What a great chapter! It is refreshing to read about parenting and realize I am not alone in the disappointments I have with myself and also my desire to do the right thing or be the best. But striving for perfection will only bring disappointment.
Over the course of my parenting seasons, I have learned a lot. (Remember, I have a 21, 17, 13 and 4 year old – oh BOY!) I know my actions are extremely important and honestly, a lot of the time it is not so important what I say, but how I say it. My body language speaks volumes and when I sit back and respond rather than react things go much better.
I am not sure I look for repentance in my children as much as I should. In many situations, I am more interested in just getting them to do what I think they should do rather than it truly coming from their heart. I was reminded in what Sue said, that “ultimately we are not the judge of what is completely right and wrong. The Ultimate Judge is our parent. Our loving Father in Heaven….”
I think many of us can fall into the spectrum of parenting, at least early on, where we are under this false idea if we do just the right things, then everything will be great. I was certainly under this false pretense in the first few years of my parenting, but I can see how I have changed in both my approach and my expectation with my now 4 year old.
“Our teaching had moved from being grace-based and Spirit-leg to being fault-finding and condemning.”
When Sue shared this sentence in the chapter, I felt a twinge of guilt. Yep…..I truly feel I am still working my way toward a more grace-based parenting method. Do you feel that way too? Curious what others think of their parenting strengths and weaknesses. We all have them and we all will struggle with the “right” plan for our kids.
This chapter was a great reminder on how we need to re-evaluate our parenting every single day! I think back to my ScreamFree Parenting training several years ago. Most parenting methods are controlled or manipulative methods with our kids and honestly, is that really what we want? No, we truly do want our kids to change their ways and learn to make better choices on their own, rather than us forcing it by manipulating and control.
Being open to learning and growing as parents is what God desires. We are not perfect, we need to change and each of our children are different, we must adjust. They challenge us beyond what we think we can bear, but He is there.
“He will show you times to be firm and times to show mercy. At every moment of every day the fruit of His goodness is available to you.”
I love that quote and I will be reminded to seek His will more often through out the day. I admit, I am terrible at really asking Him for help during the day, or at least as often as I should. I am a “do-et” and often just want to get through the moment, rather than slowing down to listen and hear from Him.
That is my focus this week, (I’ve made other realizations in the past, writing is a great way to come to conclusions for sure!) in the midst of the seemingly overly frustrated and exhausting…..I shall stop and ask Him to help me in the moment.