• Teach your rebel the Word of God. Help him define rebellion. Lead him to Scriptures relating to "rebellion," "fools," and "stiff-necked" people.
  • Teach him that God disciplines those He loves.
  • Teach her the cycle that is repeated throughout history: idolatry, bondage, repentance, deliverance, and rest. Idolatry is turning away from God's commands to our own self-rule: this leads only to bondage. If we repent, we are delivered and find rest (read the book of Judges).
  • Teach him God's plan for protection offered in authority. When we step out from under the authority placed in our lives, we are left unprotected.
  • Teach repentance by modeling repentance toward the child. If I show any signs of anger or unkindness, I ask for forgiveness quickly.
  • Teach the order of godly government. God has given us the duty to govern our own households. Children lacking self-government must be governed. God's beauty and order is displayed in godly government.
  • Creation is governed by order, not chaos, and declares the glory of God. Teach the foundation of our faith based on the order of a literal, six-day creation. God also created our rebel to declare His glory--teach her that she can glorify God if she stays under His authority structure.
  • Teach him that self-control is placing himself under God's control. He will soon realize that he can't control himself; this is when you can show him his need for God's control.
  • Go over what Christ did on the cross. Christ can free us from the power of sin and the penalty of sin. Lead your child to the cross at every turn.

Homeschooling
If you are dealing with major rebellion from your child, you may need to adjust your educational goals for the time being. You may need to step back and let your child excel at a lower academic level rather than struggle where he "should" be. I had to re-focus my standards on the basics: Bible, math, and language arts. You can also help your child with the following adjustments:

  • Provide lots of good reading to cover the rest of the school subjects, such as good biographies that exemplify people strong in spirit.
  • Look for curriculum that doesn't frustrate. Don't hesitate to change curriculum that is boring or overkill.
  • If writing is too hard, have him dictate to you and then show him his work.
  • Allow her to choose topics of study. Find out what she delights in and continue in that direction until the desire ceases.
  • Have him read a Proverb and ask him to tell you what it might be saying to him personally. What did God mean when He wrote it? How can he apply it to his life this day?
  • During peaceful times, have her read the Bible or a good character book to you and discuss it together.
  • Scripture memorization changes hearts. Write the same verse every day until it is memorized. Feel free to do so with her.
  • Let him play his instrument before doing his schoolwork. It can help soothe and set the tone for other work to follow. If it doesn't distract, play calm praise music quietly in the background during school time.
  • Separate siblings. This eliminates many distractions and potential trouble. Try to make a place of solitude for your rebel. Have the other children respect that privacy.
  • This is the kind of child that needs to be "doing" something with you. Our child flourished when we worked together and balked at independent study. Stay with her until she is confident and successful.
  • Give him something to look forward to when he gets his assignments done. Have a good book, special project, or free time waiting for him as a reward. Rebels can be highly motivated by rewards.

Consistency
Provide clear, strong guidelines in all areas--personal, school, chores, etc. The child must know what is required of him, and requirements must be clear. Print them out. Have the same rules, the same school assignments, and the same chores every day. Give him a daily schedule or checklist to visually keep him on track and monitor progress. Be consistent in all of these areas: