For this last part to this three part series, "What is the difference between Executive function, Laziness and Obstinance/Disobedience", we are going to delve into the last point of how to tell if it is obstinance/disobedience and how to approach it.
I am going to start with giving you the definitions to obstinance and disobedience.
- firmly or stubbornly adhering to one's purpose, opinion, etc.; not yielding to argument, persuasion, or entreaty.
- characterized by inflexible persistence or an unyielding attitude; inflexibly persisted in or carried out:obstinate advocacy of high tariffs.
- not easily controlled or overcome:the obstinate growth of weeds.
- neglecting or refusing to obey; not submitting; refractory.
Being obstinate can turn into being stubborn and disobedient. But I want to show you another way to look at this. What is the difference between being strong and obstinate?
We praise people who are strong, unwavering in truth and true to their hearts. We praise them when they don't bow down to bullies or let other persuade them to do wrong. So how did a good trait become obstinance which then leads to disobedience?
In many cases they were not taught to tell the difference and pride got mixed in. Obstinance is not a good trait but being strong is. How can you tell when someone, or your child, is being obstinate or being strong?
Stubbornness, pride, and rebellion are all strong relatives to obstinance. When someone has a strong personality it isn't a bad thing. It is a strength as long as that strength is balanced. Once it is out of balance it easily turns into the negative side of that trait.
Have you heard this before?
"This is just who I am?"
"I've always been like this, so what?"
When these are repeated often it is a sign that the individual's strength has then become imbalanced. It also shows that they are not willing to grow or improve. Have you ever taken a personality test or love language test?
When you took the personality test did you identify with the strongest color/number that you received, or did you take that test to show what areas you needed to work on so you could be more balanced? When you took the love language test did you use it as an excuse not to recognize when others were communicating through another love language?
It is good to know your strengths and is also good to know where you need to focus to improve. If you have taken or plan on taking one of these tests and then label yourself that specific color or number without further reading the other traits, or love language meanings, you are missing so much. You need to see where you can improve, and if you haven't, then you used those tests improperly.
You have focused completely on your strength to the point where it can hinder you and ruin relationships. "I'm a red personality (if you took the color test) take me as I am or leave", I cringe when I hear this. These tests were created to help us communicate with others better and grow in understanding. To help us understand where we are at so we could improve, not to be used as an excuse to further damage our communication abilities and relationships.
As a parent recognizing my children's love languages helps in understanding whether they are being obstinate, disobedient, or just needing to be heard and understood. When someone is starved in how they receive love they start to get grumpy. Kind of like when someone has low blood sugar because they skipped a meal, so they get a bit hangry. In this case they will act out as a cry for help. This is why it is important to be sure you are showing them how much you love them, in the way that they receive love so you can rule that out.
When they are tired, overwhelmed, feeling unheard, or their hormones are fluctuating, they can also act out. Which is why I try to be sure that they are either applying hormone supporting oils, praying and spending time in the word, resting, and being listened to, so I can rule those out as well.
Am I 100% on the ball, all the time with these? Of course not! I am a mom of six. I can only do my best each and every day in my own humble way.
When one of my kiddos are being obstinate or disobedient there is an attitude that usually accompanies them. Do you remember the close relatives that I mentioned above, Pride, stubbornness, and rebellion? When these are mixed in, the person who is being influenced by them has a different air about them. They get angry and act out by either belittling the other person, attacking their reputation, using intimidation, accusing someone of something outlandish, or even threatening.
"Fine, I will never play with you again. Because you cheat!"
***example provided by the courtesy of my kiddos***
In this statement, which I have heard countless times, it shows very clearly where they first threatened to never play with the other child. Then they attacked their reputation by labeling them as a cheater. When in fact it was quite the opposite on who was a sore loser and/or who was the one who was caught cheating.
I know this is an extremely simple and easy example and it sometimes isn't always one child's fault in each case. Most of the time it is both who are at fault.
Most of the time it is by God's guidance and saving grace in each situation that helps me recognize and then diffuse the situation accordingly. I could never do it without Him.
With this being said, we have come to the end of this three-part series. I hope it helps you recognize the differences between executive functioning, laziness, and obstinance/disobedience.
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