May until 16th May 2021

 

I'm so excited about this workshop - thanks for joining me!

Raising Kids with Character

WAITLIST

 

The Raising Kids with Character parenting workshop will be offered again this year - details yet to be confirmed.  Join the waitlist so you don't miss out. 

I will keep in you in the loop as soon as decisions have been made!

Join Heart Boost and gain access to de•vot•ed free for 1 month

 

Connecting everyday living with the Word of God

Thanks for being here! Your download link is on it's way.

Bonus Reading list

 

Sharing my Homeschool Belief File

Knowing what you believe and why about education and homeschooling helps you make good decisions.

Thanks for being here! Your download link is on it's way.

%d bloggers like this: