We have found that a lot of these kids are not just purposely being unbearable, but instead they are really gifted. After doing a lot of research in an attempt to figure out my rebel’s behavior, I finally stumbled upon this enlightening website entry, which described our rebel perfectly: www.k12academics.com/giftedyouth.htm.

We let our rebel be in charge of teaching siblings a subject once a week, but we monitored the situation. It helped this child realize concretely how a student needs to be teachable and that a teacher gets nowhere when there is resistance.

Hands-on academics are helpful to those who need to use all their senses to stay on task. Music instruction gives them a good outlet for pent-up emotions and uses all of their senses in a positive, productive way.

The Words of a Former Rebel: “I am more of a hands-on type of person, so that kind of curriculum helped make schoolwork more enjoyable.”

“I play piano and am now learning how to play guitar, which is something I’ve wanted to do for a while but was never able to learn because of constant school to catch up on. Now that I am older, I realize the benefits of staying caught up.”

Intervention

There were a few especially difficult times over the years when we felt the need for intervention. Everything we were trying was just not working. We were stuck in a rut and our rebel was getting worse. We decided that we needed a safe place where our rebel could go and think about his/her actions and be held accountable for them by someone other than my husband and me.

We found family members who shared our moral values and strong convictions and who were willing to take our rebel under their wings for several weeks at a time. This gave both our rebel and us a needed break, as we all needed help, both physically and emotionally. Our family enjoyed a blessed time of peace in the home while our rebel was away, although I was in agony of heart over my rebel and continued both night and day in intercession for this much-loved child. This also helped the rebel appreciate his/her own home and rules and learn to appreciate his/her own given boundaries. The rebel’s homesickness also prompted a deeper appreciation of his/her parents and siblings. The rebellious child came home a changed person and gained some maturity in having to practice self-control for an extended period of time under someone else’s authority. Christian camps or classes taught by other homeschooling moms put this child under another’s rule, which was helpful in learning accountability and developing maturity.

Another form of intervention came through pastoral counseling. When our rebel mentioned in passing that he/she felt like such a failure that he/she didn’t feel like living any more, we knew it was again time for outside intervention. We set up several appointments with our pastor and enlisted many close friends to pray. It helps to have other adults on your side speaking into your child’s life; requesting your pastor’s involvement is one way to do this. Don’t let the seeming embarrassment of having a rebel in your family keep you from asking for help and support. There were times when friends would know just when to offer to take my rebel for the day to give us all a breather. After all, we don’t always consider it, but these kids are really “special needs” kids, and we need some respite occasionally.