That's right, I said it. In my mind, I have a good handle on things. Well, that may not be entirely accurate. I willingly concede that many of my concepts don't always translate well from my brain to to my mouth. But in general, I think my approach is spot-on.
But then when I get to thinking about it, I bet everybody feels that way. It's easy to justify my behaviors and reactions as a parent. I find myself thinking a lot about how the kids need to get on my wavelength. The reality is, I'm the adult, and I need to get on their plane, not vice versa! I can't stand it when the kiddos show such little regard for the material things that have cost a lot, or even a little. But before I can get too worked up all I have to do is look in my car, my closet, my garage, my basement, etc....
Another thing that really torques me off is the back-talk. Man oh man, it really irks me. Sure, there's common respect, and kids need to be taught it, but I wonder what kind of example I set when I smart off in frustration to their mother? I've taught my kids to be sarcastic (I think it's funny, and clever - at least that's how I've justified it), to tease ("it makes them tough"), and to be judgmental. Whether it's other people's driving habits, personal quirks, or other things I find amusing, I've actually taught them to notice and exploit these differences in others.
I've reasoned that children are immature, although that's what I've modeled to them. I've said that this is not a democracy, and I've made sure everyone knows it. I've dismissed their input and disregarded their feelings by calling it invalid and hormone-induced.
I want my kids to be caring, understanding, passionate, merciful, humble, wise, affable, and reverent toward their Creator while fully surrendered to their Savior.
I have not done my best in developing these attributes.
In my mind I may think I'm the perfect parent, but in reality I'm far from it. There's a bible verse that says, "Love covers a multitude of sins" and it really speaks to me about my errors and missteps. Mercifully, my love both for them and Christ covers me and them alike.
Today I'm committing to becoming the best parent I can be. Will you join me?
No matter how good or bad it's been up until now, there's always room for improvement, and it can start right here and now! And no matter how old or young our children, it's never too late to make a fresh start.
Our kids are counting on it.