10 No-Fail Ways to Raise a Brat

These 10 No-Fail Ways to Raise a Brat will either make you laugh or cry, or a little bit of both! This post in completely tongue-in-cheek, so don’t take it seriously!


10 no-fail ways to raise a brat! Works every time!!

The other day my 10-year old son, The Rocket Boy, went to the grocery store with me. He loves pushing the cart, and pretends he’s a race-car squealing around corners and enjoying quick stops and starts. So far, we’ve not run over any grandmas, though I must confess we’ve come close, and I’ve had to take the wheel and give him a good talking to more than once.

Now there’s a brat in almost every store, but that day there was a first rate brat! I thought his antics were just incredible, and his mother played into his hands so well. It almost looked rehearsed…maybe they’ve done this act a time or two before.

It went like this:

We heard Payne (not his real name, but it fits quite well!) coming long before we saw him, and we heard his mother right behind. Her shrill cries of “Stop it!” and “Put that down!” could be heard all across the store. The real display of action came in the fruit and vegetable aisle. Payne had been grabbing everything in sight, but apparently his mother thought he had outgrown that thievish habit, so she pushed the cart gloomily down the aisle with Payne close behind, unobserved by her.

The showdown came when he grabbed two cucumbers. Now, tell me, what 3 year-old loves cucumbers? Well, Payne apparently wanted those cucumbers so badly, he had to have them! His mother turned saw him, and yelled, “Put those back!” at which point he hid them behind his back with a defiant expression. “I SAID, PUT THOSE BACK!” mother escalated. Payne didn’t budge. Mother knew it was time for battle, and she flew in and yanked those cucumbers right out of Payne’s hands, like a bully stealing a smaller bully’s loot. At this point, whatever she said was unintelligible, because Payne set up such a howl and wail that no one could hear himself think.

The Rocket Boy and I moved on into the frozen aisle, leaving the screaming fellow and his yelling mother back in F&V, but we kept tabs on his whereabouts by listening to his regular whines and shreiks and his mother’s shouts and yells. When we left, they were going at it at the checkout.

Isn’t it amazing how much energy two people will expend to prove who’s boss?

I got thinking about this encounter, and realizing that this is a serious brat in the making, folks!

OK. I think we can all learn how to raise a brat from Payne’s exhibition:

1. Always give him everything he wants.

2. Especially give him what he wants when you and he are in public. You don’t want to look bad by saying No, do you?

3. Yelling is great, and the more the better. It keeps the tension high and is sure to provoke screams and wails from your budding brat.

4. While you’re at it, smack him, but only when you’re good and mad. I’m not talking about a real action of discipline, which is needed sometimes – just a venting of anger. Now don’t you feel tough, that you can bully a little child around?

5. Make sure he gets plenty of sugar and even some red 40 – both are great for producing hyper kids and angry mothers – a perfect recipe for a brat!

6. And also don’t let him take a nap, even when he’s really exhausted. You know how you feel when you get tired – almost sick and very irritable. Well, it works the same with kids, so they’ll be sure to whine and cry for apparently no reason whatsoever, making you embarrassed and angry.

7. Worry more about what other people think than doing what is best for your child. That way, if your child really embarrasses you in public, you can get angrier than if you were at home. In fact, some of those same things are even cute at home, but you don’t want people to think you’re a bad mom, so go ahead and yell in public.

8. Make sure you change your expectations around, so he doesn’t know what you want. It’ll really make him into a brat if he thinks he can’t please you no matter what he does.

9. If your kid gets in trouble with the teacher, preacher, or Sunday School teacher, always defend him, even if he’s bitten Susie and bloodied the neighbor boy. Your poor child is just expressing himself – how could that be wrong? And once he sees that you don’t care about authority, watch out! Your authority will be his next mountain to climb!

10. Don’t pray for or with your children, or read the Bible to them. That might give them a moral compass, and you know true brats have none.

