Drama Queens (*and Kings)
Reminding the Queens They Are a Child of THE KING
We like to hope drama is just limited to a few cliques of mean girls during middle school but we as parents know better. Drama starts early and can last all the way through high school. If we are real honest, we even know a few adults that never grew out of it and are still wrapped up in drama!
How do we deal with all the relational and emotional drama our kids get sucked into? Even a better question might be, “How do we avoid the trap of being sucked into the drama too”?
While the stereotype is of the “Drama Queen” girl, boys can also be a “king” of drama just as much. Drama with girls comes out in more relational, emotionally connected ways, while boys deal with drama in more physically emotional ways. Girls may gossip about each other and exclude each other from relationships. Boys instead tend to deal with drama in more physical ways with a quick push or punch, even becoming involved in bullying.
The keys to dealing with either is knowing that drama comes from the same five hidden sinful patterns… the DRAMA traps:
D: Division (Romans 16:17-18)
Drama always divides it never unites. Your child might see it as a way to be a part of a group, but that is a trap.
Drama divides close friends; it does not bring friends closer. Relationships that are formed out of an “us vs. them” mind-set will not last long. Those relationships, you know as a parent, can quickly change, leaving your child on the outside of the group.
It is important during the formative years of their mind and social awareness to talk to your child about the dangerous mindset of division, which when left unchecked can lead to much deeper and more seriously flawed thinking about other people and groups, later in life.
R: Resentment (Ephesians 4:31)
Drama in all its forms comes from an emotional place of jealously or a feeling of not getting what is deserved. Even inside our homes, dramatic moments will flare up over perceived unfairness or feeling of being left out. Your child must learn to overcome the resentment of what others have, who they are or what they can do.
This time of year with Christmas is a great time for conversations about feelings of thankfulness versus jealousy. Having them look at what they have, not what they don’t.
A: Attitude (Philippians 2:5)
We know that attitude as parents! The big blow up with the overwhelming flood of sadness mixed with anger over something or someone. We also know that drama attitude that oozes out slowly over time. At the center of the drama is a wrong attitude toward life, others and even self.
Lovingly correct and redirect the attitude that creeps up in the middle of conversations about others and situations. Emphasize the correct heart and mindset, modeled after Christ.
M: Maturity (Ephesian 4:15)
We want our children to grow up and act mature, but they are still developing an understanding of social situations. Unfortunately, if what they see around them, in the media and maybe even from adults (us) is dramatic immature responses that is how they will react as well. Drama is simply, an immature over-reaction to life.
Maturity comes through an understanding of God’s love (I Cor. 13:11-13). In the moments of immature drama, teach your child about Godly love for others and for themselves.
A: Attention (Proverbs 16:18)
In the end of all the drama, what is it mostly about? It is our human sinful nature to be the center of the attention. Whether it is our daughter or son, there is a need to be seen and recognized. It comes down to prideful attention.
If we as parents want to stop the “drama queens/kings” mentality, we need to gently “dethrone” our children. Your child is not the ruler and most important person around. They do not need or deserve the “royal treatment” in our home, at their school, on their team, or wherever they go! They must come to realize they are not queen or king, but rather children of THE King. The world does not revolve around them, but around the One who created it.
DAN ISTVANIK is a Middle Years pastor in Lancaster, PA. He is a speaker, ministry coach and writer who has been working in youth ministry for over 20 years. Dan shares daily middle year ministry specific resources and hints on his site “The Middle Years” at MiddleYearsMinistry.com