I think this is especially true as our children enter their tween and teen years. It was so much easier when my own children were younger, to control certain things in their lives. Whether it was the clothing they wore that day or the time they went to bed, I had the ability to enforce.
This has changed now that my children are 12, 14 and 17. It doesn’t mean that I don’t enforce rules. However, there is definitely a lot less “insisting” and more “inspiring” that needs to be done.
Teens tend to dig in their heels when you insist upon things. Even if they might have thought about doing the same thing, just for the sheer fact you want it, they will suddenly change their mind. Although this can be attributed to a rebellious spirit, many times it is nothing more than leaning toward independence.
It isn’t always easy to inspire, rather than insist. In fact, I truly believe that all of our lives would be so much easier if my children went along with everything I insisted upon. But that doesn’t help them. They can’t learn and grow. They can’t become their own person.
Whatever it is you want to see more of in your child, learn how to be an inspiration rather than an insister. You may not see immediate results…but you can know that your impact will be greater this way.