OK, how’s that for a list? Honestly, I’m just kidding! Please don’t try this at home and blame me, because you really will produce a horrible, terrible Monster!

You don’t want to raise a Payne!

Question: What are some other ways we as parents can raise a brat?

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5 Ways to Show Consistency

When builders in India illegally constructed a six-story structure in Rajasthan in 2010[i], they made many errors, not the least of which was using inferior materials. Inspectors had been called in to look at cracks in the building, and within minutes after their emerging from the structure, the entire building collapsed in a shower of cement, dust, and rebar! The footage of the sudden destruction was incredible! Amazingly, and thankfully, no one got hurt.

In the parenting process, it is easy for everything to look just right on the outside, but on the inside be built with inferior or unreliable materials. When the barricade is erected to keep the Devil out, it is imperative to use high-quality materials in the workmanship.

The most integral material we must use to build our barricade is the glue of consistency. Without it, we are playing with a strong possibility of the collapse of the family structure, and death of the residents of our home.

None of us is perfectly consistent; otherwise, we would be in Heaven. Still, there are many ways we can show consistency in our parenting. In my interviews with 2nd Generation Christians, I came up with 5 of them:

  • Be faithful through the hard times.

“When I got older,” Brandon told me, “I often thought of my parents, and how consistent they were through trials and tribulations. They stayed true to what they taught, and I realized that if they could do it all these years, that’s what I wanted—even needed—to do.”

Joni and Friends and God is so Good Ministries are both excellent resources for suffering, difficulties, and hard times. Even if you have no one to walk the difficult road with you, don’t try to do it alone – get some encouragement online!

  • Be consistent in discipline.

In Steve’s childhood it made a big difference. “My parents were definitely not lax,” he said. “They were very consistent. Whatever they said, that was the way it was. I don’t think they were harsh, because there was a lot of love, but rules were very consistent (dress, attitude, motives) yet implemented with love. They were enforced consistently, too, all the way through my youth, till I was out of the house.

Focus on the Family and The Better Mom are great resources for helping us be consistent in discipline. And don’t forget the good old-fashioned Bible, God’s Holy Word, which can guide us into all truth, and show us our weaknesses!

  • Be consistent in your devotion to God.

Robbie said, “My dad preached about how important it is for a Christian to read his Bible and pray at the same time, same place every day. One week, I got up at 4:45 every morning to see if Dad was really reading his Bible like he said a Christian should, and sure enough, he was there—every single morning.” What you do speaks so much louder than what you say!

One of my favorite resources for Bible study is Bible.is, an app I downloaded to my Ipad that will read the Bible to me every morning. I also daily refer to Daily in the Word, where I get a great application of the Proverb of the day. Often I use my Olive Tree app and look up a commentary while I study, too.

  • Don’t relax as the children become teens.

Brittany told me the story of a dear friend of hers: “I had one friend that I was especially close to. Consistency, or lack of it, was an issue. My friend’s mother ran the home, and her father was weak. So when the kids got older and didn’t want standards, the parents let them slip. Finally they got out of church altogether. Every once in a while I hear from my friend, and she’s having some pretty tough marital problems. I know that lack of consistency is at the root of it.”

Frontline Moms has been a real eye opener when it comes to my teens. Reading some of Lisa Cherry’s posts helps me realize that I can’t back off or shy away from the difficult topics with my young people, and I certainly can’t afford to be inconsistent with them.

  • Don’t cater to a “favorite” child,

or let the youngest do something you wouldn’t let the other children do. “Inconsistencies in the parents kill spiritual desire in young people,” Larry said. “I’ve seen it many times. There are several ways parents can be inconsistent. Sometimes parents behave one way in church and another way at home, and sometimes they laugh at a child’s behavior one time, then spank him for the very same behavior later. But one of the most serious forms of inconsistency is when one parent wants the affection of a child and will undermine the other parent in order to win the child’s affection. We’ve seen it happen in our own home, and it was disastrous. Now that she’s older, our daughter simply dislikes both my wife and I, and is in an abusive relationship. It’s terribly heartbreaking.”

