The Final Rebellion of a Strong-Willed Child Is Shame

Boy at a old abandoned playgroundAs a young-adult most of my stubbornness had been defeated [1] but there was still one rebellion I refused to give up.

Whenever I made a mistake my first response was to lie about it. This meant I ended up lying a lot, and unfortunately got really good at it.

My parents as you can imagine became very frustrated by this [2] and after a lie eventually caught up with me would ask, “why didn’t you just tell the truth?”

My response would be to shrug my shoulders and tell them I didn’t know. Of course this did little to make them feel better, but the truth is I had no idea why lying had become such a large part of my life.

Eventually however it occurred to me that my lying was an attempt to cover up a weak part of my life (shame over mistakes).

Being someone who struggled with self-esteem issues in my younger years, Satan would make be believe failures or setbacks were the end of the world.

  1. Oh nobody else would make that kind of a mistake
  2. Wow anyone else could have done that better
  3. Remember the last time you tried that and failed?

Of course this filled my heart with shame…and my focus immediately went to covering that up in any way possible

The strange thing is beneath the stubbornnes of most strong-willed children is a secret that they don’t want anybody to know (in most cases a sign of weakness)

Which is why they cling to that last form of rebellion.

And refuse to let it go, even if they don’t have a clue why they are doing it!

The stubborness of a strong-willed child can mostly be cared for with loving parents and authority figures who hold them accountable for their actions. But this final form of stubborness is different.

In this case you need to learn what they are trying to hide.

Sadly the last rebellion is sometimes the hardest to break because it’s based on something they are ashamed of (in my case nobody could know I made a dumb mistake) but there are things we can do to help break it.

  1. Try to always understand WHY a child is disobeying [3]
  2. Look at the situation from their perspective
  3. Be willing to share how you overcame your rebellions or struggles [4]
  4. Give them an opportunity to make up for mistakes without consequences [5]
  5. And of course let them know they love you

More than anything the breaking of my final rebellion came because of the sadness I saw in the eyes of my parents whenever I lied to them…and the distrust they had about everything I said.

The lying didn’t end overnight mind you, but I learned to envision those sad eyes everytime the temptation came to lie, and eventually God gave me victory over it.

I’m not saying taking care of this final rebellion is easy (my parents will back me up on that) but as you are faithful God will give your strong-willed child the strength to break that last chain of rebellion.


  1. my parents beat it out of me 🙂  ↩
  2. they should be since they couldn’t trust their own son  ↩
  3. sometimes they are just being bad because they want to, but often there is a deeper reason  ↩
  4. it helps them know they aren’t the only ones  ↩
  5. my parents if I told them something was a lie one minute or less after it there would be no added punishment  ↩

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s