Wednesday Wisdom Tip: Stop the Fighting

Today’s Wednesday Wisdom Tip question comes from Nidia:

“As soon as I tell my 12 year old daughter to do her chores she starts mumbling and throwing things; she always has something to say back. The only time we get along is if I do something she wants me to do for her, then she goes back to being mean and angry…I long to have a relationship that other mothers have with their daughters. Is it too late to have that relationship? Do you have any suggestions on how to discipline an emotional and angry daughter and ideas on mending our relationship?”

Nidia, we all want to have loving relationships with our children and sometimes as we head into the independent years it becomes more and more difficult.

In our home, I have found that most conflicts begin when I haven’t made our boundaries or expectations clear. One good example is their bedrooms. One day I want everything off the floor, with the beds made and the next, I simply shut the door on the mess. When I become angry that their rooms are messy, it’s confusing to them. I’mĀ inconsistent.

A more positive example would be spending time with the opposite sex. Our kids are not allowed to spend one-on-one time with the opposite sex until they are 16. When my oldest was under 16, he hated this rule. Since we stuck to it, after a few attempts to get us change our minds, the fighting stopped. With our girls, it came up a time or two, but again, when we were consistent, the fighting has stopped.

Sticking to our boundaries has probably been the hardest part of parenting for us. When we have, it eventually brings peace. When we haven’t, it breeds continual turmoil. Our kids don’t know which answer they will get each time they ask a question.

It takes time, sometimes a really long time, but eventually our kids really do understand that our boundaries are because we love them deeply. Set a rule and with all you have, stick with it!

Do you have something that works in your family to avoiding fighting? We’d love to hear from you! Just click on “comments” below.


Does your relationship with your girl need a mother/day day together? Check out Lynn’sĀ speaking schedule this fall and join us for a “Revolutionary Love” conference!

Maybe you would benefit from spending time together in God’s word? Click under “freebies” at to find a free leadership guide for “His Revolutionary Love”.



  1. I had (and even still have at times) a similar relationship with my oldest daughter. She is now 21, but it began in probably about 7th grade. Not sure if it’s the age group, or hormones, or what, but it was definitely a change. You are correct in the sense that consistency is important, but that can sometimes be very difficult to achieve because it does take time/effort/energy on the part of the parents. The more tired we get, the harder it is to be consistent!

    One success that I had with my daughter when she was in 8th grade was related to clothing. Things that bothered me included clothes not being put away, clothes being tossed into the wash after wearing them for a very short time (ex. a skirt worn to church for two hours on a Sunday morning with no spills does not need washed), asking for new things very freqently, etc.

    After arguing about clothing for at least a year, I decided to give her more control and set the rules with a written contract that we all signed. The contract stated that she would be responsible for her own laundry from henceforth, and that she would be given a clothing budget of a certain number of dollars every season. She would have to choose how to spend that money and if there was a shortfall, she would have to figure it out!

    I taught her how to do laundry, and gave her suggestions on budgeting for clothing, watching for sales, shopping consignment stores, etc.

    It was amazing how quickly she became responsible to put clothes away, to not throw them in the hamper needlessly, or try on six different outfits every morning when she had to do her own laundry. She also learned (after some failures – but that is what failure is for, right?) how to budget, what her true needs were vs. her wants, and that shopping the used clothing stores was not the end of the world.

    The contract was posted, so anytime an argument might begin, we could point to the signed agreement. Having it in writing really helped us to be consistent, and it helped her not to stretch the issue.

    If I were to go back and change anything, I would expect her to do chores to earn the clothing money, instead of just giving it to her like we did.

    1. Thanks so much Crystal! I love your solution. We started something similar with our kids; giving them a clothing allowance at the beginning of the school year. I really think this teaches so much about spending money. It is so cool today to watch my 21 year old son stretch a dollar!

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