In essence, Larry was saying that those who try to win the affection of a “favorite” child do so because they themselves feel the need to be loved.

For me, the realization that no human can give me the affirmation that I truly need from the Lord is enough to help me not to seek it from my children. Neither they nor anyone else can do for me what God can.

Perhaps you’re like me, and you see areas where you need to shore up on consistency. I know I do. So I’m asking the Lord to help me be more consistent with my family. It may be a daily prayer, but that’s ok – I have a God who gives strength day by day!

Question: How important do you think consistency is for children? Can you think of any other areas where we can strengthen our consistency?


Special Announcements:

  • I have many people who follow along on my Facebook page for daily encouragements, reminders, and exciting assignments! It’s a great group of folks – come join us! This week I will probably not be posting anything, because I’m supposed to be on “vacation!” But if something really good pops in my mind… 😉

  • Keep your eyes out for the upcoming release of my new book on this topic, Lionproof: Keeping Your Children from the Claws of the Devil, coming in September! In this book, there will be:
    • Not just information telling parents why kids are going astray, but proven parenting practices that have worked for generations that are successful in raising godly children.
    • Dozens of interviews from those 2nd generation Christians who KNOW what their parents did RIGHT.
    • Charts and graphs detailing the results of the interviews
    • Assignments to help the reader implement these principles in their own parenting.
    • And much, much more!

If you have a blog and would like a review copy of the book, let me know! All you have to do when you’re done reading it is to post about it on your blog! Leave a comment here or email me, and I’ll get in touch with you. Linking up with: Monday: Alabaster Jar, The Better Mom, and Moms the Word, and Happy Wives Club Tuesday: Titus Two Tuesdays, Mercy Ink Blog, The TimeWarp Wife, Messy Marriage Wednesday: To Love Honor and Vacuum


Making the Leap into Victory

photo credit

Though I was young, I was brave . . . or was I? I stood on the top of the 30 foot platform overlooking the pristine lake and briefly wondered if I had lost my mind. I was only 11, and very slightly built, so I appeared much younger. Could I really dive off this platform – headfirst – and survive? Maybe I had lost my mind.

Then I looked down at the crowd of kids at the foot of the platform. I already pushed past them and told them I was going to do it, and they didn’t believe me. Earlier, when I noticed some teens standing at the foot of the platform arguing over who was going to jump, I stood defiantly in the crowd of strangers and declared, “I’m going to do it! You just watch!”

As I climbed the ladder, I could hear the incredulous sounds of the doubters, staring up at me in awe. I told them I would do it. I climbed the ladder. Now I had to jump.

With new resolve, I turned to the edge of the platform. In a few seconds, I felt my body hurtling to the edge. . .

photo credit

I find myself on the edge of a high precipice today. I’ve been writing this blog for years, and that will continue. But I’ve been researching and working on a book, as well, and I stand on the edge of the platform, knowing it’s time to get some of that information out.

I’ve talked to hundreds of people, I’ve interviewed dozens, and I’ve spent years writing the manuscript. I stand here, quite nervous, but with great confidence, about to take the plunge. With a full heart of resolve, I am compelling myself to the edge.

Starting next week, hopefully on Monday, I will begin a series on “Lionproofing” our children. Satan is after our kids, so how can we keep him from destroying their lives? I’ve interviewed dozens of second-generation Christians, and the Lord has kindly showed me many answers.

Next week, I will take the plunge and begin sharing this information with you.

. . . reaching the edge of the 30 foot platform, I leaped off the edge in a dive. I closed my eyes and felt my body plummeting forward and tried to keep my body as straight as I could. After what seemed like ages, I hit the water, going down, down, down. Within seconds, I swam back up, and broke the surface, victorious! I may have been afraid, but I did it anyway!

Are you ready to make the leap with me, as we learn how to Lionproof our children?

See you next time!