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Changing Your Mind

I discovered a profound truth recently. It occurred while I was asking my kids to brush their teeth. They didn’t. They didn’t even listen. Why? I don’t speak kid.

My language and expectations come from the well-known and ever-prevalent top-down, authoritative, might-is-right approach. Go brush your teeth. Why? Because you need to. It’s that time. I said so. What my kids hear: blah, blah, blah!

Kids speak a different language – a better one. It’s focused on the now. It’s spontaneous. It’s relational. It’s magical. It’s creative. It’s fun. My kids will be having a ball with a piece of string, some scotch tape, and an old shoe. What do I do? I walk in and say STOP! Go brush your teeth.

Why don’t my kids listen to me? I don’t speak their language.

This might-is-right language presumes a lot. Saying “go brush your teeth” is actually a command. Think about it. I don’t know many that “like” to be commanded. Led, included, yes. Commanded, by a mere mortal, not so much.

I’m not so concerned about getting my kids to listen to me. Rather, I’m more interested in thinking outside of the might-is-right culture and mentality, as, I would argue, God is there.

When many think of God, they think of a supreme, all-knowing being. I would agree. But it’s not a might-is-right God – despite what’s been portrayed, taught, passed down through the centuries…etc. God wants to be in relationship with us. He’s interested in leading us to our full potential. Just like we are with our kids.

It’s a different mindset than most are used to. One that can be difficult to envision, let alone put into practice. But it can be done.

Thanks for reading,
~ Ted Olson


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  1. Julie Bond Genovese says:

    Amen Ted! Love it!

  2. Sweet!

  3. God has gently been leading my heart towards this path of no more “might is right” thinking. I am struggling with how to do this with out throwing all rules out the window. We have 11 children, 3 of them are grown and the rest are 13 years down to 5 months. I know that God whats us to shift or mind set just not sure what it would be like in the day to day. Hope this makes since.

    • Ted Olson says:

      Thanks for your comment, Jodi. It is indeed a shift. The struggle is okay. That’s all part of it. I’d encourage you to check out my wife’s book, “A Pair of Sparkly Sneakers – A Mother’s Journey To Inner Wisdom,” as she describes the journey in detail. Link:

      Also, you can search, might is right, in the search box on my site, as I discuss the struggle a few times.

      Not sure your particular thoughts on faith, but a verse you may want to consider is Mark 10:42…:

      Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

      In other words, leadership is not about exercising authority, power – or flexing our parental rights – it’s about loving service, guidance, compassion, grace, sacrifice. There are rules, of course, but in this latter context they foster growth, empowerment, joy, freedom, love…

      Bless you and your awesomely huge family!

      Thanks again,

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