This book and everything we do is the fruit of our family’s transformation. And over the years that
has multiplied. We’ve now helped half a million families create a new family tree. We can help you change your child’s behavior overnight. But what we really want is for you to become a new
MY FIRST WAKE-UP CALL
My son, Casey, is about 9 at the time. He’s in the kitchen on the computer. My wife asks him to take out the trash. Casey responds, “Just give me a few minutes.”
No way! That’s a trigger for me. My Dad was career military, known in our home as the Colonel. He didn’t allow us “a few more minutes.”
So my stern, demanding voice comes echoing through the wall. “Casey. Now.”
“Dad, just hold on a second, I just need…”
And then I hear my wife say, “Don’t worry, I’ve got it.”
Now I’m finally up out of my chair. No way is my wife going to rescue this lazy, undisciplined kid who can’t even follow simple directions. I glare at my wife, “Put that down!”
I’m on top of Casey now. “Casey, you take the trash out right now or I’ll throw that stupid computer off the deck.” (See, I’m a guy and I like to bark consequences I can’t actually keep!)
Casey looks at me with this little tear in his eye, “Dad, all I needed was another minute. Fine. I’m done.”
He stomps toward the trash can, but I cut him off. “You’ll never be successful in life if you can’t follow simple directions!”
“Dad, just let me do it,” he pleads.
I stand in front of him and taunt, “What, are you gonna cry now?” Yes, I was THAT mature.
So he runs off upstairs and then I hear him slam the door. Smack. Now I’m banging on the door, “I work hard every day to earn money to pay for that door. You don’t have to respect ME, but you will respect MY DOOR!” So I stomp downstairs ready to complain, yet again, to my wife about HER son. But when I get downstairs, I find this note on the floor:
I bought you a birthday card, but I wanted you to actually be able to read what I wrote so I’m typing this because my handwriting isn’t so good. The reason I’m a little late is that I had to finish up a school project tonight.
My teacher told us we had to write about our favorite superhero, but I told her I don’t have one. I told her you’re my superhero and I want to be like you.
She told me I wasn’t following the directions, to just pick one. I kind of got mad and told her, “No. I don’t like Superman or Spiderman. They aren’t real. They don’t work hard like you do, take me on special trips like you do, get up at 5am on weekends after working all week to take me to a cold ice rink and watch even though I don’t get to play much because I’m not a good athlete like you were.
So the reason I was on the computer was that I wanted to tell you that I’m glad you are my Dad and I’m lucky because my superhero is my Dad. I hope I can be like you one day and make you proud. I love you, Dad. Happy Birthday.
That was my wake up call as a father. I began to see the little boy that I loved, but didn’t really like, pulling away from me. At first, I blamed him. He was a difficult kid, a tough kid. And he didn’t do what I asked or wanted or expected. And he kept going to his mom when I thought he should coming be coming to me for advice. And she asked, “Would you want to come to you?”
THE STILL, SMALL VOICE
It was soon after that the real change began. I was raised with the “my way or the highway” approach. The problem was that my son just needed to tow the line, to shape up, to obey when I asked, how I asked, without hesitation.
I would go for long walks and ask God why he gave
us such a difficult child. I’d ask God to change that kid, please.
But I finally began to listen instead of talk. And when I did, I heard three questions in a still, small voice.
1) What if I created your son like this on purpose?
Hmmmm. So maybe he’s not broken after all. Maybe God made this iron will and persistence for a reason? Nah. God wouldn’t make a kid that difficult, would he? I rationalized that one away for a little while. But then a few weeks later, I heard another whisper.
2) What if by trying to change your son you are frustrating my purposes for him?
Gulp. Uh oh, so I’m messing with the master plan here somehow for my own convenience as a parent? Yeah, well, I’m sure I misheard that one. The kid just needs to get in line. I know what’s best for him. I’m his father after all. And if this approach was good enough for my Dad, then it’s good enough for me. And I kept walking and fighting this voice. But then it came.
It was a whisper, but it had the power of a hurricane. It swept through my soul and spirit, and completely undid me.
3) What if instead of trying to change your son, you’re the one who needs to change?
Really? You want me to change instead of putting all of my energy into changing that little boy?
I wrestled with that one for a long time. But when I finally humbled myself, I heard another sound.
The sound of a young boy’s heart finally feeling the acceptance of his father.
The sound of a young father being transformed into a man.
Can you hear that still, small voice whispering the same message to you now?
if so, we will walk you through this journey. And you will have not only changed your child’s behavior very quickly, you will have broken generational patterns and created a new family tree.
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